Summer Necessities

May 29, 2024

Sunshine Necessities for Warm Weather

With summer weather having officially arrived in New York City and Memorial Day in the rear view, I wanted to give a refresh to my summer necessities post.

These are the items I swear by for keeping cool, staying hydrated, surviving the heat and ensuring I am sun safe all summer. With every summer feeling like it gets a bit hotter, I reach for everything on this list time and time again.

Read on for my summer essentials – the perfect handy checklist for all summer long.

Summer Necessities

Straw Hat

Even if you’re great about applying SPF to your face, a sun hat is a fun in the sun must in my opinion. Especially if you’re fair skinned like me! My dermatologist said I should wear one every time I’m going to have prolonged exposure to the sun so I am sure to have one at the ready this time of year. I have built a small collection of go-to ones that I love and reach for depending on my outfit including this one, this one and this one which is packable and makes it great to travel with!

Hydro Flask

Obsessed with this water bottle is an understatement. It helps me drink so much more water than I used to thanks to the straw which makes water intake easier. I get so thirsty in the summer when my body is depleted from the ongoing heat and I love having temperature controlled water in my HydroFlask.

Because it keeps drinks cold it is also great to bring for a day at the beach or spent hanging in your favorite local park.

Ball Cap

The perfect topper for walks outside or more casual jaunts to the farmer’s market, I love keeping my ball caps ready for use this time of year to provide more sun protection to my face when my outfit doesn’t warrant a wide-brim hat.

Market Basket

Market baskets are closet staples for French women as they head to their local farmer’s market each week and I adore mine. This one has double handles like mine which I love – perfect for when you have heavier loads or lighter loads.

These personalized ones are so cute, too. I also love those by Sezane that are a bit more modern but still have traditional charm. They feel designer without being designer.

This Loewe one I own is my most-used bag of summer typically. I love that the straps can be worn three ways!

I personally use my market bag as my beach bag! 


Following my skin cancer diagnosis, I learned to be much more diligent about SPF. It is my #1 summer necessity.

The Supergoop ZincScreen, Supergoop Daily Dose Bioretinol SPF 40, Tower28 Sunny Days SPF and the new Caudalie Vinosun Mineral SPF are my current go-tos for SPF for my face and I always am sure to bring along a powder SPF with me wherever I go for easy face re-application over makeup.

And don’t forget about your lips this time of year, too! They are often overlooked. Supergoop has a SPF lip balm you can tote around for easy application. 


While often thought of first as an accessory, sunglasses were initially designed to provide your eyes protection from UV rays so be sure to always pack a pair. I swear by Celine sunglasses as they are virtually indestructible (I’ve had my first pair for six years now!) but I also love and wear often this Le Specs pair and this designer-look alike pair that are both more affordable.

Body Acne Wash

If you are also prone to breakouts on your back and chest in summer like me then I can’t recommend this body wash enough. Let it sit on the affected area for a few minutes before rinsing and then you’ll be good to go. 

Kosas Chemistry Deodorant

I have a few deodorants I love and this is a top pick. I’m a sweater so I need a good deo that can hold up well and I like that this one is aluminum and baking soda free. 

Also I can’t recommend the Megababe Happy Pits enough if you’re also a clean deo user. It is a nice PH reset. 

Color Wow Dream Coat

My favorite frizz-fighter. The key to this is saturating your hair in it before blow drying. And it is heat activated so blow drying is in fact a must.

Tinted Lip Balm

I ditch heavier lipsticks and matte lip colors this time of year and reach for tinted lip balms that provide equal parts treatment and just the right hint of color. I adore the Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Lip Balm and the Summer Fridays Tinted Lip Balm in particular.

Related: Lip Colors for Spring and Summer

I have a variety of others I love, too and you can find them in my Beauty Favorites Shop where I also share the shades I wear.

Beach Towel

No summer is complete without a cute beach towel to pack up and head to your nearest body of water to cool off. These cabana stripe ones are so cute! I love that they are oversized (my preference) and they have nearly 1,000 positive reviews.

