Beauty & The Beach: 12 Essentials For a Perfect Day in The Sun

It’s a well-known fact for the people who know me well, that I am my happiest self when I am at the beach. My boyfriend likes to joke that I “blossom in the sun,” and if I’m in a bad mood he might politely nudge me to get outside, ASAP.

Despite growing up in the prairies of Saskatchewan, I feel like I was raised in and on the water. I have fond memories of spending long summer days out on Last Mountain Lake in my parents’ boat. I’m pretty sure I learned how to water ski before I could walk. (At least, that’s how I remember it.) And even though my very first interaction with the ocean was catastrophic (picture me, 3 years old, bee-lining it straight for the water because it felt like home, only to get bowled over by a wave crashing at the shoreline and tasting salt water for the very first time — and not exactly loving it), I have come to crave the salty air, the now familiar taste the water leaves on my lips, and the sound of the waves lapping at the shore.

The beach is my happy place. It’s where I feel most at peace, most in love, most hopeful and inspired. It’s where I’ve had some of my greatest ideas, and experienced some of my greatest failures (turns out, I’m not a natural born surf pro). It’s because of all these reasons that I am forever chasing an endless summer, and as such, I’ve perfected the art of an ideal beach day.

12 Essentials For a Perfect Day in the Sun

beauty and the beach

1. Your BFF or S.O.

While I’m a huge supporter of solitary time, in my experience, the beach is best when shared with others. Besides, you need someone to apply sunscreen to those hard to reach places, and asking a stranger to help you out...well... might be weird.

2. A Bathing Suit That Makes You Feel Good

When you go to the beach, you want to feel good about your body. And quite often, what you put on your body will influence the way you feel about it. Sport a swimsuit that you feel confident in, and own that feeling.

Need help? Read: How to Find The Perfect Swimsuit For Your Hottie Body in 3 Simple Steps

3. Sunscreen (You Know Why)

Back in my teens, I used to be too cool for anything that wasn't the deepest darkest tanning oil my high school allowance could buy. I’m fortunate to have skin that is naturally dark and rarely burns, but I can’t help but fear that my years of SPF neglect are going to result in premature raisin-chest. So, avoid living in that kind of fear, and wear sunscreen.

('s my go-to sunscreen.)

4. Tanning Oil

I love Bali Body’s moisturizing all-natural skin-food tanning oil because it nourishes my skin while also amping up my tan. (And cute packaging!) Of course, apply with care, and it’s best to use in combination with sunscreen.

5. Waterproof Mascara

If there’s one beauty product I’d rather not go without, it’s mascara. But mascara and the beach aren’t always the best combo. That’s why I love Blinc Mascara. I can splash around as much as I want without worrying about looking like a raccoon when I come out of the water.

6. Coconut Rose Water Facial Mist

You know that feeling when you’re hot, but not so hot that you want to go into the water just yet? I have the perfect solution. This refreshing facial mist will keep you cool until you're ready to submerge. Plus, it’s all natural and full of glorious ingredients that claim to make your face glow.

7. A Full-Coverage Sun Hat

Full disclosure, I don’t go anywhere without a hat. What can I say? I am my mother’s daughter and I thoroughly appreciate my wide-brimmed boater. Not only does it look chic AF, but it offers shade for your face and shoulders.

8. Roundie

I don’t know about you, but when I’m at the beach, I like to spread out. My roundie towel allows me to do just that.

Pro Tip: Grab an old sheet from your linen closet, and lay it down on the sand first, then put your towels on top. The extra layer between you and the sand means that you don’t have to worry about patching yours and your BFF's towels together — you can both spread out and there’s room for a picnic, too!

9. A Beach Read

Skip the beauty mags or gossip rags that might make you feel bad about your body because #photoshop, and get lost in a great book, instead. Any of these should do.

10. Snacks — Obviously.

But not the type that will melt in the sun (as tempting as chocolate might be, on a hot day, trust, your going to be wanting something fresh). My fave beach snacks include fresh fruit (sometimes pre-cut and packed in a cooler), snap peas (because they’re crunchy and sweet!), pepperoni sticks (don't judge! I'm a girl who loves her cured meats), hummus and crackers, baby cucumbers, and rawnola.

11. Hydrating Drinks

When you’re spending a full day in the sun, it’s important to stay hydrated (and I’m not just talking ciders or white wine spritzers). I like to bring both water and coconut water to the beach with me because #hydration.

12. Confidence

My PIC’s said it best: “Despite the chill vibes summer is *supposed* to bring, it can, and often does run a series of zero-chill criticisms, body image insecurities, and tremendously toxic thoughts down the spine.” YEP. It’s easy to get caught up in comparison at the beach and it can be hard to summon confidence when you’re feeling less than your bestie laying on the towel next to you. But here’s the thing. That girl you’re comparing yourself to? She’s probably checking you out while suffering from the same comparisonitis that you are.

The truth? Comparing your bikini bod to someone else’s bikini bod is futile and does nobody any good.

The deeper truth? Confidence breeds beauty and the only thing you need to remember is that “your body is the home to your soul and therefore it’s f*cking magical and mad hot.

SO. The next time you hit the beach, even if you forget everything else on this list, bring your confidence. Because you are a beauty and you’re at the beach. And you deserve to enjoy yourself.