Summer Essentials [what's in my bag]

 Living in Southern California, I spend quite a bit of time at the beach and by the pool. Over the years I have narrowed down the essentials of a perfectly balanced beach bag. Here's what I keep around for a day of fun in the sun:
A giant beach bag. I found this giant straw tote at Salvation Army a couple of years ago. I painted stripes on the outside and replaced the lining with a pretty floral fabric. It's the perfect size for dragging everything but the kitchen sink to the beach.
A sun hat you can camp in. This wide brim floppy hat from Forever 21 shades my face from the sun and looks super chic.
The perfect suit. This lavender and mint scuba suit from Forever 21 keeps a large-chested girl like myself feel more secure while ducking the waves.
A pastel poncho. This baja poncho is the perfect coverup for cool California nights after the sun goes down and the bonfire goes up.
Shade-throwing stunnas. I randomly found these cheap sunglasses in a little souvenir shop at Lake Arrowhead. They remind me of the TV room glasses from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and they are perfect for blocking the light while I nap in the sun.
 Leave-in conditioner. A day at the beach or the pool leaves my tresses dried out and frazzled. This "Hair Insurance" conditioner by Aussie keeps my hair soft despite the salty air.
Basic makeup. While you do want to make sure to use a moisturizer with SPF, its better to keep makeup simple when you're in the sun and heat. I like to use a primer, like Baby Skin by Maybelline, waterproof mascara, and a sheer moisturizing lip tint like this one from Burt's Bees.
A trashy novel. Reading is sexy, and what better time than when you're relaxing by the water?
Airbrush sunscreen. It is SO important to stay on top of the SPF game. I prefer the airbrush spray on sunscreens that you don't have to rub in and don't make you sticky.

What are the essentials in your summertime beach bag? Do you prefer the pool or the beach? Leave a comment and let me know!