Beach Week: How To Fake a Sun-Kissed Glow (Video)

I'm still in Beach Week mode over here. I hope you won't mind. Today, I'm sharing how to fake a sun-kissed glow! This look was inspired by the cinematography in the movie Virgin Suicides and my favorite time of day at the beach: right before dusk. There's a golden glow to the sky and the waves are making you sleepy. The crowds are gone for the day and you're soaking up that last bit of sun. You have just a little color to your face and pinch of pink on your cheeks. Your hair has those natural, beachy waves that only salty air can bring.

This isn't a bronzed babe or golden goddess kind of a look. It's a natural-looking makeup, so it's not full-coverage, with bronzer and blush applied where the sun hits (a tip I originally shared here) and a light dusting of shimmer above the cheeks. I used cream products here, so if you're oily, switch out for powder matte bronzer and blush.

N e e d:
  • Maybelline BB Cream in Med/Deep (or tinted moisturizer or your fave BB Cream)
  • Charlotte Ronson 2 X A Charm Double-Ended Blush & Bronzer Cream Stick in Mindy (or Nars The Multiple in Palm Beach and Maui Or USE BRONZER AND POWDER BLUSH instead if you've oily skin)
  • Hard Candy Baked Shadow in Peace
  • Essence Volume Mascara
  • NYX Blush in Sand
  • Studio Gear Cosmetics Lipstick in Frosted Pink
  • NYM Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (or my DIY version)
  • Sensationail Summer Collection--In case you were wondering what was on my nails.
D o:
  • Apply BB cream and concealer. I forgot concealer! I think it was my nerves over filming a video, haha.
  • Using the cream bronzer, rub and blend onto areas where the sun hits, like the cheeks, nose, middle forehead, temples, chin.
  • I also applied the bronzer to my eyelids.
  • Using the blush, rub and blend onto cheeks (right over the bronzer), tip of nose, and lips.
  • Take the light shimmery shade from the Hard Candy palette and dab it into the middle of lids and blend. Use a golden shimmery shade if your skin tone is dark.
  • Using a contour brush, apply a shimmery sand blush right above cheeks and across forehead. Feel free to use a regular highlighter.
  • Apply mascara and lipstick.
  • For hair, spray with beachy waves spray and twist into two big sections. I usually do this at the beginning so it can absorb the product. Once finished with makeup, I'll spray it again and scrunch it. Then I'll make small twists (twist away from face) and shake them until they become loose. We're going for a natural look here, so play around with it. That's it!
  • Below is my unedited (minus cropping) and unfiltered photo. It looks a little more tan in person, but natural light is washing me out a little.

Check out my video tutorial for the look above!

Thanks for reading and watching.


  1. Great look!
    Your blog is great too, going back to check out past posts now :)


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  2. That's a wonderful look! Thank you for the tips! x

  3. It's great to know that you can "fake" it and it looks completely natural!

  4. Great tutorial--and you look fab! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  5. Very nice. I can definitely see the glow. :)


  6. You look so pretty, Elle! I must say....I always love watching your tutorials coz not only are they informative, but they're also relaxing:D

  7. Although I don't think I need the tan (lol) I think this could be really beneficial for our cold pale winters here. You look lovely hun.

  8. Thanks for the tip, will definitely try the look!:) Kisses Elle! xo

  9. Ahh what a cool way to get a sun kissed look!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  10. Love how it's so easy to complete, and love your colorful nails!

  11. Love this look , I love the sun kissed vibe and a nice glow I need to do this because I am seriously pale right now.

  12. Yep, definitely needed this - I'm pale as a ghost right now!

  13. Thanks for the tutorial! I also love that moment at the beach. It's so peaceful, not too hot anymore, and the noise of the waves is so relaxing... I am always one of the last persons to leave the beach!

  14. Love that you have videos now!

    And that is the PERFECT time of day.

  15. Love this look on you! I must try this too, a very natural and youthful flush all over the face!

  16. your faux tan looks great


  17. This is such a naturally beautiful look, I would never have guessed that you hadn't spent all day out in the sun if it weren't for the video tutorial! Which, by the way, you are getting to be quite the pro at :)

  18. Thanks for your kind comment sweety, have an awesome day!

  19. Great tips! And you look beautiful!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  20. Gorgeous, Elle! Love this look; one of my favorites this time of year. :)


  21. Oh man, I take forever to tan! This video is great, definitely some tips I'll be using :)
    And agreed, one of the hardest parts about being a dedicated blogger is constantly commenting...that wears on me some days

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  22. well you look beautiful! i will have to try this soon!!!!

    i am super fair, but i have such a dorky problem every summer. my face stays pretty pale (but i wear makeup/blush/etc. to give it more color), and then my arms are SUPER tan, particularly my driver arm! it looks SO STUPID. but i don't want to have a super fake tan face. ugh! i need to figure this out!

  23. Elle, these are great tips on how to get that lovely summer glow without damaging our skin. I really like the useful tip on how to get that lovely wavy, beach hair look. And you did a great job!

    p.s. I'm Having A Super Giveaway - Art Print and Jewelry up for Grabs on my blog!

    Don't miss out! xo Reese


  24. we all could use a sunkissed glow! thanks for sharing your tips!

    Lulu & Georgia GIVEAWAY


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