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Rainforest of the Sea, a new line of cruise-friendly cosmetics from Tarte.

Rainforest of the Sea, a new line of cruise-friendly cosmetics from Tarte.

Tips for the perfect makeup to wear on a cruise

You’re going on a cruise you always dreamed about with that special person. Maybe it’s a honeymoon, anniversary or just a lovers’ fling — you want to always look your best, don’t you? Well, as a longtime beauty writer as well as a traveler who's notched more than 300 cruises, I have several good makeup tips for you.

Preparations before the sailing

Before your trip, make an appointment with a makeup studio such as Blushington to learn the art of application. (Or, once on board, you can go to the salon for a makeup application, assuming your ship has a spa or salon. I lucked out during a cruise on Ruby Princess last year. Representatives from Estée Lauder provided the boutiques with free makeup for passengers. I booked mine for formal night and made sure I was there on time as there was a long line. The talented cosmetician used her magic to make me look years younger.)

Timing is everything

If you don’t have time to go for a lesson before you sail, then follow my guidelines:

No7 BB Cream from Boots.
No7 BB Cream from Boots.

First of all, never pile on the foundation and heavy eye shadow for breakfast or before your morning swim. The sunlight really exaggerates it, and the look won't be flattering. All you need in the morning, after washing, toning, moisturizing and applying sunscreen, is a tinted BB Cream such as Boots No7 that covers flaws and protects from UV damage. If you want, put on some waterproof mascara, but make sure it really is waterproof or you'll look like a raccoon, especially if you swim or sun. Now just add lip gloss and go off and have fun!

Come evening, that’s another story. You want to own it, especially if you doll up in a cool designer number. Do go for it with foundation, powder, eyeliner and blush. Be sure to contour to bring out your assets, brush bronzer in the cheek hollows and blush on top. Get some sparkle eye shadow. Go online and check out the art of strobing — the hottest new beauty technique going. Be sure your hair is nicely coiffed, of course.

Makeup products for your beauty care lineup

Here are a few of my favorite makeup products starting with Boots No7:

  • No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation to achieve a natural look with medium coverage plus SPF 15 and No7 CC Cream Color & Care with SPF 20 that moisturizes, brightens and blurs those little imperfections (should you have any).
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Anti-Aging Complex covers lines and wrinkles and protects with an SPF 15.
  • Beautifully Matte Foundation is intended for normal to oily skin, it's a medium cover-up that lasts for up to 14 hours and contains SPF 15.
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Foundation is for light to medium coverage, it comes with anti-aging complex that helps reduce lines and hide the flaws. It’s rated SPF 15 and, like all these products, it’s hypo-allergenic.
  • No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation has the coverage that lasts, looks natural and contains SPF 15.


L'eclisse Natural Lip Gloss.
L'eclisse Natural Lip Gloss.

Other skin & beauty products for your next cruise

Other products for your makeup kit I can’t live without:

  • IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Gloss Stain and Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss are powered by anti-aging, skin-loving ingredients including powerful antioxidants and nourishing butters and oils.
  • L’eclisse is the beauty junkie’s go-to for glamorous mineral makeup and luscious lipsticks along with a Pressed Mineral Blush that is natural-looking and luxurious. The collection also includes a vegan blush brush with super-soft bristles made of 100% premium fibers.
  • L’eclisse Natural Lip Gloss goes on sensually for extra-sexy lips and pouts. More importantly, it will offer protection from sunburned lips during your cruise. It’s made from an all-natural blend of certified organic ingredients. You and your friends will love the neutral shades that complement a wide variety of skin tones.
  • Tarte cosmetics is another must have and one of QVC’s biggest sellers of cool compacts, lipsticks, sunscreen, body oils, a unique contouring face slenderizer (that’s fun to play with to make your face look more angular and model-like), and lots of other cool cosmetics to stuff your beauty bag or cabinet. The company also released a sizzling summer collection you really need to check out, especially the maracuja-infused self-tanner, which is perfect for very light-skinned beach goers who need to shun the sun. The sun-free bronzer gives you that St. Tropez look without damaging the skin and it goes on without streaking.


Fit Me! Matte + Poreless from Maybelline's Make Fit Happen collection.
Fit Me! Matte + Poreless from Maybelline's Make Fit Happen collection.

Makeup options for budget savers

Let's not forget some options for the budget savers out there:

  • Maybelline Eye Studio Master Graphic Liquid Eyeliner that’s just $7.99 and glides under and above your lids like silk for a perfect line. It comes in a Striking Bold color.
Color Sensational Color Elixir Iridescents from Maybelline.
Color Sensational Color Elixir Iridescents from Maybelline.
  • Then there’s New York Color Elixir Iridescents by Color Sensational turn your lips into sexy pillows with colors such as Blushing Petal, Pearlescent Peach, Radiant Ruby, Glistening Coral and more. How much you ask? Just $8.99.
  • For flawless faces, Maybelline’s Make Fit Happen! can’t be matched for the $7.99 price. I applied it today and can’t get over how it covered the flaws and gave a natural glow. It comes in eight translucent and pigmented shades for normal to oily skin. Maybelline is sold everywhere at drugstores, beauty supply shops and supermarkets.

Bonus tip 

Here’s a bonus tip from Beverly Hills, Calif., celebrity hairstylist Nelson J about tress trends at sea: “The easiest do is a ponytail or braid, especially if the hair is highlighted with different colors,” says the man who styles of manes of some of Hollywood’s finest. With the humidity and sea air, hair often falls limp, so braids and ponytails are the way to go.

So there you have it, some tips to help you become an even more sensational-looking seafarer. Email me with any questions at [email protected]

Note: When we write about products or services at Cruiseable, we never accept payment from sponsors or suppliers. See Cruiseable's Ethics & disclosure policy.

Patti Pietschmann
I'm the LA Travel Diva and national cruise correspondent for and spend time cruising with first mate Richard, traveling the world, reviewing fine restaurants, going to plays, movies and events. It's the good life.