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Monday, May 20, 2013

What to Keep in Your Beach Bag

One of my favorite beaches--Crandon Park

The weather in Chicago has been beautiful lately—sunny and over 80 degrees. The hot temperatures have got me thinking about heading to the beach and I can’t wait to do so!

If you’re planning a beach day, here’s a list of must-haves to keep yourself cool and comfortable throughout the day:
  • Blanket and towel: My pet peeve is using a sandy towel to dry off. Save yourself some hassle by packing a large picnic blanket to lay on the sand.
  • Sunglasses: I just can’t be out in the sun or do much of anything outside without a pair of shades. Keep them on as much as possible to protect your eyes.
  • Leave-in conditioner, wide-tooth comb and clip: Hair is most susceptible to breakage when it’s wet. After you get out of the water, spritz your hair with a leave-in conditioner and use a wide-tooth comb to work out the tangles. Use a clip instead of a hair tie to secure your hair.
  • Hydrating mist: Sitting out in the sun can leave your skin feeling like it’s baking. Occasionally pull out a hydrating mist and spray it on your skin for instant relief.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF: If you don’t use sunscreen before heading out in the sun, what are you thinking? It’s a must to cover your body with sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. And don’t forget your lips
  • Wipes: Take along some baby wipes. It seems like an odd item to bring, but there are several uses at the beach—use them to wipe your face before reapplying sunscreen, clean off your sunglasses or even wipe down your arms, and legs if they become sweaty or sandy.
  • Beach dress or cover-all: If you need to get up to find the nearest bathroom, have dress or cover-all handy to throw on. (Unless you’re totally comfortable strutting in your swimsuit!)
  • Water and snacks: Try to avoid pop and salty snacks—those will just make you feel dehydrated.
  • Makeup bag: If you’re planning to go anywhere but home after the beach, pack a bag with some basic toiletries like deodorant, body spray and toothbrush/toothpaste. Go easy on the makeup and let your sun-kissed skin shine through—a little tinted moisturizer, cheek color and mascara is all you need.
  • Entertainment: After about half an hour just lying in the sun, I get antsy. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside taking in the gorgeous weather, but I always need something to keep me occupied. For me, there’s nothing like reading a mindless novel. It always feels really indulgent!
  • Plastic bags: I always keep a few plastic bags with me—they’re a must for holding a wet towel or swimsuit if you plan to change before heading home.
  • Small empty spray bottle: If you’re lucky enough to be near an ocean, take advantage of one of mother nature’s best hair care products: salt water. Fill up a spray bottle with some ocean water to take home—it’s much better than any sea salt spray.

What are your beach must-haves?

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