10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

10 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

Summer is officially here and you know what that means – time to hit the beach, enjoy some fun in the sun, and travel on a vacation or two. There are few things quite as glorious as a day soaking up the sun with the waves crashing nearby, and the summer season is the perfect time to enjoy it. If you’re looking to make a full-day trip to the sand, it’s essential that you pack your beach bag accordingly. Forgetting sunblock or water can quickly turn your day from fab to drab. Check out our list of 10 summer bag essentials. Continue reading

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Summer Is Not My Season – And That’s Okay

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I lived in California for two years, and the number one thing I complained about was the weather. Always sunny and a constant 80-90 degrees; no one understood why I disliked it so much, and they weren’t afraid to tell me so. The same thing happens whenever I talk about why I don’t like summer.

People are always agog and aghast if I mention I’m not a summer person. They’ll ask things like “do you not like going outside?” or “why do you hate the sun?” First of all, neither of those things is true, and even if they were, so what? Why is it okay to hate winter and the cold but the minute anyone says anything remotely negative about summer, everyone is up in arms?

Well, I’m here to say that I am not a summer person. Summer is not my season. It just isn’t for me. And you know what? That’s okay.

Summer is not the constant rollicking party that movies and television make it out to be. Real summer is hot and sweaty and like most things, sometimes gross. Not everyone can – or wants to – handle that heat for long periods of time, particularly when it’s accompanied by all kinds of humidity. People who like summer will not believe that you don’t want to be hot, but if you can’t handle the heat for whatever reason, you don’t have to endure it.

Summer also means spending more time outside. That’s not always a bad thing, but unlike in other months, it requires paying attention to bugs and as mentioned above, the constant heat. For me, going outside during the summer can be an exhausting experience. I have to decide what to wear, if I need sunscreen or not, and how much water I should drink before leaving. In non-summer seasons, I might need a jacket, but it’s much easier to just leave. Unfortunately, most people will force you to go outside often during the summer and won’t understand if you don’t want to, but stand your ground. You’re not required to go outside.

But summer is also not built for staying inside. If you do avoid the heat and stay inside in the summer, you don’t really have much to do. There’s no good TV, after all, and most activities are held outside. It also costs money and time to travel, something that not all people have. After a summer of doing nothing, even summer people are desperate to go back to school after two months. Wanting summer to end even earlier than that so you don’t get bored is totally okay.

Summer is all about showing skin, and consequently, it’s not a kind time for fat people. As someone who’s overweight, I know that finding the right summer clothes is incredibly hard. If you wear something that shows too much of your body, people might shame you, but if you cover up, it’s going to be too hot. There’s not one way to “win” in this scenario, so you just have to pick what you feel most comfortable in and hope it’s not the wrong choice. If this kind of thing ruins summer for you, I completely get it, and it’s okay.

Whatever your reason for not liking summer, I stand by you. Enjoy your fall, winter or spring weather, even if the people around you don’t understand why you like it. It’s enough that you don’t like the summer. You don’t have to justify your likes and dislikes to anyone else. Like me, summer may just not be your season, and if it isn’t, that’s perfectly 100% okay.

Finding the Right Bra for Your Summer Tops

Bras

It’s officially summer, and I’m officially hot. I’m not complaining – I’ll take 100 degrees over 40 any day. But summer weather comes with a summer wardrobe, and a summer wardrobe comes with unique challenges. Specifically: how in the world are you supposed to wear a bra with that see-through, giant arm-holed, weird-backed tank that happens to be the only thing that keeps you cool at high noon in the summer sun?

It is increasingly impossible to wear a good ol’ fashioned normal bra with trendy summer tops without it peeking out in a variety of unflattering or unattractive ways. In most cases, though, this problem can be solved with the right bralette or sports bra – something that’s both meant to be seen and doesn’t cut your body in weird places. As an added bonus, they’re usually more comfortable than a regular bra.

But you still have to be careful – the wrong bralette might not give enough support, and sports bras have a tendency to smush breasts into the dreaded uniboob. But fear not! There are bras out there that will actually look nice peeking out from under summer tops and give you some support and shape. Here are some of our favorites:

Victoria’s Secret Keyhole Mesh Sports Bra

(Image Credit: Victoria's Secret)

(Image Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

 

While technically a low support sports bra, this baby comes with removable padding for shape and the functional but cute design makes it perfect under racerback tanks or for yoga class. And for only $20, it’s a multitasking deal!

