Friday, August 28, 2015


As I sit at my desk to write this post there is a tropical storm brewing outside my window making me wish I could teleport myself back to the gorgeous beaches of New Jersey.  My family recently took a trip to Ocean City (My Uncle owns an amazing beach house right on the ocean!) where every year my Mom’s side of the family congregates for the summer.  It’s so nice to catch up with family and spend time with cousins, especially since we seem to be spread out all across the country now.  And the best part of the vacation is obviously the beach; and well the margaritas consumed at the beach, those too.   So as the summer sadly nears its end (is next week really September?!) I thought what better time to share the contents of my beach bag.  We need to soak up those hours in the sun while we still can!

For starters you got to have a great beach bag.  I snagged this colorful carryall on serious clearance ($12!) at Francesca’s Collection last year.  I love its size and it also has a small pocket on the inside I can throw my keys in.  Although this bag is out of stock I linked a couple favorites below!

To provide some entertainment while I pretend not to stare at the cute lifeguards I always throw a magazine and book into my bag.  I love Women’s Health for all the informational articles and right now I’m reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler which was kindly sent to me by my bestie Lise. 

Now onto the most important part of any beach bag: sun protection.  I am insanely picky about my sunscreen and don’t like anything sticky or heavy or that I have to reapply every time I go into the water.  My fair Irish skin is very sensitive and I look for something lightweight with natural ingredients that packs a SPF punch.  Enter my two holy grail sun care items.  For my face I adore the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47.  It’s lightweight, hydrating, fast absorbing and this physical sunscreen is infused with argan oil and green tea.  Now what is the difference between a physical and chemical sunscreen you may ask? Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the sun by blocking and deflecting the sun’s rays and are typically better for sensitive skin.  Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays and tend to be more irritating to the skin due their multitude of ingredients.   My next favorite is the Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF 50.  This spray on oil is hydrating, smells like tangerines, and leaves your limbs with a gorgeous sheen.  The formula is infused with meadowfoam seed oil and argan oil and I love this as an alternative to basic lotions for its hydrating effects.  I am lucky in that my lips usually don’t burn in the sun, but just to stay on the safe side I also throw in a Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25.  I have the original formula that has a Vaseline like consistency with a minty scent, but they have a bunch of great formulas to choose from! Lastly I like to pack a wide toothed comb and some detangling spray.  The salt from the ocean transforms my locks into knot city so it’s vital I rinse and comb through my hair after being out on the beach.  I know there are many sophisticated and fancy detangling sprays out there, but this Suave for Kids Apple Detangling Spray is the OG version.  This stuff is like $3, smells amazing, and has an octopus on the bottle.  What more could you want?

When I want to cover up I love this sheer white beach tunic from Aerie I purchased last year.  They have a  great selection of cover-ups and swimwear and it’s definitely work a look at their affordable collection.  Another favorite is this comfy beach dress I picked up from Nordstrom, and it’s currently on sale!  I adore this panama hat I picked up at Urban Outfitters for protecting my scalp and shielding my face from the sun.  (This version at J.Crew is also adorable!)  And what beach bag would be complete without a cozy oversized beach towel.  Usually I’ll snag a cheap beach towel at Target, but this summer I invested in this plush oversized offering from Vera Bradley.  It has held up so well and is offered in numerous fun and vibrant patters.  Definitely worth the price and if you are in the market for a beach towel I can’t recommend this variety enough.  And last, but not least I’ll throw in a ZICO Coconut Water.  I feel like it’s so easy to get dehydrated being out at the beach all day that I love to have a coconut water handy to rehydrate.

You probably noticed there was no mention of a phone in this beach bag.  Well that is because I try really hard to keep my iphone in the car or back at home when I go to the beach.  Life can be so crazy and hectic as it is that I love to take that time to unplug and really enjoy my surroundings.  You feel me?  But that is everything in my beach bag!  What are your beach bag essentials?  Let me know in the comments below!  And happy Friday everyone, I hope you spend your weekend at the beach soaking up the last rays of the summer! 

xoxo Nicole

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