Imagining the Bahamas, we think of ripe fruits, blooming flowers, and mellow days on the beach.  Classic tropical nights filled with caftans in primary colors offset by sun kissed makeup, exposed skin, and wavy, tousled hair.  While visiting Grand Bahama Island, one discovers a traditional style of glamorous, fantastic adornment.  Dynamic and animated, women wear incredibly vivid eye shadow.  Royal blues, teals, tangerines, and magentas; no hue is too bright.
At the annual Junkanoo festival, women in flashy feathers and shiny sequins decorate their faces with spheres, swirls, and striking line work.  Nothing is held back, as participants paint on masks of awe-inspiring makeup, and reveal their costumes while dancing through the streets.  The jubilee of tropical beauty powers a fierce attitude that is simply captivating, compelling onlookers to join in. Everywhere one turns, guava-colored lipstick, tamarind-tinted eye shadow with a few daring dots atop each cheekbone, and sour sop-green eyeliner is on display.  It’s the spirit of the Bahamas that we yearn to capture within ourselves, so that we can always remember feeling this alive. Performative. Celebratory.
Island bright make-up has taken root in the fashion world, as designers and makeup artists are looking to the palette of Nassau for inspiration. Fall 2013 invites us to embody a Bahamian Rhapsody. Jason Wu harnesses the purple night sky of the islands with an indigo shadow shade.  Thakoon dusts blue eyelids with a thick layer of glitter, while James Kaliardos chose a head-turning ode to Junkanoo culture with magenta matte lips at Diane Von Furstenberg. Models brought a touch of island shine to an otherwise futuristic noir collection at Band of Outsiders with neon red lips.  The bold spirit of Bahamian beauty assures one will never go unnoticed.
Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz showcases his talent and signature whimsy in this season’s coveted maquillage: a limited-edition collection of mascaras, shadows, and liners that he designed with Lancome.  The project is accompanied by an animated short draw by Elbaz featuring a fashion show in which the spectator’s faces are colorfully made-up eyes.  Cosmetics played a significant role in Lanvin’s Fall 2013 runway, as models wore looks from an impulsive red lip to a classic cat eye, created by Pat McGrath. “It’s about light-hearted luxury,” Elbaz says.  “I wanted to do something personal and kind of funny- but also totally serious.  Which is exactly what makeup is.”
Although a full face of makeup doesn’t quite work at the beach (well, maybe it does in the Bahamas), a touch of polish can be ideal.  The key to beach ready makeup is a pop of color, says makeup artist Gucci Westman.  “I like bright colors [for the beach], such as cherry red or vibrant fuchsia, which flatter tan and pink cheeks,” says the artist. For a sunrise-inspired pout that is wearable all summer long, first moisturize lips with a good balm, then pencil in the entire mouth so you have a matte base (matte keeps it from becoming too shiny).  Follow with a layer of fuchsia lipstick. For daytime glam, apply Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Berry Bliss.  The deep pomegranate shade’s formula- 50 percent of which is a coconut water- blends easily for a sheer wash of perfect color. 
For cocktail hour, get your glow on by brushing champagne highlighting powder in the inner corners of the eye and under the brow.  Finish with a few sweeps of Diorshow waterproof mascara.  (This season, nearly every designer—Chanel Inimitable zest, Givenchy Noir Couture, Yves Saint Laurent burgundy—created bold, colorful—beach resistant—mascara) Or take organic cues from island plant life and color in soul windows with RMS Beauty cream.
While vacationing in the Bahamas – or other tropical climates-protect skin with eco-friendly True Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, a paraben-free blend of zinc oxide, green tea, and coconut oil.  For the natural bronzed bohemian look and glowing pinched-pink cheeks, W3LL People Luminous Mineral Bronzer creates a healthy, sun-kissed complexion- while nourishing skin with aloe, green tea, and chamomile. Or just stay in the shade of a palm tree during high sun for a hint of tan.
Prevent skin irritation by mixing an edible Dr. Alkaitis Organic Universal Mask for 20 minutes once a week to keep a fresh, clear complexion. The argan oil, antioxidants, and peptides in Aveda Green Science Lifting Serum promote cell turnover and build collagen for noticeably younger-looking skin. Shea Terra Organics Argan Eye Serum gives wide-awake eyes; the blend reduces puffiness and dark circles, a formula which targets fine lines and wrinkles, allowing you the ultimate canvas for a bright-eyed color palette.
The bright face paint, and bold, sunset pigments on eyes and lips influenced by the spirit of the islands are in fact durable makeup statements, claims Sharon Dowsett, UK make-up director of Maybelline New York.  The key to playing multiple brights against each other?  First, perfect the skin and brows by creating an even portrait, and then commit to either cool or warm tones- not both.  “Forget precision,” she says.  “It’s about making your mark and not being perfect.” 


August 2013