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What to take on your tropical vacation

Surf style

You’re ready for sun, sand and surf. It’s time to escape the winter blahs and head for sunnier climates. Beach trips are laid-back and call for downsizing your makeup routine, but you still want to look your best and you want to do it with minimal fuss. Here are some tips on what to pack alongside the sandals and sunglasses.

Woman with suitcase on tropical vacation

Bronzer

You'll be getting a little natural glow once you hit your destination, but you're going to be pasty before you arrive and naturally you will keep your skin protected from the sun (you will, right?). Get a sunny glow with a sheer, light bronzer to perk up your winter pallor and make you look like you lounge around St. Barts every day. To keep it from looking overdone, work with your skintone and pick a bronzer that's just a little deeper than your natural color. Maybelline's Fit Me bronzers ($5) come in three shades from light to deep, so even the pale girls can use them. For an allover glow, try MAC Lustre Drops in Sun Rush ($20), a sheer shimmer liquid that highlights and brightens.

Apply your bronzer of choice over cheekbones, lightly across forehead and down the bridge of your nose. The general rule here is to highlight where the sun naturally hits.

SPF

This one is a no brainer. You need sun protection, and because your skin has been undercover for months, you need a high SPF. Go with SPF 40 or higher and choose one that's photostable. La Roche- Posay Anthelios ($31-34) not only fits both those qualifications, but most of their line also has Mexoryl SX, the best sun filter we have available in the U.S.

Tinted lip balm with SPF

A tinted lip balm will give your lips a "you but better" look that will work on the beach or at evening cocktails by the pool. SPF is a must for lips as well as body so choose one that has both and save packing too many of those little tubes. Try one of the 16 sheer shades in Cover Girl's SPF 15 Nature Luxe GlossBalm or if you want a little more gloss, try Guerlain Terracotta Lipgloss ($31). They also are SPF 15, moisturize with marula oil and come in natural, golden nude shades specifically created to add warmth and enhance a tan.

Waterproof mascara

This is a given when you're in or near the water. You don't want to pop out of the waves with mascara running down your face or sweat it off sightseeing. For beach days, a single coat is just enough to open up your eyes but not scream makeup on the beach.

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