The days are longer, the nights are warmer and the lure of the ocean in the city’s backyard is undeniable during Laguna’s summer months. The care of skin and hair, as well as the selection of outfits and accessories, all undergo a necessary transformation to adapt to the unique conditions of the sun, saltwater and sand. Our stable of aesthetic experts helps demystify the process, with recommendations for the best beach-prep beauty arsenal to keep you healthy and in vogue this summer.
A stroll downtown may lead you to Roots The Beauty Underground, a Forest Avenue cosmetics boutique and salon owned by a Laguna Beach local who speaks from experience when it comes to the optimal beach beauty routine: “Living in California, a tinted moisturizer should be the first thing on our faces, no matter what,” says Laura Linsenmayer, while dabbing Suntegrity’s five-in-one natural moisturizing face sunscreen (SPF 30) onto her cheeks. “It evens out your skin tone and clears your skin up.”
If you’re looking to take a dip in the waves, she recommends the water-resistant Raw Elements Eco Tint 30, a naturally tinted SPF 30 sunscreen stick that doesn’t leave the dreaded white stripe. “Make sure and concentrate it on your nose and cheeks,” she advises. “That is where the most melanoma and sun damage to the skin occurs.”
One of the most innovative sun protection options in Laura’s shop comes unexpectedly in the form of Brush On Block mineral powder sunscreen, a broad spectrum SPF 30 waterproof powder with a variety of skin care benefits applied through an attached brush. “This is perfect for little ones who don’t like sunscreen rubbed onto their faces,” she says. “[It] can also be kept in your purse as an oil-absorbing touch-up throughout the day.”
“Sunbathe either before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when there are fewer UVA and UVB rays. … Alternate the days you spend time in the sun at the beach.” – Dr. Zein Obagi
To prepare skin for a beach day, Dr. Zein Obagi of Laguna Beach’s Obagi Skin Health Institute stresses the importance of continuously reapplying sunscreen for maximum protection. “The misconception is that sunscreens that are waterproof or with high SPF will give longer protection,” he explains. “[However], most sunscreens don’t provide sufficient protection an hour or two after application. It becomes degraded, wiped off and sweated out.”
The time period of sun exposure while at the beach is important as well. “Sunbathe either before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when there are fewer UVA and UVB rays,” Zein recommends, adding that you should limit the length of exposure and give your skin a rest to repair itself. “Continuous exposure to the sun is not acceptable. Alternate the days you spend time in the sun at the beach.”
Additionally, sun protection doesn’t just end with skin, Laura cautions, as she liberally mists Coola Sport SPF 50 unscented sunscreen spray on her long blonde locks. “Spraying this light SPF into your hair will protect your color without becoming oily or greasy,” she explains.
Tress Street Beach
For summer days spent on the sand, natural hair tones are speaking to Laura. “The aggressive ombre look is done for now,” she says. “But growing up in Laguna, ombre is just what our hair looked like: pops of blonde around the face and lighter tips. That look will never stop; it just means you’re a sun worshipper.” Nothing goes better with naturally sun-drenched color than exceptional beachy waves, a look that Laura has perfected.
“Beach waves stem from how you prep your hair … right out of the shower,” she explains, recommending a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to start.
Once the hair is clean and damp, the process begins: “Use a styling foam, and shake it into your scalp for volume, followed by a non-aerosol hairspray on your damp hair. Spritz it in, and then twist your hair into two or three loose buns depending on how much hair you have,” Laura says, quickly demonstrating with a few easy twists in her own tresses. “Secure the buns with a few bobby pins behind your head. By the time you get to the beach, take the pins out of your hair and shake it out. You will have perfect beach waves.”
Cosmetics for the Cove
“The makeup look for the beach this summer is, ‘I woke up like this—I came off the beach like this,’ ” Laura says, touting a dewy, youthful glow. On top of her tinted moisturizer, she effortlessly taps RMS Beauty Living Luminizer—an ultra-sheer cream highlighter—onto the highest part of her cheekbones and right under her brow line.
“That’s the look,” she exclaims, as she shows off the way the cream makes her skin radiate in the light.
She then moves to her lips and cheeks, for which she recommends doubling up with an Ilia Multi-Stick for an all-in-one rosy tint. “I like any product in my arsenal to have multiple uses, so I can keep the number of items in my beach bag to a minimum,” she says. “Tap this tint onto the apples of your cheeks and smudge it in, and use it on your lips as well. You can be ready to go to dinner right off the beach.” To disguise any redness that may have occurred while sunbathing, Laura advises dusting on bronze or mauve tones, which will help neutralize any traces of a burn.
Toes in the Sand
To the beachgoer who prefers a more understated look, Laura encourages using your nails as a creative outlet, as the beach is the perfect place to demonstrate a pop of color. “Nails can be fun, different and bold in color, but without the commitment,” she says.
This is especially true for toes, where color doesn’t chip as frequently. For those seeking a low-maintenance yet polished solution—without the time for a new manicure in between beach days—Laura is ready with the perfect shade: “I literally put tape on a client’s hand and paint on all our nude shades until I find her perfect nude tone,” she says. “Chips and fades show the least with nudes, and can be reapplied coat after coat without dramatic chipping.” The nude nail option, she says, is a “big time-saver.”
Styled Under the Sun
Laguna Beach-based personal stylist Leslie Christen knows what’s on-trend for the beach this summer, and the cover-up of the season is more elevated than you might think. “Silk caftans, kimonos and tunics are ideal for the beach, with just the right amount of coverage and perfect flow so that they’re not clinging to your body,” says Leslie, who recommends pieces by local design house Treva’s Beachwear. “They also transition well to dinner or drinks after your day in the sun.”
For a dip in the ocean or a skin-baring sunbathing session, Leslie turns to the line loved by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson: “You can never go wrong with Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens. These are no ordinary suits,” she says. “The quality is meticulous, and the fit is hip-slimming, bust-boosting and figure-flattering.”
The colors of the season are rich and vibrant: “Cobalt, coral and turquoise are big,” Leslie says.
Your fashion choices at the beach can also have an effect on your skin’s level of protection. “Wear white clothing at the beach, which will reflect back away from the body the effects of the sun,” Zein suggests.
“Silk caftans, kimonos and tunics are ideal for the beach, with just the right amount of coverage and perfect flow so that they’re not clinging to your body. They also transition well to dinner or drinks after your day in the sun.” –Leslie Christen
As for the perfect tote to house your beach-going supplies, Leslie looks to lightweight canvas, cotton or raffia materials in a long-handle style. “They’re more laid-back,” she explains. “There’s an ease to wearing your bag cross-body.” Leslie’s favorite raffia options are made by Sans Arcidet, a Parisian line found at Laguna Supply. She also suggests a bright, fun Mexican market bag as the perfect-sized carryall for beachside necessities: a gorgeous Ruby Mint beach towel, a good book and your SPF of choice. Those looking for a smaller purse option can also find colorful Soulucean bikini clutches—made of limited edition Peruvian fabric—at The Shop.
When accessorizing an outfit for a beach day, Leslie suggests keeping it minimal. “Any metals are going to heat up and be uncomfortable, and anything bulky will just get in your way,” she advises. “Instead, go for dainty jewelry.” For a layered look, Leslie suggests stackable bracelets, like those from local jewelry designer Nan Fusco.
And for easy, sand-friendly footwear, Leslie looks to leather styles with arch support, like the recently launched line of beek sandals available at Laguna Supply that she says only get better with age. “I am also coveting a classic slide,” she confides. “I love the Sigerson Morrison ones now showing at Aris on the Coast.”
– Written by Blair Dawson