My friend has the Serena & Lily ones at her cottage and they are so, so great too. And if you want a burst of color for your beach towel, look no further than those from Brooklinen.

Picnic Blanket

A picnic blanket is perfect for outdoor movie nights, actual picnics, reading in the park – you name it. This one has a waterproof liner in case the grass is wet at all!

Hand Fan

I don’t go anywhere in New York in the summer without a hand fan packed into my purse to help provide some relief when the heat just won’t quit. It is one of my best hacks for staying cool and somewhat more comfortable in the humidity! I have this one in Black as seen here and also this one.

Having a hand fan on me is actually my secret weapon to not feeling like I’m going to faint while standing on the NYC subway platform waiting for a train in the summer. 

Megababe Thigh Rescue

File under things I can’t live without come summer and sunny days. Say goodbye to irritating thigh chafe when you glide this on before you leave the house. It is amazing at ensuring your legs stay comfortable on sweaty days.

I also just bought the brand’s Bust Dust for testing after hearing great things. It helps absorb any boob sweat if you find that to be an issue!

Self Tanner

Because we all know by now that a faux tan is much safer than a real one, I use my favorite self tanners when I want a bit of extra color. 

Setting Spray

I wouldn’t survive year round without setting spray but especially in summer.

I have been using this setting spray for a decade – possibly more but recently I’ve been using this one by One/Size and I swear it lacquers your makeup to your face- no matter how sweaty you get or how humid it is outside. I now always travel with a travel size because it ensures my makeup put on at 7AM stays put all day. It’s a real game changer. 

Makeup Primer

I use the Saie Super Glowy Gel year round as a primer but on hot days I reach for the Milk Hydro Grip Gripping Primer as I find its tacky texture, once dried down and makeup applied over it, really holds onto your makeup so it melts less on sweaty, humid days. The other one I really like for summer is the Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas Primer. It holds up well in the heat.

And for my eyelids, I wouldn’t dare try eye makeup without first applying Mac Prep + Prime Eye Primer. I actually have to use this year round otherwise makeup melts off my greasy eyelids in record time.

Related: My Favorite Products for Summer Glow

Cream Bronzer

I always make changes to my makeup products in the summer. I love swapping to a cream bronzer in the summer for a more sun-kissed look. The Saie Beauty Bronzer is a cult favorite for good reason. It buffs in beautifully to the skin and really give such a pretty sun kissed, bronzed look. Pro tip: Don’t skip getting the brush for this product – it makes all the difference in natural application!

Acne Wash

This body wash goes to work quickly to fight body acne on chest and back that come on more frequently in summer thanks to sweat and sunscreen.

They key is to let it sit on the targeted area for a couple of minutes before rinsing. And then, because it features benzoyl peroxide as its active ingredient, just be sure you rinse thoroughly to prevent any staining!

Hair Gel

After testing out this Crown Affair Flexible Hair Gel, I am a convert. There is no stickiness, no tacky texture. Instead, flyaways are tamed and hair stays put. I’ve found it such a god-send for low-bun season. Particularly when combined with the below product.

R+CO Pomade Stick

I initially bought this to have with me on trips for when I needed to smooth out and make my low buns more neat but now I find myself reaching for it at home, too. It’s perfectly pocket sized so you can always tame frizz or flyaways on the go. 

Kitsch No Snag Small Elastic Hair Ties

To get my hair off my neck on hot summer days, I love these no-snag, invisible hair ties.

Glytone Ultra Softening Heel & Elbow Cream

I begin reaching for this stuff nightly as soon as sandal season rolls around again. Slather you feet in it, tuck them into stocks and do this 2-3 nights in a row to get your feet looking a lot better. 

 . . .

What are your sunshine necessities this time of year?

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comments +

  1. Hanna ( says:

    Love your list! The only thing I would add is a nice water bottle. I have two S’well ones I love because it keeps the water cold!

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