What’s in Your Summer Beach Bag?

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I confess: I love when people invite me to see what is in their handbag. It’s fascinating when someone who appears so perfectly put together has a handbag with old tissues and crumpled dollar bills. 

One of the biggest mistakes I make is changing my bag during the week. This is not a good idea, especially when I forget to throw in the lip balm, the roll-on itch repellant, etc. and have to start the day without my essentials for being fabulous.

So, what’s in your handbag? First, I’ll tell you what’s in mine:

1. Lightweight straw tote - Let’s start here. They’re inexpensive and light, and they look absolutely fabulous with summer clothes.  A big heavy leather bag doesn’t work with summer colors and shapes.  You can find these totes everywhere – Check out Target for an expansive selection of bags that are both attractive and inexpensive.

2. Sunscreen - It’s a must. No two ways about it. You should apply sunscreen to your face, arms, and neck (and legs if you’re wearing a short skirt or shorts) every time you’re in the sun. If you have particularly fair or sensitive skin, check out brands that tailor to your need (this might mean adding a “just for faces” product to your lineup).

3. A hat with a broad brim - Take a look at the company called Outdoor Research for a hat that’s lightweight and comfortable, while offering solar-shield technology. A “smashable” hat is a must if you’re going to tote it around in a filled bag.

4. A tinted lip balm or gloss - A matte lipstick looks too heavy in the summer…you want to look as if you’re glowing, not drying up like a prune, so forget lipstick altogether and opt for a lip balm.  I like Le Clerc’s Lip Balm.  It’s a bit pricey but it feels great and is an awesome moisturizer (balms with the active ingredients of camphor, phenol, and menthol can actually dry out your lips).

5. Blotting papers - I do not use powder on my skin, especially in the summer, as the heat will open the pores, allowing the powder to fall in and create whiteheads. Here’s a better option: Press a blotting paper to your face to remove oil while leaving your make-up intact. I like Neutrogena’s blotting papers, but they’re made by several cosmetic companies.

6. Bottled water - but you already knew that.

7.  Paper fans - Do you remember when a lady would open her bag and take out a paper fan to cool herself?  Shop for ‘paper fans’ on Google and you’ll find them for about $1.  Buy ten and share them with your friends.  Adorable!

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