Aerie Lace Pushup Racerback Bralette

(Image Credit: Aerie)

(Image Credit: Aerie)

Lace bralettes are certainly pretty, but often they lack support. This lace bralette has a leg up on its friends due to soft foam padding, which makes it a viable option for even larger-chested ladies.

H&M Soft-Cup Microfiber Bra

(Image Credit: H&M)

(Image Credit: H&M)

This bra takes the form and function of a normal bra and meshes it with a soft, smoothing fabric. The result? A bra that gives you shape but doesn’t poke or squish in awkward places – and it  doesn’t look awkward peeking out of a shirt! (There’s a similar lace version if you’re looking for something prettier. )

Victoria’s Secret PINK Ultimate Racerback Push-Up Bra

(Image Credit: Victoria's Secret)

(Image Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

This unique bra looks like a sports bra but is built to be a comfy push-up. It has the lines of a sports bra, but is a more supportive option if you’re not entirely comfortable with a minimal support bralette.

 

Fabletics Lyra Bra

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If you have a lot of low back or backless tops, this bra offers a funky, strappy design in the back that would jazz up any outfit. It has removable cups and is available in handful of unique colors and patterns.

 

TopShop Microfiber Crop Top

(Image Credit: Topshop)

(Image Credit: Topshop)

Smooth on the front and sides but with fun lace flourishes in the back, this bralette is the perfect marriage of form and function. It would look great under a top with open sides or an open back; the only shame is that it’s not available in more colors.

Now you’re all set for a summer bra shopping spree – and don’t forget to pick out bold colors and patterns to make the most of it!

50 Fun Things to Do This Summer!

(Image Credit: Monkey Business)

(Image Credit: Monkey Business)

With summer in full swing, it’s not too late to start planning all the ways we’ll spend those precious and fleeting moments of warm sunshine and good vibes. We all have our favorite summertime activities, but sometimes we blank when it comes to thinking up what fun thing to do next. Well, here’s a list of 50 awesome activities covering tons of interests and cost-levels the next time you’re stumped about what to do! Continue reading

How to Protect Your Hair from Pool Chlorine

(Image Credit: Oleksandr Dibrova)

(Image Credit: Oleksandr Dibrova)

Summertime has finally returned. This means sunny days, pool lounging and the smell of sunscreen are back too! While rejoicing, you may also remember that pool chlorine can be quite damaging to your hair. Chlorine sucks all the oils, including necessary healthy oils, from hair. What it leaves you with is extremely dry hair that is more prone to breakage. Because no one wants that, here are a few tips on how to protect your hair from pool chlorine and keep your hair luscious after a swim. Continue reading

Featured Recipe: Color Block Cocktail Popsicles by ConfettiPop

(Image Credit: Confettipop)

(Image Credit: Confettipop)

Normally any project with the phrase ‘color-block’ in the title scares me. Any how-to that claims I can easily create a color-block or ombré design on my nails or another art project clearly hasn’t met me and my clumsy fingers. However, this color block cocktail popsicle recipe by ConfettiPop is definitely within reach of my limited capabilities. Continue reading

Summer Sun-Kissed Skin Essentials by Kelsey Murray of Tickle Me Pink

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Summer is the best season, in my opinion. The weather gives skin a dewy glow that make up can’t attain. No, I am not talking about the gross sweat dripping down your face from the broken air conditioner, on the subway. I’m talking about that sun-kissed, youthful look that is extremely palpable on summer nights. With the help of a few important products you can keep that look from going sour!

Let’s break it down. Typically, the moment you walk into a bar you tend to feel most confident, your freshest. You just finished getting ready and your make up has set perfectly. It’s when the humidity starts to frizz your perfectly flat-ironed hair that you begin to panic. The sweat trickles down your temple and messes with your winged eyeliner and that dewy look has become a major DON’T.

