Style Essentials: The Contents of Your Summer Handbag

    Women’s Bi-Focal Sun Readers (if you need them inside, you need them  to read a book on the beach.) Fashion Cat Eye Sunglasses. Amazon. $29.

 

Women’s Bi-Focal Sun Readers (if you need them inside, you need them  to read a book on the beach.) Fashion Cat Eye Sunglasses. Amazon. $29.

When it comes to handbags, I've got two kinds of clients: Those who only use one or two bags, and those who fully embrace handbags as an essential accessory. Regardless of which camp you happen to be in, the contents of your bag are critical during the summer months. After all, the sun is out and life is a bit more unexpected. 

As your very own personal stylist for women, it's time I give you the low down on your summer handbag essentials. Oh, and since it's Amazon Prime Day, I figured you are already spending the day on the site. So, this post is more Amazon heavy. Enjoy! 

5 Things You Must Have in Your Handbag During the Summer

 All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter - Zinc Oxide - Coral Reef Safe - Water Resistant - UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum - SPF 50+ (1 oz)(2-Pack). Amazon. $19. 

All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter - Zinc Oxide - Coral Reef Safe - Water Resistant - UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum - SPF 50+ (1 oz)(2-Pack). Amazon. $19. 

1. Travel Size Sunscreen Butter. 

I love the compact options for sunscreen nowadays. It's as easy as ever to keep your skin protected. Despite our best efforts in the morning to put sunscreen on during our makeup routine, you must reapply all day long. Argh. At least these little beauties make that easier. Zinc oxide for the win. 

 Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Brush. Available in multiple shades. Amazon. $65.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Brush. Available in multiple shades. Amazon. $65.

2. Powdered sunscreen.

As if the traditional sunscreen is enough.... I've been raving about powdered sunscreen for a few years now. Here's a great trick I recently discovered: You can put it on your part or your hairline to prevent your scalp from burning! Go ahead and embrace your sunroof again, my Dear Reader. your head is protected. Another reason I adore this brand: the product comes in multiple shades so that you can find the shade that's right for you and your skin. I recently heard a great episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Code Switch, that explained that people of all skin tones need sunscreen and are at risk of sun cancer. In fact, those with darker skin may be at a higher risk of dying from skin cancer because it is often not diagnosed early. I'm clearly not an expert on this one. Do your research and remember: Sunscreen for all:) 

 NobleScore Women's UPF 50+ Packable Wide Brim Roll-Up Sun Visor Beach Straw Hat. Available in multiple colors. Amazon. $15. 

NobleScore Women's UPF 50+ Packable Wide Brim Roll-Up Sun Visor Beach Straw Hat. Available in multiple colors. Amazon. $15. 

3. A Sunhat.

You may remember me sharing my love of roll up summer hats last summer on Instagram. I'm a fan because a roll up hat is easy to store and keeps its shape. However, it will expose your scalp to the sun so your powdered sunscreen is a must.

 Tinted Lip Whip 7ml - Peppermint. Available in multiple shades. Kari Gran. $20. 

Tinted Lip Whip 7ml - Peppermint. Available in multiple shades. Kari Gran. $20. 

4. Kari Gran's Brand Spanking New Lip Whip.

You know how much I adore a bold lip. Because I color my hair, a nude lip doesn't often offer enough contrast. And, I get frustrated when I discover that lip gloss has rubbed off part way leaving an unsightly line. So, I just avoid this entire issue and stick with lipstick. That is, except when I'm wearing Kari Gran's Lip Whip. The local cosmetics company has reformulated the old favorite and it's worth picking up a pot for yourself and a friend. It's just right when you don't want to look like you tried too hard while at the same time, actually trying. (Oh! And check out the lip whip perfector, too! Summer is all about exfoliation.) 

Full disclosure; The company sent a sample of the new product my way to try it out. That worked out perfectly as I had the previous version already in my bag! 

 Prada Women's Metal Bridge Mirrored Sunglasses. Amazon. Was: $355. Now: $196. 

Prada Women's Metal Bridge Mirrored Sunglasses. Amazon. Was: $355. Now: $196. 

5. Sunglasses.

I stash sunglasses everywhere and I mean everywhere. I have several cheap pair in the glove compartments of our cars in the event that I (or someone else in the car) needs to shield their eyes from the sun. I have three pair of designer sunglasses that I've picked up over the years. I keep those in the house and transfer the current favorite into my bag with a case. Right now, I'm loving an oversized Prada version that I picked up at Nordstrom Rack. Sunglass shapes are changing pretty drastically right now. Keep your eyes out for cat eye and other short and angular shapes as well as very large round options. Sunglasses, handbags, shoes and coats all have similar powers. Each one can substantially elevate your look. So, if you are on a tight budget, consider investing in one of these key pieces to give the illusion that your outfit is more expensive than it actually is. 

And there you have it.

I also like to keep a few things in the car:

1. If I'm out all day, a small ice chest is a game changer. I can keep water and sunscreen inside. If you are hot and you keep your sunscreen on ice, you'll be more likely to keep reapplying. 

2. A blanket for last minute picnics is helpful. If you have kids, a frisbee or a few toys is a great idea, too. 

3. A more robust sun hat that provides more coverage than my roll up option and is more expressive. 

4. A phone charger and a few CDs. What? Yup. It's not uncommon to end your summer day somewhere you didn't expect to go. And in the PNW, that somewhere may not have Wi-Fi. I can't live without music. So, I toss random CDs into the car along with summer supplies. It's fun to rediscover music we forgot we had. 

5. A pair of walking shoes. Everyone should keep a pair of comfortable shoes in the car in case of an emergency. In the summer, those shoes might actually come out just because of an unexpected adventure. So, it's probably best to upgrade that backup pair to something you're comfortable with folks seeing you wear:) A pair of flip flops from Old Navy is better than discovering you only have super high heels on your way to the beach or an outdoor happy hour.

Now, back to summertime....

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