Aja Dang on a Sunny Getaway w/ Her 6 Beach Essentials
I’m from a magical place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; where “flip flops” are called “slippers”, small bikinis are a tanning necessity, and beach days are every day.
Anytime I need a break from the hustle of Hollywood life, I jump on a 5-hour plane ride and go home. Once I’m home, the agenda is always the same. Family time, food time, and beach time. I like to consider myself a beach connoisseur. I know the best time of the day to beat the crowds, I know which beaches are best for optimal nap time comfort, and I know what items you need to bring in order to stay entertained and protected. Here are my must-haves for your next beach day:
You need the perfect beach bag. Something that is large enough to carry your essentials, but sturdy enough to keep your electronics sand-free. I’ve found that my CALPAK Vanity Case is the perfect balance between the two. Not only is it the perfect carry-on companion, but it's lightweight and hard-shell body make it perfect for protecting your beach essentials.
In the mesh zip pocket, I keep the trifecta: lip balm, cash and headphones. It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment is ultra moisturizing and gives a nice pink tint to you lips. If I’ve learned one thing during my beach-going years, it’s to never bring liquids or gels to the beach. This lip treatment will not melt or get smashed. Ear phones are a must, just in general. Wireless headphones have been an absolute game changer. And as for the cash, you wouldn’t want to inconvenience that cute surf instructor, would you?
While I’d love to unplug while at the beach, I can’t. This is an old Pentax camera my dad bought in the 90’s. It needs a little TLC but still perfectly captures those Hawaiian sunsets. My phone is brought to the beach more for the podcasts than anything else. Some of my favorites are; Almost 30, The Dave Ramsey Show, How I Built This, and Congratulations with Chris D’Elia.
Speaking of entertainment, I also like to bring a book because beach time tends to be the only “me time” I normally get without any distractions. I’m currently reading Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin. I heard her on an Almost 30 podcast and I really loved her openness and views on money and career advice.
Ok, let’s talk beauty. The two most important beauty items you need to bring to the beach are sunscreen and a hat. As I entered my 30’s, I definitely started to see all the sun damage I did during my SPF 10 high school days, so let’s fix that. A wide brimmed hat is SO CRUCIAL. Not only will it keep you cool, it will also protect your face and décolletage from the sun. On top of that, an SPF of at least 30 is needed. Hawaii just signed the world’s first ban on sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in order to protect coral reefs. So if you go sunscreen shopping in Hawaii, you’ll likely be introduced to cleaner, reef-safe sunscreen brands that you’ve never seen before.
In my beach bag, AKA my Vanity Case, I have No AD Sun Care in SPF 50 and Raw Elements Tinted Face Moisturizer in 30+. Post sunscreen and hat application, remember your glasses. Sunglasses are much more than a fashion statement, their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. The two other beauty items in my beach bag are just me being extra: a brush and a facial spray. I like to detangle my hair once I get out of the water, it makes the whole shower process so much easier when I get home. The brush from S-Hearts-S is designed for use on wet hair and deeply cleanses hair follicles and scalp. A facial mist will just feel really damn good on your skin when you’re toasting. It will refresh and rehydrate your skin and can even be used on hair. Sadly, my beloved Instytutum Alive Water is no longer being made, but Mario Badescu Facial Spray comes in a close second.
Finally, WATER. In 6th grade, one of my classmates had a birthday party at the beach and I only drank soda. A couple hours later, I was feeling nauseous and dehydrated. Lesson learned. Don’t be a dummy, remember your water.