July 4th Pool and Beach Essentials

This past weekend was America’s number one holiday, the fourth of July.  In all honesty, I usually dread July 4th after having several bad experiences during college and even getting sun poisening one year after college as a result of using expired sunblock.  Oh yeah, that was fun.

This year I decided to turn the tables and decide that I wasn’t going to set any high expectations for the weekend but instead, just relax and pretend that it’s a normal (though slightly longer) weekend.  Success it was.  I relaxed by the pool, went to a party at a Malibu beach house right on the PCH and finalized the celebration with a house party in Brentwood with a perfect firework view.  I even debuted my new favorite towel, hoping my friend Sydne would feature it on her blog.  Alas, she didn’t deem it “blog worthy” but she did tweet the pic above!

Here’s what got me through the weekend…

Redken Color Extend Solar Sunscreen SPF 12: There’s a ton of hair products that claim to protect your color from fading but very few of them have actual SPF included.  This product is fab because it not only protects your color but it also protects your scalp from the sun.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 60 for Face and Body: I’ve been a fan of Shiseido’s SPF products since last summer when I discovered the line.  If you’re the person who hates sunblock because you get all greased up while applying it, this product is for you.  It’s basically a luxurious lotion and it smells amazing- no sticky residue, no white streaks.

Avene Thermal Spring Water: I’ve never really done well being in the sun for too long, especially when it’s also humid out.  This refreshing water-based mist is a great refresher at the beach (or even on an airplane).

Ray-Ban Cockpit Aviator Sunglasses: Anyone else with blue eyes?  Yeah, I can’t get through the day with out my sunglasses.  I finally convinced my parents that no, they can’t buy their sunglasses at Rite Aid and expect decent eye protection.  My Ray-Ban’s have great UV protection and this shape is pretty universally flattering.

Makeup&Go of Brentwood

So I recently checked out a new (and might I add innovative) store over in Brentwood, California called Makeup&Go.  The concept is similar to DryBar but instead, of hair, this one-stop-shop provides makeup application (note: they will soon also provide blow outs!).  Do they sell makeup?  The answer to that is N-O.  Makeup&Go is an absolute essential for anyone who has a big part, event or even a night out where they want to get a bit glammed up.  The shop even has dressing rooms so you can leave literally right after getting your makeup done!  I love how everything is very well thought out- including the fact that they even sell gifts and fresh flowers, if you happen to be heading to a birthday party or wedding shower, etc.

I don’t know about you, but you probably read my post about Drybar and how you always feel extra sexy when someone else does your hair…I’m telling you, it’s better than losing 5 lbs.  The makeup artists at Makeup&Go use products from great brands like Smashbox and Juice Beauty, which I adore, and the prices are reasonable – check out a list here and check out Makeup&Go!

Drybar- LA’s first blowdry-only concept

So there is nothing that will boost a girl’s confidence faster than a good blowout.  Back in NYC (and when I was making some good money), I would make frequent trips to Blow, New York City’s blowdry-only establishment on the Upper East Side.  There’s something that makes you feel just so fabulous when you know that your hair will look professionally done before a friend’s party or even a night out with friends…so when I heard that LA was finally picking up on the trend, I was elated, to say the least.

I have to say, Drybar just might have Blow beat. I made my way over the west side, Brentwood to be specific.  I absolutely love the feel that Drybar is actually supposed to look like a BAR.  The station chairs are all lined up behind an actual bar (with bartender) and they even serve cocktails and snacks.  There’s also a phenom menu for you to choose exactly what kind of blowout that you want…I went with the “Southern Comfort,” a favorite liqour of mine as well.  The Southern Comfort gave me big hair and lots of volume.  I instructed my stylist that I did want the volume but that I didn’t want “Texas hair” and she knew exactly what I meant, which I found really, really funny.

For $35, this is honestly a great deal…Blow charges between $40-$60 and at Drybar, you definitely get a much wider selection of what kind of blowout that you want.


“Straight Up” – signature blowout

“Manhattan” – sleek and smooth

“Cosmopolitan” – lots of loose curls

“Southern Comfort” – big hair and lots of volume

“Mai Tai” – messy, beach hair

“Shirley Temple” – pre-teen blowout

“Floater” – head massage

*you also need to see the amazing light fixture made of yellow blowdryers…now THAT is creativity.