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5 Makeup-Free Beauty Essentials for Your Next Island Escape

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

Greetings from Curaçao! I’m here covering the island’s first-ever fashion week, which features the innovative work of over 20 designers from 13 countries. All shows start around 7pm every night, so I’ve been using my daytime freedom to explore this Caribbean gem’s ridiculously stunning beaches and towns. And since the country is located in the tropics, just 12° north of the Equator, it’s humid all year round (a clever local explained that Curaçao’s seasons are “hot” and “inferno”). This means that makeup should be kept to a minimum since you’ll want to spontaneously jump in the water to cool off. Save for some water-resistant mascara at night, I’ve decided to go makeup-free on this trip and  focus on keeping my skin hydrated and protected from the sun.

Here’s a roundup of winning products that are keeping me looking fresh-faced and stress-free:

1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45 ($8.49): This sunblock has been saving my skin during my daily beach-bumming sessions. I love that the formula is lightweight, non-greasy, oil-free, and contains a strong SPF.

2. Evian Mineral Water Facial Spray ($19.50/3-pack): In addition to drinking tons of water, I’ve been misting this baby all over my face to keep cool and hydrated.

3. Smith’s Rosebud Salve Tube ($6): My lips chap regardless of the weather conditions, so this is a lifesaver. Although it also comes in a pot, my germaphobe self prefers the more sanitary tube version since I’m constantly touching and feeling everything around me. (Fun fact: this all-in-one can also be used to smooth cuticles and tame flyways!)

4. Shiseido Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers ($18): When my skin’s natural oils are just a little too much to handle, I turn to this lifesaver to blot my face back to slick-free perfection.

5. Yes To Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes ($2.99): Hellooo, hydration! I love the fact that these travel-friendly wipes contain natural ingredients like cucumber to reduce puffiness, aloe vera to smooth and protect, and green tea to treat breakouts. Plus, they won last year’s Allure Best of Beauty Award for being a Natural Wonder, so you know they’re legit.

Bon voyage!

Love Natalie’s suggestions? Then you’ll want to see the rest of her beauty must-haves in her weekly column.

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