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Summer Beauty

Beach Makeup

We're not sure how we feel about wearing makeup on the beach, but there are a variety of beach-friendly products available to those who insist on bringing their A-game to sandy shores. Sephora's website currently features a beach makeover using products from The Balm. From what we gathered, chief among its aims are to bronze and mattify, while creating a waterproof barrier, should you be splashed with saltwater.

Leave it to Cargo, the brand that invented Blu Ray, a line designed specifically for HD moments on film, to create a collection of melt-proof makeup . . . and actually trademark the term "melt-proof." The product description states that the technology involves a "formulation that uses a mixture of emollients and waxes to form a water-resistant film on the skin." Though we occasionally strive for greatness here at Coutorture and hope to someday be immortalized for our efforts, we're not yet ready to resemble our replicas at Madame Tussaud's. This one scares us a bit, but we'd love to hear from anyone who has tried it.

Network partner She Finds reports that Too-Faced has a collection of water-proof, sweat-proof (not trademarked terms) formulations that don't melt on your face the way that many products tend to when the heat turns up. What we don't understand is why none of them have an SPF. After all, if they're supposed to be beach-appropriate, isn't avoiding burns one of the primary concerns of beachgoers? If sitting pretty oceanside means courting melanoma, I think we'd rather not adapt our workaday beauty routine for the outdoors and opt instead for a hefty dose of UV blocking salves and hair-saving solutions. However, we're still intrigued, so we'll continue to delve further into the obsessive world of the beauty-at-all-costs, at-all-times mantra that seems to pervade American society and keep the beauty business a-thriving. Here are some products that baffle us, and others that tempt us to try.

Our curiosity led us to ponder what exactly it is that we would want out of this beach makeup. Products that would polish and perfect, while remaining virtually undetectable, and thereby won't betray our raging inner vanity to our boyfriends and beach-bound frenemies. Beach makeup, if there should even be such a thing, should be all about stealth. We'll start with the dont's.

Foundations and powders. One of the less lovely aspects of the summer sun is that its harsh glare allows the world to see your skin in all of its imperfect glory . . . as well as any attempts to cover said imperfections with a layer of product. Visible particles of makeup just look tacky, so we'd advise you to skip this one. Let your skin breathe sans makeup and sweat out the toxins, because suffocating it with product just seems like a recipe for a breakout. However (and there is always a "however" with you, isn't there?), if you can't face the world without some armor for your acne, we suggest nothing heavier than a lightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF, and matching it exactly to your skintone becomes even more crucial. The sun, though merry and cheerful, is not your friend.

Oil-blotting papers. We just can't picture dabbing at our faces with these little bits of paper during a 90 degree sweatstorm. It would be something akin to trying to mop up Lake Michigan with a Kleenex. It's hot and you're going to sweat profusely, so don't bother.

Sheer lipgloss seems like it could work on the beach. A subtle hint of shimmer can't be too bad. Or can it? College Fashion alerts us to a study that shows that wearing lipgloss can increase your risk of getting skin cancer on the lips, as its shiny surface attracts UV rays. That's really too bad, since we're such fans of Vincent Longo's Gelli gloss. Again, if you must, choose one that has an SPF of at least 15, or opt for a lip stain instead to add a bit of healthy color without the evil shine. Stains are also great to use in lieu of powder blushes.

And now, for the somewhat acceptable uses of makeup in beachside environs...

Waterproof mascara. We love the drama of dark, Bardot-style lashes, but a little moisture can cause your mascara to race towards your chin and leave you looking like a lost member of Kiss washed ashore, battered and possibly beaten -- hardly the sex-kitten look you were going for. Switching to a waterproof formulation is a no-brainer for summer months, but if you really want the most natural look, try a lash stain, which will darken your lashes without the flaky fuss of mascara. Pricier options include salon procedures like lash extensions or tinting.

Waterproof eyeliner. We're still a hung jury on this one, but simply rimming the inner side of the lower rim in a superfine line can provide just the definition you need. Summer's electric hues look like they could be fun without being fussy.

Though undecided on whether we'll be toting our makeup bags with us to the beach, we'd be willing to give these products a try for work or play during the sweltering summer months just for their sheer staying power and supposed ability to fight humidity and keep the greasies at bay.

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