March is here and that means it’s time for spring break trips to the beach and fun with friends and fam. With our beauty packing tips, you’ll have your vacay in the makeup bag!

where the sun don’t shine

Rule #1: If you’ll be spending any time in the sun, you need to SPF like it’s going out of style (yes, we just turned SPF into a verb). After all, your skin is your best accessory. And as much as we worship the sun, we don’t worship wrinkles and skin cancer so much.

Everyone should wear at least SPF 15 protection, but if you tend to burn easily, go for SPF 30 to SPF 50.

  • Sunscreen – You’re going to be reapplying every two hours, so make sure to bring enough for the entirety of your trip. Even better, bring waterproof sunscreen so it doesn’t slide off every time you go in the water. Packing for a plane? Put the big bottles in your checked baggage to avoid breaking the flight rules. If you want to be covered as soon as you get off the plane, either put it on before you take off or pack some sunscreen towelettes in your carry-on for quick application.
  • Tinted moisturizer “I want to wear a full face of makeup on the beach,” said no woman ever, probably. But if you don’t want to go totally bare, opt for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream with SPF. It’s lighter than foundation, but still evens out your skin tone. Better yet, find a waterproof version so you won’t have to scream every time someone splashes your face when you’re swimming.
  • Self-tannerFake it ‘til you bake it! You could timidly walk onto the beach with your pale legs or you can saunter onto the beach like a boss with pre-tanned skin. Totes your choice, but if pre-tanned is your jam, start using a self-tanner with SPF a week to two before your trip. You can pack it to use during your vacay or leave it at home in exchange for sun that doesn’t come from a bottle.

watch your head!

Your noggin is most sensitive to the sun when the rays are most intense, which is between 10 AM and 4 PM. That is, incidentally, the time period every single person on a beach vacation is at the beach. So use your head and protect it, otherwise you could end up with a sunburned melon and dry, brittle hair. But no one wants to look like an unwashed hippie by putting sunscreen in their hair. Have no fear – there are other options.

  • Get a hat – This is your best defense and your most stylish. A sun hat with a wide rim will protect your head and your face. Plus, you can put it over your face when you’re sunbathing to look like a super cute version of a guy resting with a sombrero. A ball cap will also work (and gives you a handy dandy opening for your ponytail).
  • Leave it in – Find a leave-in conditioner that comes equipped with SPF protection. Then use it! Apply it before you hit the beach and reapply often. Bonus: chances are good you’ll end up with awesome beach waves if you apply after getting your hair wet.
  • Comb through it – Something you may not think about packing is a wide-toothed detangling comb. Comb through your hair whenever you apply your leave-in conditioner to avoid torturous beach tangles. Combing will also keep your scalp from becoming oily and clogged, which can cause flakes after sweating it out.
  • Don’t dye – Yes, we all want to look our best when we’re on vacation, but if you want to protect your head, it’s best to not dye your hair before heading out into the sun. Reason being, dyeing or bleaching your hair opens up the hair follicle, making it more susceptible to damage. Plus, the sun can fade your awesome dye job. As an alternative, you can bring along a temporary hair color spray for your roots or hair chalk in cool colors.

make scents in the sun

Did you know that heat activates and intensifies odor? We’re not talking about stanky sweat odor. We’re talking your favorite fragrances. So why would you leave them at home?! Grab some travel size sprays and spritz on a little before you head to the pool or beach. Everyone will want to know where that fantastic aroma is coming from, amongst the overwhelming essence of cocoa butter.

As with all liquid products, if you’re traveling via plane, make sure to pack appropriately so as to not have your beauty arsenal confiscated before you even board. Anything over 3.4 ounces must be packed in your checked baggage and not your carry-on (sorry to be a downer).

Now that you know what you need to look, feel and smell fab on your vacay, you’re ready to pack your bags! Spring on the sun!