Vacation Beauty Essentials

Hello from sunny St. Maarten!


It’s been a few days of careful sunning and easy beauty with a gaggle of family members and I’m feeling mega-relaxed. As usual, I did all of my packing the night before…with the exception of my beauty bag. I managed to do the unthinkable this year and actually pack light (and decide early) when it came to beauty. Shocking, right?

Here’s what you need to bring for the perfect beachy look.

Vacation beauty essentials

Vacation Beauty Essentials - Stephanie Fusco

Get your glow on: bring illuminating powders and glowy highlighters to make your skin look great from plane to beach. I use Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light over my sunscreen to cut the grease and make my skin look great without foundation. By night, amp up your glow with a slightly shimmery bronzer, like NARS Bronzer in Laguna, and highlight with a rose gold perlescent sheen like Benefit Cosmetics’ Girl Meets Pearl. Make sure your under-eye concealer fits the bill, too. Benefit’s Erase Paste brightens as it conceals and the shades are so versatile that you’ll be able to wear the same concealer when you’re tan as you normally do!

Simplify your eye makeup: Nothing says easy beauty like the perfect eyeshadow pallette. My favourite is Benefit Cosmetics’ World Famous Neutrals in Easiest Nudes Ever– it contains four coordinating powder shadows and two long-lasting creaseless cream shadows. Pair with a water-resistant gel liner like Maybelline Eye Studio + a waterproof mascara (I picked up MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash at the airport) to complete the look.

Think pink: Nothing complements a tan quite like pink and coral! Bring buildable, gel-based shades like Benefit Cosmetics Posie Tint (a lip + cheek stain) and Tarte Cosmetics Natural Cheek Stain to multitask. For night, splurge on a gorgeous coral like Chanel’s SS13 must-have, Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in La Favorite.

Perfect Coral Lipstick - Chanel Rouge Allure La Favorite - Stephanie Fusco

Keep your skin happy: Along with your usual SPF (I wear 50+ to the beach!), bring along your favourite mosturizer and eye creams to keep your skin happy. I brought along Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Cream – the only cream to help with my dark circles, really! – and a miniature Kiehl’s moisturiser. Fresh’s SPF 15 Sugar Lip balm has a lemony sugar scent and also keeps lips from getting chapped or burnt.

I also packed my favourite new body moisturizer – Vaseline Spray ‘n’ Go moisturizer in the aloe scent. The can sprays even upside down, allowing you to spritz your entire body with skin-quenching moisture in a minute. I use this post-sun to keep my skin smooth and am just a little obsessed with it. (OK, to be completely honest – a lot obsessed. When I mentioned to a friend I’d be writing about what I packed for my trip, she said I must be so excited to talk about my Spray N Go moisturizer. Guilty as charged.)


Go au naturel: Most people don’t know my hair is curly. I tame it into submission each morning and it’s rarely allowed to let its freak flag fly. On vacation, all that goes out the window. I packed two items from Dove’s Style + Care line: the Nourishing Curls Whipped Cream Mousse and Frizz-Free Shine Cream Serum. Together, I get spirals that are shiny but not crunchy. I pack the cream serum in my beach bag to make sure my hair isn’t a frizzy mess post-dip: just work it into damp hair + let it air dry.

Be prepared: before this trip, I visited Brixton ParlourWaxon Wax Bar and Get Gelled Manicure Bar. Be like a Girl Scout and always be prepared –  waxing will keep you from worrying about stubble + razors and a gel manicure will prevent you from having to bring along polish + remover. My cut with Dianna at Brixton Parlour left me confident that my hair could go curly without looking crazy (and that my colour would lighten appropriately).

Wear this to the beach:

Beach Beauty Essentials - Stephanie Fusco


No one likes to look ragged on the beach (no matter how relaxed you might be). Before heading poolside, I layer Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder over my sunscreen to set it and dab on some Tarte gel cheek stain to add some colour and sheen to my cheeks. I rid my eyelids of redness with Stila’s Prime Pot and add a small line of black gel eyeliner + a dab of waterproof mascara. Make sure to curl your lashes first! Finally, I add Posie Tint to my lips to keep them pink + throw both the Fresh Sugar lip balm + Benefit’s Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Kiss Me into my beach bag.

That’s it! What are your vacation beauty picks?