The Makeup Artist's Guide To Island Beauty

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Picture this: After a grueling couple of months at work, you're finally about to take a much-needed vacation. You want to go to a beach—somewhere where no one will judge if you sit around all day and only get dressed up at night. Sounds like the dream, right? And then you remember: You have to pack. As if condensing everything you could possibly wear in paradise into a carry-on wasn't enough, then you've got to figure out toiletries. Sighs. You'll need an edited selection of things that'll fit in a quart-sized Ziploc, with the added consideration of sun, salt, sand, and humidity. Stressful! Which is not the point of the trip. So, to relieve you of any potential packing-related frustration, we happily introduce you to makeup artist Fara Homidi. She's recently back from Bali and the functional packing list to prove it. Read on and take notes.

I’m a big sun chaser, so I'm always trying to make it to some island whenever I go on holiday. Last year it was the Maldives and Sri Lanka and this summer it was Bali. For trips like this, packing light is the way to go—sometimes getting from point A to point B can include climbing over huge rocks with your luggage and wading through waist high surf to get onto your boat. That means bringing mostly swimwear and only the necessary toiletries. But, of course you still want to be able to create some daytime and nighttime looks that fit the island backdrop, so you have to be strategic. Here’s what I bring:

For Day

The sun is usually blazing and the air is humid. I tend to just go with it rather than fight it. Creams are key in hot weather because they are moveable and melt into the skin, looking even better over time. The best way to apply is with the warmth of my own finger, rather than with brushes, which also happens to help on the light packing front.

Sunscreen is a must, but I really dislike the feeling of foundation over sunscreen. (My favorite sunscreen for the face is Sulwhasoo Age-Veil Protection Cream.) So in lieu of foundation I go for Kanebo Sensai Bronzing Gel in Amber Bronze and rub it into my face with my hands. This stuff is epic because it's water-based and sheer, yet gives a tiny amount of coverage and a bronze tint that makes my skin look refreshed! And it's the only bronzing gel I've ever found to actually be brown, not red or orange in undertone. Very important to me.

From there I give myself a bit of brightening under my eyes and around the nose and mouth, using Cle de Peau Concealer in Ochre, patting it in gently. I also use this genius Make Up For Ever Concealer Pencil. It's got a fine point so it's perfect for targeting small imperfections or blemishes. After that I like to warm up my face even more with a Nars Multiple in Malaysia (although Malaysia is discontinued, Vientiane is super close) on my forehead, my cheeks, and around my eyes for some definition. No mascara! I like my skin being the focus.

The goal for my lips is to bring some color to my face, without looking too made up. I push some Tom Ford Matte Lipstick in Ruby Rush onto my lips, using my fingers to blur the edges. I take what's left on my finger and blend it onto my cheeks and the bridge of my nose for a "full day in the sun" kind of look. Recently I've discovered Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner and I'm obsessed. The formula is creamy and not too pigmented, so I can build to a full-bodied lip line or leave it a little more fuzzy and sheer. I generally go for the latter.

For Night

My evening island look is inspired by Natalie Wood in the '60s or Brigitte Bardot vacationing in a bikini with drawn-on liner. I'm always channeling women like that, who dare to wear statement makeup even if the execution isn't perfect.

After being at the beach all day...sun, salt and sweat, I for sure need a fresh start. I skip the sunblock and opt for my usual cleanse/prep and moisturizer. I repeat with the same daytime base of Kanebo Sensai Gel, Cle de Peau Concealer and Make Up For Ever Concealer Pencil.

Once the sun is low, I can use a powder bronzer without fear of it creasing or gumming up. I brush Nars Bronzer in Laguna on all the contouring areas: Across the forehead, the hollow of the cheeks, and along the jawline. Oh, and I love a full brow for evening! I dyed my hair blond so I like my brow pencil a tint lighter than my actual brows, and a bit ashier in color. I found my favorite brow pencil at a Japanese market called Sunrise Mart in the East Village, but it's also on Amazon. It has this funny name, Sana New Born, but it does the trick.

For my eyes, MAC Eye Pencil in Coffee is my preferred liner. I rim my upper lid, getting fatter on the ends and never too pointy or perfect. I'm not into a super wing-tipped liner, I'd rather more of an almond shape. Then I rim the bottom lashline and smudge the top and bottom liner with my finger. Again no mascara. Why? Because I think it looks sexier. It emphasizes the almond shape of the eyeliner without opening the eyes up the way mascara does.

On my lips I use Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo No.6. It happens to be the perfect nude for my lip tone. They make six nudes to choose from, so in theory there is one for every lip. I like that the texture is creamy which keeps the nude from looking chalky. My finishing touches are Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in Nude, and an island cocktail in hand.

xx Fara

Photographed by the author.

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