Fave 5: Things to pack for the beach

Spending a lazy, sunny day at the beach is as much a rite of summer as eating corn-on-the-cob and ducking out of work early to enjoy a drink on the patio. Too many times we find ourselves in such a rush to plant ourselves on the sand that we forget to pack some essential items. To keep your trip waterside as blissful as possible, we’ve done the work for you and rounded up the top five things you should bring to the beach. 


Beach Blanket

Make sure to match your bathing suit to your beach blanket.



A towel is important if you’re planning on taking a dip, but no one wants to sit on a soggy piece of terry cloth (at least, not us). Enter the beach blanket. You want one that is lightweight, large enough to share with friends and preferably in a fun colour or pattern. We love this throw from Anthropologie or this upcycled blanket from Etsy, but you can use an old sheet if you’re in a bind. 


Sunscreen

The easiest sunscreen application. 



We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we can’t stress the importance of wearing sunscreen this summer. Be sure to apply at least 30 minutes before heading outside and throw it in your bag to re-apply every 1-2 hours. We already gave some suggestions on our favourite organic sunscreen brands (read it here), but wanted to share one more. Lesa Hannah tweeted about this sunscreen “game changer” Janine Falcon introduced her to: Sun Defense Minerals by Eminence. This mineral-based face protector is easily applied with a brush and is hypoallergenic – perfect for those with sensitive skin. 


Hydrating drinks

We’re partial to this flask from the Drake General Store. 



As much as we love Ontario’s lakes, we wouldn’t recommend gulping it down if you’re thirsty. It’s extra-important to stay hydrated in the heat, so pack some hydrating drinks (and no, alcohol absolutely does not count) to bring with you. Water is always your best bet, but a refreshing home-brewed iced tea would work too. Gracie Carroll has an easy recipe over on her blog.


A good read

Can’t beat a great love story at the beach.



Whether it’s a trashy gossip mag or you’re re-reading Anna Karenina, a good read is a beach essential. We’re partial to fun, lighter reads in the summertime. Some of our top suggestions: Summer Sisters, Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, The Night Circus or Your Voice in my Head.


A cute cover-up

Better than cute, this cover-up is on sale right now at Shopbop.

After a day in the sun and sand, there’s nothing less appealing than putting on “real” clothing. Cover-ups are easy to throw on over you bathing suit whether you’re heading to the restroom or  wanting to keep that beach-y vibe going once you leave. The perfect cover-up should be lightweight, so its also perfect to throw on if you’re getting a bit too much sun. 

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Media, Darling: Janine Falcon

Janine Falcon is a freelance writer and beauty geek. As a past beauty editor at Canadian Living and Homemakers magazines, she’s now the Face Kit editor of the new digital health-and-beauty mag The Kit, and the founder/editor of BeautyGeeks, an award-winning blog. She’s appeared on Canada AM, Entertainment Tonight Canada, and Steven and Chris; written for Best Health, Fashion and Glow magazines; and been quoted in newspapers such as The Toronto Star, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen.

The Kit
Beauty Geeks
Twitter: @TheKit; @beautygeeks

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
It’s got to be an easy fit for one of the publications I write for. It also has to be unique or exclusive. Writing the same feature everyone else is writing is… uninspiring.

What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?

Good humour and a positive attitude. Plus, appreciation when a PR somehow comes through on ridiculously short notice!

What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?

Incomplete press materials. Perfect press packages include newsworthy details, pricing, availability and product, if applicable. Pulling the old omit-the-price-so-someone-has-to-get-in-touch move makes us move on quickly to the next product instead, the one that came with all the information. (A 24-hour online source of high- and low-res images would also be helpful!)

When it comes to makeup and skin care, we need to examine texture, scent and efficacy to decide whether we can recommend it. Unfortunate things can happen otherwise: in a magazine several years ago, a beauty editor recommended a mascara designed to darken lashes for three days. She tried it after the magazine went to print and discovered the stuff was awful, super-tricky to remove after the three days. And when the story came out, she got letters from annoyed readers.

My pet peeve
More general than strictly PR-related: I’m a grammar geek as well as a beauty geek. “I wish I WOULD HAVE known” hurts me, it’s so wrong. I first started hearing it about eight years ago; now it’s terribly common. The correct way to say such a thing is “I wish I HAD known”.

I also have major issues with the misuse of the word “myself.” For instance, “just call Staff or myself.” Nope. You can’t call “myself” – I’m the only one who can call myself. But you can call Staff or ME.

Geez. I’m such a geek.

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I’m pretty lucky. I work with so many pros who are on point, crazy-smart and reliable, and I’m in an industry full of talented and supportive friends. Amazing.