Is there any form of glam so freeing as vacation glam? Free from the constraints of boring everyday life, a tropical trip always seems to include fuller, lusher-looking hair, a vibrant, radiant complexion, and makeup that just melts into the skin. Maybe it’s the psychosomatic effects of a break from reality, maybe it’s thanks to coastal breezes. Either way, beachy, bohemian vacation beauty is always noteworthy — just ask Janelle Monáe. On her most recent tropical vacation, Janelle Monáe’s long blonde braids and neon-accented manicure placed her somewhere between a mystical mermaid and the coolest girl at the beach party — an ideal combination for any warm-weather getaway.
While Monáe hasn’t identified exactly where she’s taking a holiday, the scenery (and her matching beauty looks) are impossibly dreamy. In one series of shots, the multitalented Monáe wears a scarlet bandeau bikini with a jeweled choker and plenty of gleaming rings and bracelets. Her hair, pulled into long, thigh-skimming straight-back braids, is a summery, sandy golden blonde that gives way to loose waterfall waves at the very ends. Her skin is as immaculate as ever, and a delicate swoop of cat-eye liner (surely waterproof, right?) peeks out from her fluttery Bambi-level lashes. Between the golden waves and the shimmering sea behind her, Monáe’s working a modern Birth of Venus vibe worthy of recreation on your next vacation.
Her nails, though, are among her look’s coolest features. The black, white, and neon yellow manicure was designed and executed by LA-based nail artist Shigeko Taylor, also known on Instagram as @nailsbyshige. The graphic, blocky pattern perfectly complements Monáe’s intricate hand tattoos, and the pops of cheery neon yellow nail polish — almost the color of a tennis ball — add an irreverent, vacation-ready feel. Taylor routinely works with other A-listers like Sophie Turner, Sandra Oh, and Viola Davis, but this geometric manicure is one of her coolest designs ever.
Overall, Monáe’s vacation seems like a very well-deserved break. Along with filming upcoming movies and attending high-profile events like the Vanity Fair Oscars party, Monáe’s just released a widely anticipated new book, The Memory Librarian. Achieving more in a year than some do in a lifetime, it’s safe to say she’s more than earned some me-time on a beautiful beach — but her killer fashion and beauty vacation looks just prove that genius never rests.