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Life's A Beach - what goes with me to the beach

Aside from the obvious, towels, sunglasses, hat, spare shorts, top and swimwear, book, husband, water to drink etc, what else do I take for a few hours at the beach?

Living by the sea gives me the opportunity to smell that fabulous sea air, see the water every day and maybe, not have the longing to actually sit on the beach in high season.  The fact is that people who live by the sea whether they were born there or lucky enough to move there, are rather selfish about sharing the place they love and when Easter comes around it's the eye-rolling and groaning from the locals that mean soon, that little piece of heaven will be bustling with holiday makers, grockles, if you head to Devon. So, into hiding, we go, never to be seen until October.
However, I have no problem invading someone else's little piece of heaven and love relaxing with a good book, on a sun lounger, nicely shaded by a wicker parasol, with the sea just a couple of feet away, calling me to cool down and explore the coral.

I like to cover all eventualities, firstly, I wear no makeup at all when I'm heading to the beach, no point, especially as I often dip into the sea for a snorkel. How anyone can even think of eyeliner when the sun is bearing down and you only plan to lie down for the next few hours I don't know. I do always coat my body, I'm using Solait products this year, and face with SPF using The Body Shop Skin Defense or Elizabeth Arden City Smart, generally 50 throughout the holiday and maybe down to 30 the last few days. I always reapply throughout the day and especially after using beach showers. With great handbag, beach friendly refreshing SPF mists such as Garnier and La Roche-Posay, the reapplication is easy, my only caution is they generally come in cans, these need to be kept in the shade at all times as they are flammable, you'd also need to check flight restrictions for anything of that nature.

To keep me cool, aside from floating in the sea, it is the only time you will see micellar water lurking in my belongings, Garnier is non-perfumed, so perfect when you're facing the sunshine for a few hours.  A few rounds of cotton wool weigh nothing in the bag and it keeps my face fresh and I always feel less clogged with the SPF if I've refreshed my skin. At home, I like a can of facial mist, Caudalie Grape Water is perfect though large, Serozinc has handbag sized cans, perfect to keep you focussed and chilled.

Even when I am spreading SPF over my face I also like to use a separate lip balm with protection, Palmers smells of holidays and has vitamin E to ensure lips stay hydrated.

Hair, the great thing about long hair is the joy of plaits, it keeps my hair in place when I snorkel and I don't have to worry about it getting knotty from the salt water, but, it does need a little extra care on the beach. If I'm heading to the showers on the beach, I always take either a leave in conditioner and then re-plait my hair, or, if we are heading to lunch from the beach, I will unplait my hair and add some beach body spray, two favourites are, Phil Smith and Knight & Wilson. I also adore Ojon, but, it's hard to get hold of now. I always take full-size shampoo and conditioner on holiday and use it all, my hair gets washed so much, generally every evening, before heading out to dinner if we are abroad. If I am at home then, my hair is a knot on my head and receives a lot of beach spray, the messier the better during the hotter months.

Fragrance, I am inclined to use body sprays with a lower alcohol content than a fragrance, heat and perfume don't always mix. Rarely do I wear fragrance until the evening on holiday, at home, I'll reach for Layering Lab body sprays, they offer such a great selection of scents that have an impact without being overpowering.

Finally, when travelling, I take hand cleansing gels and always have one with me at the beach, great to just keep applying and the gel cools the hands. Merci Handy have a nice choice of scents that keep hands refreshed and clean.

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