Won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise? 

Well, hello, my friends. I’ve just returned from a relaxing, fun-filled cruise to the Bahamas — a girls’ trip with my mother, sister and daughter. We had a super time: We swam with dolphins, sat in the sun and made some great memories.

As usual, I overpacked. I wore about two-thirds of the clothes I took along and less than half of the makeup products. That’s OK, though, because my husband and I are headed for Jamaica in a few weeks. I’ll wear the apparel that went unworn on the cruise and pare down my makeup bag to include just what I used in Nassau and Freeport. Since many of you are planning fun-in-the-sun getaways, I thought I’d share what made the cut:

  • SunBum products: I always burn, never tan so I must be very cautious about protecting my skin. I’m a big fan of SunBum products and my faith was rewarded on the cruise. I burned only on my back, and that was my fault because I neglected to reapply my sunscreen as I should have. I use SunBum’s SPF 50 spray and keep my lips protected with the company’s pomegranate lip balm in SPF 30. I once burned my lips on a trip to Myrtle Beach and it was excruciating. My friends Kelly and Nikki swear that burning your lips can cause cold sores, even if you’ve never had one before.  I’ve still never had a cold sore, so I don’t know if they’re right or not!
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen: I use the SPF 70 version on my face. My cheeks and nose didn’t burn during the cruise and my face didn’t break out, so I’ll use it again.
  • Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum: I serendipitously found a generously sized sample of this light-coverage foundation with SPF 30 in my sample drawer while packing. The minimal coverage was just the thing for a cruise.
  • Effaclar BB Blur: I find this BB cream that blurs imperfections perfect for “no-makeup makeup” days. Bonus: It contains SPF 20.
  • MAC Eyeshadow Palette in Cool Neutral: This 15-shadow palette featuring cool tones was all I needed for a variety of makeup looks. For those who love warm tones, there’s a warm-tone palette also.
  • Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush Wardrobe: Six pretty blush shades that stay put? Enough said.
  • Benefit They’re Real Mascara: This is my ride-or-die mascara because it lengthens, volumizes and stays put until I take it off.
  • Best Damn Beauty Best Damn Lip Mask: My lips love this quenching, moisturizing, softening mask with its pale pink tint. It doesn’t purport to plump, but I swear it does make my lips look fuller.
  • Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder: This just-add-water cleansing powder is perfectly portable and great for brightening and exfoliating.
  • Hand sanitizer: There are hand-sanitizer stations located throughout cruise ships. If you’re out at sea, chase away germs by availing yourself of them and take a small bottle of your own. In this case, more is more: Germs spread to cruise passengers and crew members at the speed of light. My sister and I would have spent more time at our ship’s casino if we hadn’t learned there was an onboard epidemic of strep throat. We decided handling chips and cards wasn’t worth the risk. That’s probably a good thing — I finished a winner, up $12!

A note about a previous blog: Thanks to all of you who contacted me here and through Instagram in response to a recent message about handling the end of a relationship. I heard from people who were estranged from friends, boyfriends, sisters-in-law, parents and adult children, and did my best to thoughtfully respond. I deleted the column because upon reflection I want to limit Makeup Plus 50 to more upbeat topics such as product reviews, recommendations and ideas. To the many who identified with that particular blog, know this: Your memories will someday be more sweet than bitter. In time, you’ll look back on the person and be glad they were a part of your life, no matter how briefly. I’ll leave you with this French proverb: “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.” – Ronda

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