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The Bare (Skin) Necessities: Essentials For Your Spring Break Beach Bag

Lydia O'Connor |
March 15, 2011 | 12:11 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer


1. A cover-up

Essie nail polish in sweet talker
Essie nail polish in sweet talker

There is no better way to ruin your trip than acquiring an excruciatingly painful sunburn. Why be the token lobster in everyone’s spring break Facebook albums when you could be the girl in the must-have beachside ensemble? Throw a light cover-up in your beach bag to save your skin and avoid unnecessary trips back to the hotel for clothing. J. Crew’s whisk tunic is the perfect transition from beachcomber to lunch-goer. For a more casual vibe, try out the recent chambray shirt trend.


2. Blue nail polish

Take a break from splashing about to make your feet more flip-flop-ready. Channel springtime this year with delicate hues of robin’s egg blue. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well it meshes with tropical-print and white swimwear. Try out Essie’s “sweet talker” or OPI’s “breathe life.”


3. TLC for your lips

Warm, crispy, flakey: words that should describe the pastries you indulge in on spring break after months of calorie-counting — not your lips. Avoid burnt, chapped lips by keeping a slew of lip-loving products handy in your tote. Exfoliate away dryness with Lush’s mint julip lip sugar scrub (and then treat yourself a minty mojito). Also keep a tinted lip balm with SPF on hand, like Benefit’s Benetint lip balm, for a natural and no-fuss yet colorful kisser.


4. Headgear

An ostentatiously floppy hat is ideal for an over-the-top spring break adventure and perfectly in line with the 70s trend of the moment. The bigger the hat, the more protection you’ll have from the sun. You can also take a new spin on the long-lasting fedora trend by picking up one in a fun floral print, like this one from Forever 21.


5. Funscreen

Sunscreen is a necessary evil, so have fun with it when you can. Try Estee Lauder’s Body Shimmer Sunscreen for a layer of SPF, a bronzing agent and some subtle shimmer all in one. If you’re looking for something less extravagant and more SPF-heavy, throw in the super-long-lasting, waterproof and sweatproof Active Sunblock Spray from Aveeno.


6. Towel art

Napping to the sound of waves crashing is half as enjoyable when you have to squeeze onto a tiny bathroom towel from the hotel. Stock up on oversized, vibrant beach towels and sprawl out. Pottery Barn Teen has tie-dye-striped and floral towels in every color — you need one to match every bikini, right? They’ll even monogram them for you to avoid any towel mix-ups.


6. Beach reads

Light poolside reading doesn’t have to be the chick lit du jour. Throw a book of short stories into your beach bag. They’re unintimidating, easy to start and finish and won’t be as mind-numbingly repetitive as your typical beach read. Check out David Sedaris’ latest book “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.” 



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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