During my undergraduate years, I made frequent trips to Bali, Phuket and Koh Pha Ngan to escape the monotony of university life.
For a five-day trip to, say, Bali, all I needed was two pairs of ripped denim shorts, a couple of tatty singlets, two sets of bikinis and a trusty pair of Havaianas. My skincare kit consisted of just two items: a facial wash and an oil-free moisturiser.
Looking back, I shudder at how I did not even think of applying a single drop of sunscreen while spending most of my beach vacations indulging in water sports in the sun.
I now have a single brown freckle on my left cheek, which I pray will not get larger with time. I am convinced the brown spot is the result of those years of reckless sun worshipping.
These days, the way I pack for my island getaways is a different story.
I need my beach cover-ups, rompers and sun dresses to match my countless bikini sets. I still need my Havaianas for a stroll on the sand, but I also need my buckled wedges and bejewelled sandals for the beach bar. A huge straw hat and reflective aviators to shield me from the sun are also necessary.
I have to take along two toiletry pouches just for my skin now.
Apart from sunscreens for my face and body, BB cushions with high sun protection, cooling sheet masks to treat my skin at night, body lotions with shimmer and skin-firming creams are indispensable as well.
I know it is ridiculous but I also prepare two shades of foundation. I tan easily and I need the darker foundation to match my skin tone after a day of frolicking in the sun.
Naturally, my luggage is a lot heavier now. But in this age of Instagram, I think going on a beach vacation in style is important. In this issue of Urban, we highlight the prettiest two-piece swimsuits, kaftans, tunics, sandals, totes and accessories for your next beach getaway.
We also picked our favourite beauty products that will give you a sunkissed glow, even before you set foot on the sand.
We've also thrown in three tried-and-tested treatment recommendations to help you get rid of water retention, firm sagging skin and nip in your waist and hips, so you can flaunt your body with confidence.
This article was first published on June 13, 2014.
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