The hotter months are meant for glowy, nude shades and shimmery appeal. After a long day at the pool or a fun night of partying, it’s essential to exfoliate. Dermalogica Daily Mircroexfolient is my go-to! It buffs your skin without leaving it irritated or red.

The Idealist Even Skin tone Illuminator by Estee Lauder or the Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up Illuminator are perfect for a smooth, even shine. You don’t want a blotchy tan to ruin your day, do you?

I like to stick with a neutral palette for my eye shadow. A golden tone like the Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow will go with every outfit you own!

With sun damage awareness at an all time high, it’s no secret that sunscreen is a must. Protect your skin by using foundations with SPF like Laura Mercier. Purchase an ‘age spot’ pen to reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

The absolute best part about summer make up is that you don’t need a lot of it! I use half of the amount of make up during July than I do in any other month. A dab of concealer, a dusting of bronzer, a swipe of liquid eyeliner and a red-hot lip are all you need to dance the night away!

The Black Eyed Peas (Image Credit: Craig O'Neal)

From Old to New: The Top Songs for Summer

The Black Eyed Peas (Image Credit: Craig O'Neal)

The Black Eyed Peas (Image Credit: Craig O’Neal)

Summer is here, so we’re breaking out our all-time top songs of summer. More accurately, here’s a subjective list of songs that came out in summer, are about summer, or simply sound like a warm beach. At the end, I add three personal selections straight from my iPod. Continue reading

Purse (Image Credit: Robert Bejil)

Summertime Purse Essentials: What you should be carrying!

Purse (Image Credit: Robert Bejil)

Purse (Image Credit: Robert Bejil)

With summertime headed our way it’s time to reevaluate the “essentials” we carry in our purse. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to start looking for some new lip balm, moisturizer, and maybe even a bold nail polish? As we head into the next warm season, I’ve got a list of summertime purse essentials to keep you calm, cool, and…glamorous. Continue reading

Fun Date Ideas for Summer!

Couple (Image Credit: John Hope)

Couple (Image Credit: John Hope)

Those dull hot chocolate and indoor movie date nights are a thing of the winter! It’s time to lace up those sneakers and go outdoors to enjoy the sun and the gorgeous weather. You don’t have to be a beach bum to love the summer and the warm sunny days. Summer is also a great opportunity to save money (because we all know going out on dates can be pretty costly!) since a lot of dates can take place outside. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and the bug spray or else your date can go from good to bad instantly. Here are a few ideas for simple but fun summer dates! Continue reading

Summer-ize Your Home with Bright New Decor

Williamsburg Pillow Case Set from Build Your Block (Image Ctedit: http://buildyourblock.bigcartel.com)

Williamsburg Pillow Case Set from Build Your Block (Image Ctedit: http://buildyourblock.bigcartel.com)

‘Tis the season for neon manicures, flowery dresses, and lightened tresses. It is also the perfect time to take inspiration from the sunshine and brighten up your home with new pieces of décor.

Most of us spend so much time in our living room that after a while, it begins to feel a bit drab. An easy and inexpensive way to brighten the room is to change the sofa pillows. Even if everything else in the room remains the same, switching out pillows now and then can freshen up the entire space.This funky Build Your Block pillow set, which features Williamsburg Brooklyn buidings, brings a little piece of the city and a big pop of color into your living room.

Coffee mug/ Tea cup Framed Print by Little Light Prints (Image Credit: http://society6.com/LittleLightPrints)

Coffee mug/ Tea cup Framed Print by Little Light Prints (Image Credit: http://society6.com/LittleLightPrints)

Caffeine addicts know that the most important thing about the kitchen is that it is the place where coffee is brewed and tea is fixed. Home décor lovers know that wall hangings are a simple way to bring life to a dull room. This cute and quirky art print of coffee mugs and teacups is a great way to liven up your kitchen while showing off your love for cozy, caffeinated drinks.

Owl Clean Shower Curtain Rings from ModCloth (Image Credit: www.modcloth.com)

Owl Clean Shower Curtain Rings from ModCloth (Image Credit: http://www.modcloth.com)

In the bathroom, little accent pieces go a long way in livening up the room. Rugs, shower curtains, and soap dispensers are easily replaceable, often coming in bright colors and nifty patterns.

