It’s probably pretty obvious that I spend a lot of time by the pool — during the summer and year-round! But there’s nothing like summer sunshine to inspire some trips to the beach, pool parties, and just generally soaking up the sun — so I thought it would be fun to do a post on my beach-bag essentials!
First of all: even if you’re just spending a little time in the sun, protection is key! SPF is an obvious one, but I also like to bring a wide-brimmed hat and a big sarong or scarf for extra protection! I usually try to sit somewhere in the shade or under an umbrella, but if that’s not possible then: hat, scarf, sunglasses, SPF all over… you get the drill.
For sunscreen, I’m really partial to the kind that you spray on — it only takes a few second and you don’t wind up with lotion all over your hands! Since there’s usually no easy place to wash off your hands at the beach, this just takes away one of the big hassles. I don’t like to use spray sunscreen on face, though — the skin on my face is just too sensitive, and it’s no fun to deal with post-beach breakouts from your sunscreen. Instead, I start with a generous layer of Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer  (SPF 15) and layer that with a higher-SPF product for when I’m not in the shade.
What else? Trashy magazines, obviously! Seriously, I’ll buy anything with Kate Middleton on the cover. I love my iPad, but between the bright sun and worries about dropping it in the pool or ocean, I’m kind of partial to old-fashioned paper magazines. I subscribe to just about all the fashion magazines, but on a low-key beach day, I’m a sucker for celebrity gossip. 🙂
Last but not least, especially for days by the pool, I love packing a pair of chic sandals! I used to wear wedges, but I started to think it was a little ridiculous to hang out by the pool in high heels (right?), so lately I’ve been gravitating towards cute flats and sandals. Much safer, and way more comfortable! I’ve had this pair  for over a year and they still feel brand new!
And when you’re done at the beach? Take off all that sunscreen with Simple Skincare Radiance Cleansing Wipes , dust on some bronzer (my favorite is from Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess line), create a messy bun or ponytail with cute hair elastics , and head out for summer evening drinks or dinner!