From the get go, I’d planned on spending this entire summer in the sunshine. But I’d forgotten that despite wearing next to nothing, you need a surprisingly large amount of things to have a successful beach day.
I really had to carefully consider the items I was willing to carry around with me without sacrificing too much. Here’s what I’m working with.
1. Jer and I both use Riemann P20, a once a day sunscreen. I also love Calypso’s Once A Day but I don’t think it lasts as long as P20. Follow the instructions carefully, then you’re protected for 10 hours, but still able to get golden.
3. A straw hat is a must! I picked up the cutest one in a tiny little street stall in Positano (I lost it about a week later ugh). They were everywhere there, but if you can’t find one in a local shop, try Zara or Lack of Color.
4. I LOVE Oenobiol Solaire Intensive tan enhancer capsules. These are a French pharmacy hit, so I decided to give them a try. I don’t know the exact science behind it, but I feel like I literally glow from the inside out and my skin, nails, and hair look better.
Second, the basics.
1. My beach bag is a standard Baggu, which I use during non-beach season for groceries or shopping, and I carry Lilly in it when she gets tired (perks of a 5lb dog y’all). It fits all our sun accoutrements perfectly.
2. The first beach stop we made, we used our regular bath towels to lay out. I knew it wasn’t the best idea, but we didn’t have any others. We finally picked up some chic Turkish towels from a small shop, but when I buy them again, I’ll get these.
3. My fave swimsuits (and clothing pieces in general) are by Mara Hoffman. I also love Trina Turk, because I dig her Palm Springs vibe. And I shop ASOS like it’s my job. They have a huge selection of tops and bottoms sold separately which is like the holy grail of swimsuit shopping.
4. I have 5 pairs of sunglasses in my suitcase right now. They’re my favorite thing to buy because you can overindulge on pasta and they still fit. Jer loves Tom Ford, RETROSUPERFUTURE, Moncler, and Ray-Ban. My current obsessions are Linda Farrow, Quay Australia, Miu Miu, Karen Walker, Wildfox, Illesteva, and of course, everything Dior ever does.
5. I love to read and while I have an iPad and my friend’s Kindle password, it’s just not the same. I’ll buy cheap books from a used bookstore and donate them when I’m done. I re-read at least one Fitzgerald every year, and I adore everything Plum Sykes, Phillipa Gregory, and of course, my girl Elizabeth Gilbert.
And finally, the fluffy extras.
1. Holy heaven. Benefit’s B. Right! Ultra Radiance Face Mist is a splurge for sure, but I’m addicted. If you want a quick burst of refreshment and glowing summer skin, try it. I also like the rosewater sprays from Boots Botanics and Mario Badescu.
2. My absolute favorite drink of all time is a Venti Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher from Starbucks. Hell, I’ll go Trenta if I’m feeling festive. When I’m not near a shop, I make them myself with the Starbucks Refresher packets (that my mom buys and hoards for me) mixed with ice cold sparkling water.
3. Jer and I bought 2 basic snorkel sets (sans flippers) for the summer. We both absolutely love to swim and snorkel and we decided the gear was worth taking up space in our tiny suitcases.
4. I always travel with this giant silk scarf I got about 12 years ago. I’ve worn it over my hair, to cover my shoulders, as a necklace, bracelet, belt, as a sarong, the list goes on and on. It’s so versatile and lightweight, so bascially the perfect travel companion. This one is my current fave.
5. To me, nothing screams summer like a bright nail color. The best I’ve found is Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London Nail Color in Nantucket. It’s long lasting and makes me feel like I’m put together even when I have sand in my bikini bottoms. I also use Rimmel Nail Nurse as a base/top coat/strengthener since I keep my natural nails long.
6. Espadrilles are a summer staple and I think Soludos are the best. Originals with ankle ties for me please! Jer also loves their men’s line because it’s just unfussy and cool.
So, there we go. It might seem like quite a bit, but none of it will go with us into the fall. I’ll use up the sunscreen, face mist, nail polish, Refresher packets, and vitamins by the time summer ends. I’ll send my shoes and sunnies back to my in-law’s house with the rest of my summer wardrobe, and since they were inexpensive, I’ll donate the snorkels, towels, and my straw hat to some other beach babe.