Cottage, city or beach: Your ultimate summer getaway beauty guide

By Michelle Bilodeau

With celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Palermo and Kate Hudson jet-setting around the globe, they've surely learned that the cardinal rule for summer vacations is to keep your beauty bag simple. Fuss-free styles don’t have to sacrifice the comforts of home now that practically everything comes in a pint-sized version! Once you’ve packed the daily essentials – SPF and skincare, naturally – a few choice items based on your locale of choice will take your look from roughing it to five-star resort in less than five minutes.

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COTTAGE: Like reclining in your beloved Muskoka chairs, spending a weekend at the cottage should be both relaxing and luxurious.

“Masqueing is really hot right now,” Mèreadesso founder and CEO Linda Stephenson tells Hello! “If you have the time to do it properly, go for it. [And at the cottage], you’re without distractions.” New masque formulas are designed to treat varying concerns – from brightening to redness, hydration and radiance – and can be used one after the other for maximized results. Due to the added minerals found in lake or well water, Linda also recommends applying a hydrating hair oil or masque to your locks to tame frizz and maintain a shiny, healthy mane. These formulas also work to protect coloured hair from getting brassy or fading in the sun.

As well as packing a dinner-ready shift dress, keep your makeup as easy as possible. “An ultra-black waterproof mascara is a must,” says Veronica Chu, a Toronto-based makeup artist and CoverGirl spokeswoman who’s worked with Coco Rocha, Sarah Gadon and Shay Mitchell. Other must-haves? Waterproof mascara for big, full lashes; a spot concealer or correcting palette; and raspberry lipstick (for your cheeks too!)

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CITY: Take your packing inspiration from the hustle of the city and be a multi-tasking maven. Linda likes to pack an all-in-one moisturizer that can be used for both face and body. “Especially when I travel on a plane – the moisture gets sucked out of my skin,” says Linda, who never forgets to stash a hydration booster in her carry-on. “I put [cream] over my makeup, and I can go straight to my meeting or out to dinner.”

To ensure you hit the ground running, schedule a blowout either pre-flight or upon landing, and carry dry shampoo with you to help maintain your hair all weekend long. When it comes to your manicure, a pale shade of gel polish is best as it’s long-lasting, neutral enough to work with any outfit, and any accidental chips won’t be as noticeable.

For an evening spent sipping martinis or attending the latest gallery show, Veronica suggests breaking out of your beauty rut and choosing a modern, urban look. “I like [a graphic eyeliner look] because it’s edgy but chic,” she says. Bring a liquid liner with a tapered tip and try a bright purple or grape statement lip (but be sure to keep the rest of your makeup to a bare minimum!).

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BEACH: No matter where you’re travelling, SPF is a given, but it’s most important when you’re headed to a sunny locale. “Obviously, if you’re at the beach, a full face of makeup is not ideal,” Veronica says. “Focus on protecting your skin with an SPF moisturizer, then add a hint of colour to the lips with a moisturizing balm.” New SPF formulations don’t leave a greasy, sticky residue, so slather on with abandon in order to get the most protection possible. “I am prone to burning,” says Linda, who likes to channel Greta Garbo while on the beach. “I always bring a floppy hat and big sunglasses.”

Because skin protection and hydration should be top of mind, a hydrating mist, easy-to-use cleansing wipes and a tinted body moisturizer will help maintain and perfect your glow while on vacation.

And for the ultimate surfer-girl hair, make sure to use a volumizing shampoo and salt spray to make the most of the humidity. After spending the day in the surf, smooth your beach waves by running a hydrating conditioner through your hair to remove tangles, then shampoo away any residue and style as usual. The added hit of moisture will keep your hair smooth and glossy for days to come.

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