When summer rolls in, I love to spend every moment I can soaking up the warmth and enjoying the outdoors. I wish I could say that I have packing my bag for a day at the beach down to a science, but I either over pack, or miss something vital. What has helped me is to keep a list of my summer essentials so I don’t have to worry about packing last minute. Want to see what goes into my beach bag? Here’s my list!
Coola Sunscreen (Unscented): I switched to an all natural sunscreen a few years ago after questioning all the crazy chemicals I was slathering on my body to protect me from the sun. Coola’s line of mineral sunscreens is my fave. They have a great light consistency, are kind to your skin (no blocked pores!), and come in an unscented version that I love. I’ll take a natural beach smell to a chemical-y one any day!
Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara: I’d be lying if I said I was totally fine with being completely bare-faced at the beach. At the end of the day, I feel more put together with a swipe of mascara on. But mascara and salt water don’t normally play well together – until now. Introducing the best mascara you can have in your summer essentials bag – Urban Decay’s Cannonball Waterproof Mascara. It seriously doesn’t budge and I’ve put it to the test multiple times! From beach to pool to playing in the sand, this stuff has some serious staying power and only comes off when you want it to.
RMS “Un” Cover Up: I am genetically “blessed” with dark circles under my eyes and no amount of sleep will get rid of them. This means that I have a tendency to look tired, even if I’m bright eyed and bushy taileddeep down inside. Rather than have people question the amount of beauty rest I got the night before, I keep a little pot of RMS’s “Un” Cover Up handy to make my outsides look as good as I feel. Although it’s not waterproof, it’s light so you don’t look like you’re wearing makeup even when you are.
Inexpensive Sunglasses: You know what’s not cute? Squinting. You know what else isn’t cute? Ruining your $400 sunglasses by bringing them to the beach. As cute as designer sunnies are, my experience has been that sun, sand, and sunscreen are not their friends. I stock up on inexpensive pairs that can handle the harsh elements and save the ones I invested in for when I’m hitting a beachside restaurant or bar.
Havaianas Slim Flip Flops: I love me some leather sandals for summer – I really do. But when it comes to spending the day at the beach I find myself gravitating to a tried and true classic: Havaianas Slim Flip Flops. Leather doesn’t mix well with water and sand, but rubber is practically indestructible. The newer slim silhouette also means I’m not sacrificing any style for my comfort for one of my fave summer essentials.
A Wide Brimmed Hat: I’m not one of those people who can soak up the sun for an hour and expect to have a perfect tan. Unless I take great precautions and only gradually expose myself to the sun, I’ll burn and it won’t be cute. But what’s a gal to do when sitting in the shade isn’t always an option? A fantastic wide-brimmed hat. I have quite a few that I’ve collected over the summers, and all of them have been relatively inexpensive so I won’t be sad if they blow off in the wind, end up in the sea, or get crushed in my suitcase.
A Sarong: When it comes to beachy versatility, the classic sarong can’t be beat. I have an entire arsenal of them at my disposal and my beach bag always has at least one. From coverup to beach blanket to head scarf, the tried and true sarong is a lifesaver in more ways than one.
A Cotton Sun Dress: When it comes to beachwear + summer essentials, cotton is key. It’s breathable and lightweight, doesn’t get ruined by the water, and is eternally chic. I like to keep it simple with a classic broderie anglaise or oversized men’s shirt, and leave my fancier and dressier threads for a pool party or after-beach event. And if you don’t have time to change, they’re still easily dressed up with a chunky piece of jewelry and a smile.
A Nerdy Paperback Book: Yes, e-readers are what most people gravitate to, but I just can’t give up the joys of a good old made-from-paper book. I love to catch up on my reading at the beach. There’s something about the sun and the sand combined that makes for epic quality reading time. My choice in reading material gravitates between the latest suspense must-have and geeky sci-fi, but whatever it is, you know I’ll always have something to read in my bag.
Portable Speakers: There’s something about headphones at the beach that seem so antisocial. When possible, i.e. not when you’re at the most crowded beach in the world or if you and your company have completely polarizing music tastes, I prefer to have a portable speaker that plays music off of playlists on a phone. That way you can enjoy some summer tunes, but still be present to hang out with the people you went to the beach to spend time with in the first place.