Beauty for Beach Days

I consulted the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide and was happy to find my favorite SPF 30 sunscreens by Badger and California Baby ranked highest for safety and effectiveness. The Badger SPF 30 sunscreen stick is also good to apply pre-surf for nose, ears, hands, and cheeks, and their SPF 15 lip balm stays put during surf or swim sessions and beach yoga classes.

I’ve got a collection of hats and make a point to wear one when spending more than a few minutes outdoors. Baseball caps (Yankees AND Dodgers, showing my East and West coast support!); straw cowboy hats; cotton floppy hats. When in the water, I wear a beat-up baseball cap and tie the string on my wetsuit zipper to the hat (so it doesn’t get lost at sea when I wipe out).

Even when I’m wearing only sunscreen on my face, I like to put a little color on my lips. My current favorite is Jane Iredale’s PureMoist Lip Colour SPF18. There are no harsh chemicals or artificial colors and it’s got SPF protection. My favorite is a soft and pretty red color named Nicole, which I dab on lightly for a bit of color during the day; at night, I wear it loud and proud. I have become a devotee of many of Iredale’s products and also like to use some of the 24-Karat Gold Dust powder (mineral, nothing toxic) for a subtle shimmer on eyelids and cheeks or to blend it with some moisturizer or sunscreen for a pretty glow. You can find more safe-for-you cosmetics (and see how the products you already use rank) at the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database from the Environmental Working Group; for even more information on the safety of makeup and personal care products, visit the site for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Beach Hair Spray:
I make my own beach hair spray. In a spray bottle, I mix 1 cup of filtered water, 1 tablespoons of sea salt, 1 teaspoon shea butter, 2-3 drops of essential oil of choice (I like jasmine and orange). Shake and spray. (Twist and braid a few pieces of hair for some waves.)

Hair bands:
Self-promotional plug! I make hair bands, from basic black elastic bands embellished them with recycled scraps of fabric (denim, hankie, chino, linen, tulle, silk tie…) and sell them on my Etsy shop, which features upcycled and vintage clothing and accessories.

Shea butter, from head to toe.

Made It Myself: Beach Hair Spray

I have friends who “cleanse” on occasion—and when asked about why they do it they say it’s to lose weight, to rid the body of toxins, or to practice self-discipline. To this I say, good for you! But I ain’t gonna stop eating for nuthin’. I like my food! That said, I have embarked on a one month cleanse of my own kind, one that does not involve food. It’s actually more than a month because I’m doing this for the duration of Lent. The idea came to me when I spoke to a loved one who is giving up sweets for Lent and I felt inspired to give something up as well. Not sweets—no way I’d do that. But I decided I wanted to practice the self-discipline of restraint. And I chose to give up shopping. I will, of course, purchase necessities like food and toilet paper and fuel for my car. But anything that I want and do not need will have to wait. Maybe the recession helped me with the choice, but it feels like a good one. Fashion and beauty are my biggest categories of consumption so this basically means I won’t be buying clothing or cosmetics. Fashion-wise, this comes at a good time for me, as I’ve recently cleaned out my closet and have a new-found appreciation for what I chose to keep (sort of like when you get a good haircut and feel clean and refreshed). But I’ve run out of my favorite hair product, one that gives me beach hair (above, one of my favorite beaches). My only choice was to make one from pantry items—so it’s all natural and didn’t require me to shop for anything. I searched for DIY beach hair online and found numerous recipes and mixed and matched to come up with this one.

½ cup water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil (melted)
1 drop of jasmine essential oil

Spray on, twist some tendrils, scrunch, go.