Of course, such items are not nearly as cute as these owl shower curtain rings. The brightly colored birds can cheer up the bathroom without making it look childish. Besides, who doesn’t want cute little owls to hang out with while preparing for the day?

Building Blocks Of Light from ModCloth (Image Credit: www.modcloth.com)

Building Blocks Of Light from ModCloth (Image Credit: http://www.modcloth.com)

Colorful lights are another way to brighten up a space (literally!). You can’t just buy any old lamp though – that’s no fun! There are a plethora of lights and lamps that are perfect for expressing your personality.

For instance, gamers may be pleased to know that a Tetris light exists. And yes, it comes in individual pieces, so you can play with it as much as your heart desires. Any piece of décor that puts the fun in functional gets my vote. Hopefully playing with the light won’t be quite as stressful as playing the actual game, though.

It is easy to freshen up your home with funky, colorful pieces of décor. Not only do they make the space brighter, but they also make coming home at the end of the day a little more exciting.

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Start Repelling Bugs with Natural Remedies this Summer

Natural Bug Repellents (Image Credit: Mauricio Jordan de Souza Coelhho)

Natural Bug Repellents (Image Credit: Mauricio Jordan de Souza Coelhho)

Summer time. Arguably, the best time of year. Hot weather, grilling out, relaxing by the pool. Everything’s just better in the summer. But I’m not the only one that thinks that. There are others taking advantage of the bare leg, open-toed shoe season. Bugs. And if you look closely, they’re everywhere. They hang out by the food, they sit too close and they almost always invite themselves in. It’s hard to not let them get the best of you, but with the right remedies your summer can be pest free. Continue reading

Get your ‘bikini body’ for the beach!

Beach (Image Credit: Flickr User |vvaldzen|)

Beach (Image Credit: Flickr User |vvaldzen|)

How many times do we see this phrase splashed across magazines and captioning “inspiration” photos online? In the months leading up to the summer the media and the internet become obsessed with the idea of being “bikini ready;” and along come mountains of articles about getting into shape for the summer, the perfect workouts to look good in a swimsuit, diet plans, fashion tips for hiding your “problem areas”… Essentially everything to make women (and men!) feel bad about themselves and their bodies. Every day we are constantly being bombarded with images of the ideal body type, and the society we live in has become fixated with our appearances. This stream of images is possibly at its worst at this time of the year. Inspiration and motivation are positive tools if used well, but the idea of a bikini body definitely gets taken too far and becomes an unhealthy preoccupation. Continue reading

Scents of Summer: Your Summer Perfume Guide!

CK One Summer by Calvin Klein (Image Credit: Calvin Klein) / Princess by Vera Wang (Image Credit: Vera Wang) / Poppy by Coach (Image Credit: Coach) / Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani (Image Credit: Giorgio Armani) / Flora by Gucci) / Oh, Lola! by Marc Jacobs (Image Credit: Marc Jacobs)

CK One Summer by Calvin Klein (Image Credit: Calvin Klein) / Princess by Vera Wang (Image Credit: Vera Wang) / Poppy by Coach (Image Credit: Coach) / Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani (Image Credit: Giorgio Armani) / Flora by Gucci) / Oh, Lola! by Marc Jacobs (Image Credit: Marc Jacobs)

As a young girl, summer smelt like BBQ chicken and chlorine.  Now, it smells like Gucci and Chanel.  Shopping for summer clothes is a blast, but probing fragrance counters for your perfect match can literally bring on the migraine of the season.

There is no reason to spray and sniff every single perfume.  The key is to know what kind of fragrance you like before soaking your skin with the contents of every pretty bottle. The following fragrances are popular for a reason – not only do they smell nice on that little card, but they also react well with the majority of body compositions.  Don’t feel like you need to try obscure brands and unique bottles in order to find what’s right for you…one of these is sure to do the trick.

Essentials

Poppy by Coach (Image Credit: Coach)

Poppy by Coach (Image Credit: Coach)

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana – This fragrance is a top seller no matter the season, and not only for the beautiful man featured in its ads. The universal response to trying this perfume for the first time is a sigh, followed by “OH MY GOSH that’s gorgeous.”  Light Blue is the perfect combination of clean and citrus scents, and has the strength to last all day without overpowering.  It’s the kind of scent that people stay faithful to for a lifetime.

