Top 11 Beach Essentials

By Briana, age 16, Pennsylvania


It is definitely crucial for a girl to always have an awesome pair of shades! Whether they're round and bright or square and sparkly, any hott pair of shades is a definite MUST HAVE when going to the beach! Not only do they look cool, they're good for your health too. They help to block UV rays from damaging your eyes. How cool is that?!

Suntan Lotion

A very important thing a girl should always carry when she goes to the beach is the right suntan lotion. As we all know, there are too many different kinds to count! So how do you find the right one for you? Here are some tips:

If you have fair skin and burn easily, look for a lotion that has a higher SPF (50-80) to keep you from burning. If you're looking for a nice summer glow, try one with some self-tanner.

If you have darker or tanned skin and don't burn as easily, look for a lotion in the mid-SPF range (15-30) to protect your skin from the sun. If you want a nice tan, try one in the SPF 10-15 range with self-tanner. Be sure to reapply often, especially after swimming or sweating, and hit those places people often overlook, like your ears, the part in your hair, and the tops of your feet.

Flip Flops

One thing that every beach-going girl knows is true - You can NEVER have too many flip flops! One of my favorite beach essentials, it's good to have at least one pair in your summer wardrobe. Whether you choose to have a pair in every color under the sun or just a few basic neutral colors, these shoes will keep your beachy feet happy! Not only do they look super cute with a cover-up or your swimsuit, they also keep you from burning your feet on the hot sand. And they're always great for a quick run up to the boardwalk!

Giant Beach Tote

Another favorite of mine, a giant tote bag, is a cute and convenient beach essential. Its size is great for holding all your smaller essentials (lotion, sunglasses, books, etc.) and it will compliment any outfit. Get a neutral color with several other colors mixed in, and you'll have one bag to go with all your outfits!

Cute Cover-Up

It's always good to have a super cute and stylish cover-up to "cover up" your super cute swimsuit! But you don't have to buy a boring one-piece cover-up. Mix it up with a cute terrycloth dress or a versatile sarong!

The Perfect Swimsuit

The #1 beach style essential is, of course, the perfect swimsuit! No girl should leave home without a way cute suit to "suit" her figure and personality! From super cute mini-bikinis to stylish tank and boy short combos, tons of fun colors and patterns are in style this summer! When swimsuit shopping keep these 3 things in mind:

♥ Make sure you love the suit. If you find a suit that is expensive, make sure you're prepared to wear it a lot. After all, we all can't afford to have ten $300 swimsuits!

♥ Make sure you are comfortable. The way it looks is important, but if you feel uncomfortable, you'll look uncomfortable!

♥ Make sure it suits you! Don't buy a suit just because your friends like it. Pick one that YOU like, and then get your friends' opinions. After all, you're the one who has to wear it!

Check out the "Swimwear 2008" article from our May issue to find the perfect style for your shape!

A Good Read

It's always important to be entertained on the beach. After all, you can't constantly tan or be in the water - it's not healthy! So when you're looking for some down time, just pull out a good book. Below are some of my favorites.


It's always fun to have a good mix of music on your iPod or MP3 player when you're on the beach! I know I love listening to music while I'm tanning. It helps me relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the beach.

A Cute Hairstyle

When you're on the beach, you don't want long lanky hair blowing in your face! Try some cute hairstyles like scrunched beachy waves or a bouncy ponytail! Also, try different hair products to keep your hair at its best!

A Fun Beach Towel

No girl wants to tan her beautiful self on an old dirty beach towel! There are tons of cute beach towels with a huge variety of colors, patterns, and prices that are sure to display your fun personality!

A Fun Attitude!

The number one beach essential is to have a fun attitude! Whether you're going to the beach with your friends or family, go with the intention of having fun! Don't let anyone or anything bring you down. Be confident in yourself and make your trip full of awesome summer memories!!

Beach photos taken in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, courtesy of SDM site model Andrea from Michigan.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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