There are some blessed individuals that can emerge from the water and instantly look like they stepped out of a magazine spread. (Yes, we're looking at you, Jessica Alba.)
However, if you're more of the tangled hair, runny eyeliner, streaky tan variety—listen up. With a few key products (and quite honestly a lot less work), you can pull together a look that's both glam and low-maintence. Trust: These eight game-changing products are all you will need to look more than presentable pre- and post-swim.
Face SPF: We don't care what time it is. Is the sun out? Is it overcast? As a rule of thumb, if you're outside, you're wearing sunscreen. Pro tip: Make sure you snag a product labeled as "Broad Spectrum," which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Another pro tip? Go for a matte, oil-free formula like Clé de Peau Beauté 'Protect' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, which layers nicely under makeup (for those times when you're not frolicking in the water).
SPF: Again, you're going to want to go for a "Broad Spectrum" formula here too. UVB is the chief offender against sunburn while UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Pro tip: Most sunscreens only last for around two hours so be sure to reapply a shot-glass-sized amount after each two-hour window.
Coconut Oil: It should come as no surprise by now the miracle that is coconut oil. Bringing a jar with you to the beach or pool will save you a lot of time and serve a multitude of purposes. Need to remove any heavy makeup pre-water? Check. Need a little moisture post-beach? Check. Pro tip: In between dips, slather the emollient on hair for a quick, all-natural nourishing hair mask.
Long-Wear Concealer: The reality of wearing makeup in the water is messy and, quite frankly, just not worth it. That being said, we're not going to blame you for concealing blemishes and covering undereye bags prior to a jaunt in the ocean. Pro tip: Opt for a budge-free formula that's made sans oil, which will do their best to outlast sweaty lounging sessions up until you dunk your head.
Self-Tanner: Not scientifically as important as sunscreen but equally as imperative to your bikini body experience is a good, bronze glow, like Lorac Tantalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer. If you don't already have a tan (and even if you do) douse your body in a quick-drying, luminzing formula. Pro tip: Concentrate your application on your problem areas. Want the appearance of a toned tush or washboard abs? Add another coat to these areas to help mask imperfections.
Detangling Spray: If you're doing any underwater swimming, chances are you're getting your hair wet and damaging it—especially if it's in chlorine. Undo the damage by rinsing your wet hair with tap water and spritzing in a coat of detangling spray to let soak and wash out when you get home. Pro tip: Scoop up a version that has UVA/UVB protection (because your hair needs a shield from the sun too) and, like all other hair products, make sure this nourishing mist is silicone free (i.e. doesn't dry out your hair).
Waterproof Mascara: Like we said, makeup is kind of a no-no when it comes to water activities but try as we might, most of us just won't leave the house without a coat of the good stuff. Pro tip: Reserve waterproof mascara for these days when you know you'll be in the water. Removing a good waterproof version requires a good deal of tugging around the delicate eye area and that can lead to premature sagging or even eyelash casualties.
BeachStick: For a healthy pop of color both before and after the water, a highlighting stick, like the one from Charlotte Tilbury, will be your best friend. Draw attention to your most delicate features with either a sheer shade or a colored pick for a blushier or bronzier vibe. Pro tip: Apply your highlighter to the high points of your face—your cheekbones, bridge of your nose and bow of your lips. You can add to lids and even lips for an extra dewy look.
Clé de Peau Beauté 'Protect' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, $120; Avene SPF50+ Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray, $30; RMS Beauty's Raw Coconut Cream, $18; Estée Lauder'Double Wear' Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, $24; Lorac Tantalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer, $33; Leonor Greyl PARIS'Lait Luminescence' Detangling Milk Spray, $48 ; Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect, $32; Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick, $45