Across the United States, high temperature records are being broken. No matter where you are, you will most likely agree—this summer sure is a hot one! Rising mercury levels naturally create a collective itch to head towards water—whether it be the sea, a lake, or even a cool mountain stream. So gather your friends and family, change into your swimsuits, and pack your summer beach bags with your favorite warm-weather essentials.

Here are ours, to help get you started:

1.  A sturdy bag is the first thing you need; this summer we are digging the eco-friendly Sea Bags Blue Crab Tote. We love this recycled material tote made from real sails! It’s perfect for your regular on-the-go routine, a day at the beach, or even a mini vacation.



2.  Next, don’t forget the Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30. This lightweight sun protectant is a mineral-based Titanium Dioxide-free protection with Marine Bioactives to alleviate photo-damage. This product is easy to reapply and won’t leave you with a streaky white residue on the skin. This environmentally friendly sun protectant is also reef safe!


3.  Grab your sunglasses to keep your eyes shielded from damaging UV rays as well. Our pick for the summer of 2012, Ray.Bans® Jackie Ohh II sunglasses. These classic shades keep your eyes protected while also looking fabulous on all face shapes.



4.  Keep your lips looking fabulous with Love Your Lips – Cherry, Raspberry, Pineapple. The luscious, nourishing, antioxidant-rich lip treatment has organic aloe vera and lysine. This delicious lip balm will remind you of a tasty summer slushy without the calories!



5.  Throw on a floppy beach hat to add vital sun protection and extra style to any summer day. We like this straw sun hat in Papaya from J Crew because it offers great sun protection – and it looks great!



6.  Keep your skin dewy and fresh with the Apple Brightening Mist. This mist will hydrate and diminish the look of discoloration while also brightening the skin and reviving youthful texture. Tip: Use throughout the day to mist the skin; it feels so refreshing and cool – plus, it’s great for the skin!

Smart and fun products for our summer bags… What are yours? What go-to goodies do you swear by in the hot summer months? What items (wardrobe staples, hot accessories, skin care products, secret tricks to beat the heat) do you recommend to your girlfriends when the temperatures rise?

We’d love to hear from all of our readers – Please share with us your own summer must-haves in the “comments” section below! We’re always on the look-out for fun new things… And we may even feature your suggestions in future “Girlfriend Recommended” blog posts!