In your daydreams it was so easy: spend all day relaxing on the sand then head out for cocktails, simply slipping a beaded kaftan over your bikini.
The reality - sticky sun-screened skin, frizzy hair and dried sea-salt on your face - can cast a dampener over your plans for a pina colada at sunset. But never fear, we've nailed down the essential products and tricks to keep you looking glam without much fuss this summer.
If you have have dry to normal skin, a tinted sunscreen is going to work all day on the beach (just be sure to re-apply it to get maximum protection) and still look good at cocktail hour. If you have oilier skin use an oil-free sunscreen and pack facial wipes to minimise greasy areas at the end of the day. If you need coverage at night, use a sheer foundation. Avoid powders (even bronzers) as they can look chalky and fake at the seaside. Instead go for sheer gels and stains, whether you glam up with bronzer, blush or both. Bright blush can be too much when you've had a day in the sun, so opt for subtle shades and use a light touch. Picks: SunSense Daily Face Invisible Matt Finish, $19.99; The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, $24.75; Nivea Refreshing Facial Wipes, $12.99.
Full-on eye shadow looks ridiculous at the beach or pool, day or night. Instead go bare by day (or use waterproof mascara if you must) then add some tropical allure with bright eyeliner - turquoise or violet look great on sun-kissed skin. Line eyes thickly on top and bottom lashlines - gel eyeliner is easy to apply, and anything with a bit of sparkle is a bonus. Picks: Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Moire, $74.99; Stila Sparkle Waterproof Eyeliner, $62.
Bright red or pink lips can make bring out red tones in your skin, giving you a sunburned look (your skin will already be slightly flushed from a day outside). Opt for bronzes, peaches or corals instead - gloss looks most appropriate (matte or heavy lipstick looks OTT). Picks: Australis Mint Condition Lipgloss SPF30, $15; Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss, $26.
Unless you are blessed with frizz-free hair that dries in perfect waves, you'll need to plan your nighttime hairdo in advance. Here are two easy options:
• Slick back wet hair with a mixture of leave-in conditioner and firm-hold gel, and scoop into a high topknot. Twist the ends around the elastic or bobby pin them at the base of the topknot.
• Mist hair with leave-in conditioner or douse with a small amount of hair oil, then leave it in plaits for the day. Remove plaits in the late afternoon and add extra product where needed to create tousled (but conditioned) beachy waves.
Picks: Kerastase Soleil Aqua Seal, $39; Garnier Fructis Camouflage Gel, $8.49.
Some sparkly earrings or a pretty hair accessory (or flower) look glamorous but not high-maintenance. Now add that sundress or kaftan and you're good to go!