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It's in the (beach) bag: Beach-bag Essentials


beach Credit: Getty Images

We don’t know about you, but when we head to the beach, we tote along more than just the average tube of sunscreen. In fact, we haul an arsenal of stuff that’ll keep us entertained (and, of course, looking fab). 

Here, our style editors and our guest columnist, “Real Housewives of New York City” star Kelly Killoren Bensimon, share their beach-bag must-haves.

Kelly’s essentials

1. Article 22 “Paris” Shopper, $180; at Love this bag!

2. Havaianas ‘Top’ flip-flops, $18; at Ricky’s NYC stores.

3. Bobbi Brown Beach Fragrance, $55; at department stores.

4. Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes, $5.99; at Duane Reade.

5. “The Bikini Book,” by Kelly Killoren Bensimon, $35; at Assouline, 768 Fifth Ave., 212-593-7236. I pack “The Bikini Book” even though I wrote it so I can laugh at all the anecdotes about the bikini’s sordid past.

6. Burt’s Bees Sun Protecting Lip Balm, $4; at Ricky’s NYC stores.

7. Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen, $11.49; at CVS. If it’s good enough for my daughters, it’s good enough for me.

8. Marc Jacobs Sunglasses, $325; at Solstice Sunglass

9. Phyto Plage L’Originale Protective Beach Spray, $22; at Phyto Universe, 715 Lexington Ave., 212-308-0270. This spray protects my color. Beach hair is hot — orange hair is not.

10. Cafe Bustelo Cool Café Mocha, $19 (12-pack); at Caffeine is my vice, and this is my beach drink of choice.

11. Pro Kadima Paddleball Set, $6.99; at Paragon Sports, 867 Broadway, 212-255-8889.

Perrie’s picks

1. 1Sol ‘Striperia’ beach bag, $30; at
I love this bag’s rough burlap base and abundance of printed pockets for small essentials such as a cell phone or an iPod.

2. Lacoste Home ‘Monaco’ beach towel, $40; at Macy’s.
There’s something uplifting about a brightly colored beach towel, and this super-soft version features a gradation of cabana-style colored stripes.

3. Magazines
I typically pack the book I’m reading at the time as well as a few mags to flip through when the sun gets too strong for me to concentrate.

4. Scandal Deluxe Ribbon SPF adjustable sun hat, $68, The Village Scandal, 19 E. 7th St., 212-460-9358. I’m loath to admit it, but the hat is more to protect my hair color than my face. This rollable sun hat, though, has SPF protection built in. Win-win!

5. alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet Cady Cuff Shorts, $154; at alice + olivia, 755 Madison Ave., 646-545-2895. These bright shorts are ideal to throw over a swimsuit when I want to take a stroll or go on a snack run.

6. Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence, $65; at tataharper. com. This facial mist from my all-time favorite skincare brand calms skin and hydrates — perfect for a post-beach pick-me-up.

7. Sand-Off sand remover, $7.99; at A clever mitt infused with a powder blend that removes pesky sand from your body without water. Definitely makes for a comfy train ride home!

8. KeratinPerfect Daily Keratin Replenishing Spray, $34; at Sephora. This daily dose of keratin detangles, tames frizz and defends my hair against the elements.

9. La Fresh Lens Cleaning Wipes, $3.99 for 12, These wipes provide streak-free shine to my shades’ lenses — no sandy T-shirt required.

10. The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream, $59.95; at This SPF 30 sunscreen has everything going for it: It’s aluminum-free and it’s non-whitening.

Julie’s must-haves

1. Theodora & Callum ‘Sienna’ Navajo Linen Biarritz Tote, $298; at Even if I’m just beaching it locally, carrying a vibrant bag makes me feel like I’m on vacation.

2. Restoration Hardware towel, $34; at Restoration Hardware, 935 Broadway, 212-260-9479. Restoration’s big towels are perfect for when I don’t feel like toting a chair. Plus they wear well.

3. Soludos Dali Espadrilles in Navy, $26; at Wink NYC stores. Breathable, flat espadrilles protect my feet from hot sand way better than flip-flops.

4. Clinique Sun SPF 50 Face Cream, $18, and Body Cream, $21; at department stores. My absolute favorite sunscreen: It’s sensitive-skin-friendly and protective against UVA and UVB rays.

5. Lomography ‘La Sardina’ Camera, $59; at Lomography Gallery Store, 41 W. 8th St., 212-529-4353. I miss picking up prints and being surprised by the images I see. Filling the void is this newbie from Lomography — a 35mm, outdoor-only camera that takes sweet lo-fi photos.

6. iHome iP37 portable speaker system, $79.99; at Target. Powered by batteries, this protective little case turns my iPod (or iPhone) into one powerful mini boom box.

7. Shoshanna ‘Provence’ cover-up, $198; at Saks Fifth Avenue. My perfect cover-up is sun- and sunset-appropriate — who needs to change for post-beach drinks with this breezy style?

8. ’Then Came You,’ by Jennifer Weiner, $26.99; at bookstores. I’m a sucker for a juicy beach read that toes the chick-lit line (or crosses it).

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