Poppy by CoachPoppy is incredibly popular among all age groups and is always one of the first to fly off of the shelves.  It’s an edgy fragrance, yet it appeals to anyone and everyone.  Coach describes the Poppy collection as “vibrant,” with the scents compiled of jasmine, gardenia, cucumber, and candled rose.

Princess by Vera Wang – We already knew that Vera Wang could make any girl look like a princess, but thank God she can help us smell like one, too.  The fragrance inside the signature heart-shaped bottle contains water lily, apple, mandarin meringue and dark chocolate just to mention a few; making it perfect for summer nights out.

Floral

Lovestruck by Vera Wang (Image Credit: Vera Wang)

Lovestruck by Vera Wang (Image Credit: Vera Wang)

Flora by Gucci – The Flora variations had a recent makeover, in which the bottles changed names and colors.  To get a sense of the entire collection, here’s a little recap of the two most popular scents. The pink bottle, Gorgeous Gardenia, is a white floral scent with red berries and pear.  The blue bottle, Glamorous Magnolia, contains a rosy fragrance mixed with freesia, green leaves, and citrus zest. Yum.

Lovestruck Floral Rush by Vera Wang – She’s done it again with this amazing nighttime fragrance for summer.  The bottle may be over-the-top, but the scent is an amazing mixture of champagne, pink passion flower, and cashmere woods.  Take it in, ladies.  Take it in.

Oh, Lola by Marc Jacobs – One of the more playful Marc Jacobs perfumes, Oh, Lola is fruity and floral all at once with a mixture of peony, rose, pear, and strawberry.  He pretty much bottled everything we love about summer and put it up for sale.

Guilty Pleasures

CK One Summer by Calvin Klein (Image Credit: Calvin Klein)

CK One Summer by Calvin Klein (Image Credit: Calvin Klein)

Glow by J. Lo – She may not be able to sing, but the woman sure can mix up a killer perfume.  The bottle, which is mysteriously shaped like her body, holds a fresh mixture of citrus, rose, and sandalwood among others.  Best of all, since it’s celebrity endorsed and a bit older, you’ll save some money at the counter.

CK One Summer by Calvin Klein – Every fragrance junkie knows that where there is summer, there is a new version of CK One Summer.  The collection is normally quirky and fruity, but with 2013 comes a cleaner and more “aquatic” scent.  For those of you who think you know what this collection is about, you may want to try out the 2013 version, which can be found in a blue bottle.

SJP NYC by Sarah Jessica Parker – While New York City is normally the last place associated with summertime, SJP has tricked our noses into thinking the opposite.  It’s not NYC in a bottle, but rather Carrie Bradshaw in a bottle, according to Parker.  If its super-colorful and girlie packaging doesn’t lure you in, the combination of gardenia, honeysuckle, and mimosa certainly will.

Give it a Try

Summer by Burberry (Image Credit: Burberry)

Summer by Burberry (Image Credit: Burberry)

Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani – Break the “Armani Code” and try Acqua di Gioa for a summer scent that transfers from day to night.  Citrus and woodsy scents explode out of this bottle with every spray, drying into something much more subtle than the initial blast.  It has a fresh and clean smell, but still manages to be unique.

Summer by Burberry – This British-based designer may not be known for its summer scents, but this one certainly does the trick.  Just in for 2013, this is a variation of the original Burberry fragrance from 1995; edited with floral, woodsy and citrusy hints that help the name of the fragrance measure up to the season.

Chance (eau fraiche) by Chanel – Thankfully Chanel hasn’t ruined this scent with a confusing Brad Pitt ad yet.  There are three variations of Chance; eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and eau fraiche – the last of which is highly popular and can be found in the green bottle.  Chance eau fraiche is woodsy, citrusy, and floral with hints of pink pepper, lemon, jasmine, and teakwood.

Perfume shopping doesn’t have to be an all day ordeal, people!  Being informed about what is out there can prevent impulse purchases, and keep the smelling-nerves in your nose very, very happy.