Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Poolside & Beach | Packing the Basics

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Haskell in burnt lemon tortoise

It's officially summer now and it sure is feeling like it! To me, the best way to escape the summer heat is either going for a swim or enjoying the ocean breeze by relaxing on beach. I normally like to bring a lot of stuff no matter where I go in order to be prepared and thorough. However, something about summer makes me want to simplify things as much as possible. As a result, I'm bringing only the basics to the beach and pool all summer long. 

First things first, you need a good beach bag large enough to fit what you need and to be durable against sand and water. 

Ever since I got the Apolis + Kinfolk Garden Bag at a sample sale last year, I've been using it non-stop. The leather straps are long enough for me to carry the bag on my shoulder. There is a protective lining inside the bag that keeps it protected from any liquid spills. Not to mention, you can just wipe down the inside to clean it. And you've probably guessed by now that my favorite feature are the six outer pockets. These pockets create not only extra storage space, but also allows me quick access to things without having to dig through the bag. When I'm out I'll usually put things like my keys and sunglasses in the pockets. The pockets are also a great size for soda cans, beer, and a nice cold bottle of Perrier. :P 

I love my Garden Bag because it serves so many purposes. I use it for grocery shopping, picnics, work, travel, and of course- the pool and beach! The canvas is incredibly sturdy and it's not a bag I mind putting on the ground. If anything, the canvas and leather will only look better over time. Honestly, I have a hard time resisting the urge to buy more Garden Bags every time I go to an Apolis sample sale. Eep! 

You won't be doing much by the pool or beach if you don't have a cute bikini and fun beach towel! I got the pictured swimsuit at a Mara Hoffman sample sale held at The Unique Space this past weekend. My friend found this top for me and we were both smitten by the adorable little tassels at the ends of the neck straps. I love the bold pattern and colors of the top, and the braided section at the hips of the bottom. This was the first time I had seen Mara Hoffman designs in person. Her swimsuits and dresses are definitely unique and full of life. Perfect for summer!

I love beach towels because they're oversized, making them perfect for laying out on. A bright and colorful one will guarantee you and your friends' ability to find your spot on the beach. This SATURDAYS towel has large colored hexagons making a sort of honeycomb pattern. It's also incredibly fluffy, which is a bonus! 

You can't forget sunscreen! Sometimes people forgo sunscreen because they want to get a darker tan, but it's really unsafe being out in the sun for long periods of time without proper protection. You don't want to end up with leathery looking skin or worse, with skin cancer. I didn't care about sunscreen until I was older, when someone close to me got skin cancer. Luckily, she caught it early and was able to remove the mole and keep the cancer from spreading. UV rays also darken any spots or scars (like hyperpigmentation) making it harder for them to heal. 

My go-to sunscreen is the Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen with SPF 55. Why SPF 55 and not SPF 70 or something? Well, the SPF scale isn't linear, meaning SPF 70 doesn't absorb all that more UVB than SPF 55. For more info on what SPF numbers really mean, I would take a look at this article. Anyways, I like this sunscreen a lot because it's not thick or greasy, and it applies smoothly and dries without a sticky finish. Having a broad spectrum sunscreen is also important because it covers UVA rays as well, which are what primarily causes damage underneath the skin.  

I like to use the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture with SPF 15 for my face during the day. It is lightweight and doesn't smell too strongly of sunscreen. It takes a little bit for it to sink in, but once it does my skin is protected and feels hydrated all day. However, on days when I will be out in the sun for a long time, I will use the Ultra-Sheer sunscreen instead. What's wonderful about the Neutrogena sunscreens is that my skin feels good with it on and it doesn't break me out. 

Don't forget to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside, and reapply every few hours or every hour if you're swimming!

Lastly, no summer is complete without a cute pair of sandals. Make sure you wear shoes that are easy to take on and off as you won't get far in the sand with your shoes on. These tan studded Sam & Libby sandals have buckles at the ankles, but I'm still able to slip the shoes on and off without unbuckling them. I also keep a large hair claw clipped to my bag in case I ever need to throw my hair up and out of my face.

What do you like to pack for a dip in the pool or ocean? Do you have a favorite sunscreen? 

More packing tips to come, but in the meantime you can check out my previous post about packing for a weekend trip here. :) 

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