During the summer, I like to look put together with minimal effort, and being unprepared when you are trying to be effortless is...annoying. There are a few essentials that I like to keep handy, or use before stepping out on a sunny day. Whether I'm going for a walk or a hike, or even to the beach, I like to keep these these items on hand.
The first essential is poking up from the bottom of the picture above. That essential being, coffee. Delicious coffee. I love a strong cold brew and the bottle above is a Stumptown cold brew. It is my favorite and can be somewhat difficult to find. I am still working on making the perfect batch of my own cold brew. Also, to those naysayers who claim coffee dehydrates people, I've read a few articles that say the opposite and I am going to choose to believe those. It's always good to drink lots of water, too, if only because drinking 64 ounces of coffee in a day might be a tad excessive.
Red nail polish and lipstick scream summer to me. I like a cool red during the summer and this Hard Candy shade 050 Fishnet does the trick along with the Wet 'n Wild lipstick in 970 Purty Persimmon. Both of these makeup items are very inexpensive and work better than a lot of other products that cost ten times as much. Plus, they're cruelty-free (as is everything listed).
A good summer read is essential. When I was little, I didn't leave the house without a book, and as I grew older, I would select purses based on if they were large enough to fit a book. Short stories are great to read on the go because they're broken up into so many little pieces and able to be digested in shorter increments. So, if you're at the beach and want to nap, eat, take a swim, chat with friends, and so on, a book of short stories does the trick just fine. B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories has been my favorite book I've read this year. I'll talk about it more in my reading challenge post that will likely be up soon. I will say that I could not put this book down.
Pre-moistened wipes, like these Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Wipes are wonderful to have on hand for many reasons during the summer. They're good for removing makeup before going in the pool or lake, or for running makeup in the hot hot heat. You can use them to clean off your hands and feet in messy situations. A few weeks ago, a friend and I went down to the Devil's Hole in Niagara Falls and were dying of exhaustion and thirst. We came upon a slushie truck and definitely got sticky, cherry-flavored juice all over our hands. It was nice to have wipes so that we didn't smear sugary syrup all over her car.
A backpack or girth-y purse is important because no one enjoys lugging around multiple bags. I like to be able to fit everything I have, along with whatever I pick up along the way in one single bag. I picked up this Herschel Supply Company backpack on major discount (90% off!) at a great little shop in Buffalo.
Sea salt spray is another great summer essential because it gives hair a 'I woke up like this' sexiness in the messiest, most untamed way possible. It says, 'I just spent the day on the beach. I'm relaxed and I look great.' There are a lot of DIY's out there for this product, but I haven't tried them myself. This is the Davines No. 14 Sea Salt Primer.
For your body and face, don't forget the sunscreen. I don't want to prematurely age and I don't want skin cancer. Now there are a lot more natural options out there, including this Coola Sport classic organic sunscreen in SPF 50 (pictured is a trial size). And because it's summer, keeping your skin subtle is so important. Coconut Oil is great because it is multipurpose. You can use it everywhere: hair, nails, body. It's a great moisturizer. It be used to remove makeup, as a treatment for chapped lips, as an ointment on baby bottoms, a sunburn remedy...the list goes on. Plus it smells of coconuts! And who does not love that in the summer? Pictured is the Jason Smoothing Coconut Oil.
Having a swimsuit that you feel comfortable in is so important. If your stomach bothers you, wear a one piece or high waist-ed 1950's style bottoms. If you want to conceal your breasts, wear a bandou top. This Madewell bathing suit (70% off this winter, which is a great time to buy a bathing suit because of sales) is conservative in the middle and dips very low in the front and has a fully exposed back. I show off what I want to show off, and still feel comfortable. Sunglasses, additionally, are important because they limit sun exposure and make you look really cool. These shades are from Free People.
Finally, shoes. Every year since I was little, I would pick out a pair of sandals and wear them until they died, usually in September when summer was essentially over. I have mostly kept up with the tradition and these are my summer 2015 shoes: the Kelsey clogs from Novacas from MooShoes. Made from real wood and vegan leather, these are impossibly adorable and comfortable. I had been wanting a wooden-sole shoe for a long time, but I could not find a vegan version. Enter, these sexy babies. I am short and like a bit of height. They can be dressed up or down and are made with such craftsmanship that I know they will not die in a few months.
So there you have it; those are my picks for summer essentials. Let me know if there is anything I missed in the comments section. Have a great summer!
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post. Items selected were based on the writer's own tastes. All items are cruelty-free and vegan.
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