Beach Bag Essentials

Although the official start of Summer is still a month away, I’ve always considered Memorial Day weekend the start of Summer.  So in preparation for the weekend ahead, I want to share my beach bag essentials!  I always have my beach bag on standby so I can scurry on up to the beach at a moments notice and these are my must-haves for any beach day.


For as long as I can remember I have always used either a Billabong back pack or a Vineyard Vines tote as a beach bag.  However, this year I am buying myself a woven tote because it is much easier to dump the sand out of than a bag with pockets.  It is also way cuter! I have narrowed my choices down to the following three bags.  The Kayu St Tropez tote (above) which comes in a handful of great colors.

sundry bag

This fun Sundry bag.


Or this Giselle tote. Each one is so cute but I have yet to make up my mind!

beach people

When it comes to beach towels, I am always trying to find a huge blanket style towel that actually will absorb water. The Beach People towels have been on my radar for a few years now and this guy is officially mine.  They make a variety of great towels in tons of patterns and colors – which makes it hard to only buy one!


My other choice for a nice and big beach towel is Serena & Lily.  The aqua color is perfectly beachy and the size is great for sharing!


Now, being born and raised by the beach has given me years to test out all of the tanning lotions out there and there are only two that I use – and swear by.  Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee has been an integral part of my tanning routine for years now and it is amazing.  This stuff not only helps you tan it also seems to prevent me from burning.  Of course, it only has SPF 4 in it, so if you have fair skin then I recommend using a much higher SPF.


Maui Babe is my other favorite tanning lotion.  This one literally smells like coffee beans, which I love!  It does a great job of helping you achieve a dark tan.  The only complaint I have is that the color gets all over your swimsuit when you apply it.  The color washes out, but I would recommend the Bain de Soleil on the days that you are wearing a white swim suit!


As much as I love a deep dark tan on my body, I never play around with my face and neck.  My sister always makes fun of me because by the end of the Summer by body is ten shades darker than my face. However, I am trying to protect my face and prevent any sun damage – which could lead to premature aging.  Neutrogena makes my favorite face sunscreen.  I have been using this for several years and not only does it work well, it also doesn’t make my skin break out. I also use their Ultra Sheer Stick for my lips.


To provide additional protection and to help keep the sun out of my eyes, I found this perfect cotton sun hat from JCrew.  They have several great hat options – each for a great price!  I particularly love this hat because it is soft and made from cotton which won’t make my head itch.


One thing that you will never catch me on the beach without, is a pair of sunglasses.  I typically like my Ray-Bans the best for the beach because they are polarized and sturdy.  However, I also love a cute pair of shades that match my bikini, so sometimes fashion out weighs practicality.

The most important item in my beach bag will always be my water.  I am honestly not a fan of the Swell water bottles because they don’t hold more than a bottle and a half of water.  I drink a ton of water each day – especially when I am out in the sun.  I recently discovered these awesome BKR water bottles which actually hold a liter of water.  The little spiked guy is so cool, but, at the moment, the spiked collection only comes in the 500mL size.  So for the time being I’ll stick to this pretty blue bottle and stay hydrated!

Two additional items that I keep in my beach bag at all times are It’s A 10 leave in conditioner and Off bug spray.  The conditioner helps prevent my hair from turning into dreadlocks and of course, the bug spray always comes in handy when the wind suddenly switches and sends the bugs right at you!

I know this was a long post, but these are truly the essentials when it comes to packing a bag for the beach.  Fingers crossed the weather is nice this Memorial Day weekend so I can grab my bag and head off to the beach!


Best Products for Clear Skin

Ever since I hit puberty, I have struggled with my skin.  It is super oil but also red and dry.  I have tried almost every acne product on the market and NOTHING works.  I finally met with a dermatologist back in high school and was put on prescription medicine for several years.  However, now that puberty is over, so is my prescription medicine.  So, I have been perfecting my non-prescription regime for the past three years and I my current routine seems to be juuust right.


I have been using Kiehl’s forever and I love their products.  This face wash is the best stuff I have ever used.  They took it off the market for a few months last year to re-do the formula, and it was such a struggle to find a replacement. Once the new formula was released, I literally ran to the store to stock up!  I wash my face every morning and night with this cleanser.  I have one bottle in the shower and one bottle on my sink – it’s that great.


After I wash my face, I apply this toner on my face and neck.  If my skin is feeling dry, I cut back on the toner and only use it every other day or just at night.  It works great on acne prone skin and it helps control the oil on your face.


These two products are amazing!  I swear they have given me the best skin of my life.  Since I started using them, I have received tons of compliments on my skin.  I highly recommend using them together.  Each time I run out of one, my skin definitely feels the effects. They are a bit pricey but I promise they are worth it.  Sephora offers a set with both products in mini sizes so you can give them a try before breaking the bank. The Night Oil has retinol in it, which helps with acne and wrinkles.  However, you can only use it at night and it works best if you let it sit for 10-15 minutes before applying the Good Genes lactic acid.  I use the Good Genes twice a day and it both brightens and plumps up my skin.  I’m telling you, these products work miracles on my skin.


After I apply my Good Genes, I apply a small amount of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil on my face, neck and the back of my hands.  I have been using this stuff for years now and it really helps to keep my skin hydrated, especially during the Summer.  This oil is only meant to be used at night time but Kiehl’s also offers a Daily Reviving Oil that works just as well.  I personally stick to the night oil because I don’t want to look too oily during the day.


Last, I apply Kiehl’s Rosa Artica cream all over my face and neck.  I only use this lotion at night time because I like to use a CC cream during the day.  However, I have tested many night creams and this is my favorite. It smells great and is light weight. It also has anti-aging properties which will hopefully help to keep the wrinkles away!

While these products work well for me, this combination may not work for all skin types.  Each product works amazingly so depending on what your skin needs are, they may work for you as well!