The Poolside Beauty Looks You’ll Swear By All Summer

Hannah Johnson shares her secrets (hint: water is optional).


By Hannah Johnson


In an alternate universe, I spend my days lounging poolside with an unlimited supply of tropical cocktails and the guarantee of a flawless tan with zero sun damage. Sadly, that life of leisure is not my reality, and so I have to improvise. That means that whenever the universe decides to bestow upon me sunny weather that coincides with a day off, you can bet I’m throwing on my cutest swimsuit and heading somewhere—anywhere—to look my poolside cutest.

The thing about poolside beauty is it doesn’t even require a pool. You can head to your local park and dip your toes in the kids’ wading pool. You can slip on a Baywatch-inspired suit and frolic through lawn sprinklers while your pal snaps a Boomerang. If you’re me, you climb up to your roof and chill on a deck chair, angling your way towards the sun and attempting to soak up as much vitamin D as you can.

I plan on spending as much of the summer as possible in swimwear, but I’m not letting these be mere uniforms for water sports. My swimsuits will be my outfits, and they’ll require just the right beauty tweaks to get the look going. Herewith, a few of my best beauty tips to guarantee your swim look is head-to-toe perfect.

Hair You Won’t Dare Get Wet

Amelia Cut Out Swimsuit

Look, I love swimming just as much as the next person. It’s great exercise, it’s relaxing, and you can annoy your friends by splashing them in the face if you’re so inclined. But poolside beauty is about chilling beside the water, which is why you can show off gorgeous hair that will defy even the most humid conditions.

I’m all about big waves that even the ocean would envy, sideswept into softly-brushed ripples.

To get the look, I brush in a deep side part over the ear and quickly curl large 2-inch sections away from the face. Once the majority of my hair is curled, I let it cool down for about five minutes to allow the curls to set. After that, I brush out with a natural-bristle brush for soft, fluffy and voluminous waves that wouldn’t look out of place on early-‘90s Cindy Crawford (the ultimate summer goal, really). After that, all that’s left is a misting of anti-humidity spray for help with defying the laws of nature. Oribe’s Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray smells amazing and protects your hair from the frizz that comes with sweltering heat. And according to the brand, it’s “Miami-tested.” Chic.

A Manicure That Will Go With Everything

I’m calling it: nail art is pretty much done. Maybe it’s because I’m an indecisive Libra, but I don’t want some elaborate design dictating what I wear for the week or so after I leave the nail salon.

I want something universal, which is why an off-white almond-shaped nail is my choice for the next few months. Off-white is fresh and works with just about every look you pair it with, whether it’s a fun print or a classic solid. Plus, it makes you look tanned even when you aren’t, and who’s going to take issue with that? Say it with me: soft white nails for all, all summer long! P.S. my mani is OPI’s It’s In The Cloud. Ask your nail girl for it.

Swimming Pool Blue Eyes

Bridgette Halter Swimsuit

Makeup in summer, for me at least, should be minimal. The hotter and more humid it gets, the worse anything mildly creative is going to look on me. However, I think there’s no problem with choosing one feature to focus on and making it pop. A long-wearing, bright coral lip on an otherwise bare, glistening (not sweating) face? Babely.

For me, I’m all about swimming pool blue. In my opinion, that fine line between turquoise and sky blue, the shade that tiles at the bottom of most swimming pools seem to be, is the most perfect color in the world. Throw it on your lips if you like, but I’ll be painting it around my eyes. Starting with a base of primer so the shadow lasts all days, I follow up with a matte wash of S.P.B. (Swimming Pool Blue) across my entire lid. Kiko Milano’s High Pigment Wet And Dry Eyeshadow in Cornflower Blue gets the shade just right and is easy-peasy to apply.

All that’s left to finish this picture is a healthy application of sunscreen (skin cancer is serious, folks), a great pair of shades and a never-ending supply of sangria. And–duh–a great swimsuit. I’ll be alternating between Nasty Gal’s Amelia Cut-Out Swimsuit  and the Brigitte Halter Swimsuit all summer long, HBU?