Planning for the 'effortless' beach look

You want to relax at the beach. You want to feel good. You want to look as if you don't have a care in the world.

It takes a little bit of effort to appear so effortless.

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
The Associated Press
Modified: June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm •  Published: June 18, 2012

You want to relax at the beach. You want to feel good. You want to look as if you don't have a care in the world.

It takes a little bit of effort to appear so effortless.

You want to make smart choices, but not overthink it, says swimwear designer Shoshanna Gruss. "The bottom line with swimwear, especially if you are buying it for vacation purposes, is for the fantasy. Think of it like a sundress, and remember you are getting it for fun," she says. "You want to feel comfortable and sexy, but, yes, that's a little hard because you are basically walking around in your underwear."

Buy for body type

Don't buy for trend, buy for body type, Gruss says, and a little ruching and distracting detail never hurt anyone.

And, she adds, keep reminding yourself that soon you will feel the sand between your toes.

Be playful, not fussy

For the rest of the ensemble, be playful, says Los Angeles-based designer Trina Turk. "With a colorful tunic, a wide brim printed hat, sunglasses, sandals and sunscreen, I'm ready for the beach," she says. "Summer style should be sexy and confidently sophisticated, but not fussy."

Color Is Important

Coral and pink lipsticks set the mood right away, says New York-based makeup artist Elle German. Apply the lipcolor with your fingertips to get more of a natural stained look.

The eye is instantly drawn to bright hues. Put them where you want everyone looking, whether it's the racing stripe down the bodice of your swimsuit, jeweled collar of your cover-up, neon polish on your toes or the sun-kissed canvas of your bag.

Leather works

Oh, and leather works, too. It's what Banana Republic creative director Simon Kneen uses to carry his towel, sunscreen, hat and iPod. "It is so much more stylish," he says.

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