Here in Virginia Beach, VA is it officially summer. Sweltering, scorching, sweaty, swamp ass summer, my friends. But with the heat comes the best days of the year: beach days. I have lived a stone’s throw from beach my entire life and, God willing, plan to live close to the beach forever. My summers are spent on the hot sand, in the bright sun looking at the beautiful blue waves crash along the shore and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since us locals feel like we have mastered the art of “beachin,” I feel it is my duty to share my list of beach essentials with you, darling readers. So read on, go shopping and have a fabulous time at the beach!
Color Protectant Spray: Ladies, if you have color in your hair and you plan to have the hot sun beat on your gorgeous locks all day, spray your hair with this protectant the moment you find your beach spot and pitch the umbrella. This is sunscreen for your hair and once you smell this spray, you’ll use it even if you’ve never colored your hair in your life.
Sunnies: This is a biased essential because I am the queen of sunnies. I have so many pairs it is almost embarrassing (read: almost). But honestly, who goes to the beach without sunglasses? Shoebies—that’s who. People who aren’t beach regulars and therefore think it is OK to wear socks, shoes and a sunglass-free face to the beach. Not OK, don’t be a shoebie. Grab a pair of sunnies and hide behind them to people-watch for the entire day.
Cover up: Let’s start with the “absolutely nots” of cover ups. No tight clothing, no jean shorts, no sweater material and no completely see-through material. Here is why: it is 100 degrees and although tight clothing and jean shorts looked cute on the way to the beach, on the way home you will be covered in sand, most likely a bit sun-burned and most likely sweating like a hog. All of which requires a bit of space between you and your cover-up clothing. No sweater material speaks for itself, but you’d be surprised what people wear. And you should never wear see-through because you’ll probably be taking your sandy ass to a cute beach bar after the beach for a fish taco and cold orange crush.
Hat: Hats are as important as sunnies but there is one cardinal rule you need to know. Floppy cute beach hats are all the rage, but require you to wear your hair down—and when the heat index is 115 degrees, you cannot wear your hair down. There are so many cute hats to wear that have the necessary hole in the back to put your hair through. Start with this one, collect them all.
Beach Bag & Cooler: You need a bag to carry all your crap down to the beach in. You also need a cooler to carry the champagne and OJ (I am not kidding) as well as lots of waters, two sandwiches and ice for said mimosas. Your beach bag needs to be big enough to fit two towels, sunscreen, water, books, a bluetooth speaker, your hair products and a bag of Cheetos. This is a lot you need, so just go ahead a buy a beach buggy and throw your cooler, beach bag, chair and umbrella in that wagon and find a good spot to unload.
Body Coolant Spray: I will be completely honest, I don’t really know what the F this is, but I love it and I can’t go to the beach without it. You keep this spray cold (throw it in your cooler) and when you get hot or feel dry and sticky spray it all over yourself. It doesn’t have SPF so it should never be used in lieu of sunscreen but is like a cool, refreshing glass of water for your skin. It moisturizes, which will protect you from peeling if you get a little burnt and it smells like sunshine and daisies. Spray it on your face, your hair and, absolutely anywhere you’d like.
Sunscreen: Sad I have to mention this but some idiots go to the beach with the “I don’t burn” mentality. Here is a quick fact for you folks: if you have skin, it burns. 30 SPF should be applied each hour and I always protect my face with a hat. I love the beach and I love the sunshine but I do not love sunburns and I do not plan to age into a wrinkled up raisin because I was young and dumb when it comes to sun safety. Also, skip the spray-on sunscreen. The beach is windy and when you think you’re spraying yourself, you’re actually just spraying the air. The extra minute of effort to rub in sunscreen is so worth it. Sunburn is not fun, being in pain while wearing clothes is awful. Trust me.
Miscellaneous: A few extra items I love to have at the beach are: a bluetooth speaker for some good jams, plastic cups for champagne, a trash bag and a great book. Happy beachin’ babes!