heading to the beach? here’s what i always pack in my beach bag when we head down to manhattan or santa monica.
i’m trying to get to the beach as often as i can this summer. living on the east side of la, it is shockingly easy to never get around to the beach all year. if you don’t live in la, that might be crazy to understand, but it’s true! we’ve got the la river walk, echo park lake, and dodger games to get to in the summer, so if traffic is bad, we might NEVER make it across the 10 to get to the pacific ocean.
i, however, am all about getting to the beach this summer. i’ve already made it to manhattan beach twice and santa monica once despite being a wholehearted inlander AND teaching summer school.
to make sure i’ve always got my essentials, i keep a beach trip checklist in my planner. here are the 12 beach bag essentials on my list as well as some of my faves from my “what’s in my beach bag?” pinterest board.
1. spacious beach bag
before we get to what goes IN my beach bag, what IS my beach bag? the most important thing here is size.
a straw beach bag is super on trend. bonus points for pom poms or tassels!
just make sure to get the biggest one you can find. trust me. there’s nothing more annoying than stuffing a bag too full and having all sorts of things fly out when you try to yank out your beach towel.
2. large beach towel
speaking of which, again, make sure you have a large enough towel so you can luxuriate on the sand.
a round beach towel is another fun, trendy option.
*extra essential: an extra towel to dry yourself off when you come out of the water. if you’re the swimming type, that is.
3. swim suit with high waisted bikini bottoms
i’m not a swimmer. so when i go to the beach, i’m trying to cool off, catch an ocean breeze, get a tan, maybe wet my feet. this means i opt for a bikini so i can get some color.
my FAVE bikini style is the retro, high waisted bottom, like the modcloth one above. i just LOVE the vintage style first of all. and hey, some extra coverage down there always puts my mind at ease.
i’m not trying to play the britney-spears-circa-2003 game of “holy crap am i about to see her vagina right now?” so i like a more modest–and flattering–high waist.
both of these swimsuits and others can be found on my “what’s in my beach bag?” pinterest board, so head over there for more details and inspiration.
4. headscarf to tame those beachy waves
ever since i got my pixie cut a few years ago, i’ve had to embrace the unpredictibility of my hair in certain weather because i can’t just tie it all up in a bun and call it a day.
so if the salty air and ocean spray causes my thick pixie to start curling up in weird directions, i slick back my unruly bangs (don’t even get me going about BEACH BANGS!) and tie a bright scarf around my hair.
people think i’m trying to be cute when really i’m just trying to cover up the crazy on my head! i do it because my pixie cut can’t be tied up in any way, but it works great for frizz and flyaways on long hair too.
5. plenty of spf
i love an aerosol sunscreen because it’s less messy. AND i love how cold it comes out! that’s always fun. here are eight sunscreen picks from sugar social beauty. my favorite is #5 (the spray, i’m telling you!) although i use #7 as well.
we stopped buying bottled water to force ourselves to use less plastic. hey, baby steps. so i make sure to fill up a canteen or some other bottle at home before we head out.
these and other water bottles can be found on my “what’s in my beach bag?” pinterest board, so feel free to follow me on pinterest for even more beach must-haves!
7. retro-inspired sunglasses
i usually own a few pairs of big ol’ plastic looking sunglasses. i love these from pinterest:
one, i love the retro feel of this style. two, i want the utmost in mary-kate-and-ashley-hiding-from-the-paparazzi coverage. and finally, i don’t like feeling all the separate, delicate, metallic elements of aviators and the like, especially on the bridge of my nose!
8. sweater just in case it gets cloudy
the last time my husband and i went to manhattan beach, the traffic was just bad enough where it was late afternoon by the time we got there. which meant clouds were rolling in and i was too chilly to sit there virtually naked on the sand! enter: the lifesaving sweater.
you’re going to want to talk yourself out of packing it EVERY TIME. but don’t listen to yourself. pack it. the nautical one pictured above is from modcloth.
9. tinted moisturizer with spf
i don’t do makeup on beach days. it just makes me feel oily and grimy. i’ll take a tinted moisturizer with me though in case i’m feeling like i want a touch-up because we’re going to walk up to a beachside restaurant for dinner or something before heading back home.
10. matte lip color for pouty, mess-free lips
the only other makeup i’ll take to the beach is lip stick in a soft, light hue.
i’ve learned from my teenage years NOT to wear sticky lip gloss because sand and hair are flying everywhere at the beach and guess what? they get caught in your lip gloss. and that’s not cute.
my favorite summery matte lip color right now is revlon’s ultra hd matte lipcolor in hd embrace.
11. fun beach read
here’s buzzfeed’s list of beach reads.
if you’re more of a self-improvement, non-fiction kind of girl, make sure to scan my list of 10 productivity books to help get your sh*t together.
12. my planner, of course!
you never know when inspiration will strike, so don’t leave home without it.
unless it’s a big ol’ happy planner. then no. don’t take it with you.
what’s in your beach bag this summer? let me know in the comments below!