What THE GLOSS Team Pack in Their Beach Bags


From coral-friendly SPF to sun-shading straw hats, find out what our editors can’t live without on holiday …

Penny McCormick, Deputy Editor

I love nothing more than reading on the beach with my toes in the sand. I’m going to Greece on holiday this year so I’m packing Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop, which is set on Makronisos during World War II. I’ll also pack a Jo Spain crime thriller and am looking forward to Chanel’s Riveria by Anne de Courcy; the epitome of what Somerset Maugham described as “shady people in sunny places.” Of all the things in my beach bag, however, I wouldn’t be without Bioderma’s Hydrabio Moisturising Water SPF30 – a light, refreshing skin saviour.

Sarah Halliwell, Beauty Editor

My holiday packing is always a disaster: I take a bag full of suncream, hair protectors which I never use and books (too old-school to use a Kindle, still…), leaving little room for actual clothes. This year’s beach bag will probably be an impractical string bag, or a straw one picked up at a local market; in Marrakech, you can pick up Rae Feather lookalikes for a few euros. I’ll take gallons of SPF and spend the day trying to convince my teenagers to wear it; Clarins’ High Performance range is my choice this year as it’s coral-friendly so doesn’t contain ingredients that are damaging to the sea, plus they give broad-spectrum protection that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy. A hat is also essential; I spent enough time sunbathing as a teenager and now want to avoid further dark spots. Ideally this would be a panama from Anthony Peto or Lock & Co in London (www.lockhatters.co.uk); Lock’s beautiful striped Peacehaven Panama would be perfect. Also in my (bulging) beach bag is an SPF lip balm (I like L’Occitane’s shea lip balm SPF30, €11), and good books (Three Women, and Circe by Madeleine Miller as I’m going to Greece). Oh and prescription Capri sunglasses by Ace & Tate.

Aislinn Coffey, Style Editor

I just got back from Hydra, one of the small Saronic Islands of Greece on the Aegean Sea. I am a big proponent of wedges, no matter the occasion, but wore flats because of the island’s rocky beaches and walks. Personally, I like a great one-piece swimsuit. & Other Stories‘ are fantastic. While I love the idea of swanning around in a beautiful straw hat, I usually buy one there (a size too big) as they are not really packable so it’s generally a more practical alternative. I always carry my fabulous Rae Feather canvas bag to stash water and a towel. I couldn’t survive without a long kaftan. Silk or cotton only; I cannot stand anything synthetic in the heat. Best ones? Juliet Dunn, Melissa Odabash or something from the local market. At night I love to wear a great white fine lawn blouse with plenty of sleeve paired with shorts and lashings of gold jewelleryIsabel Marant‘s collection of blouses and dresses are made for me and always on my wishlist.

Tracy Ormiston, Advertising Director 

I have used the same canvas Swarovski beach bag for the last 15 years, gifted to me by my good friend Izzy and I can’t bear to part with it. The bag will contain several bottles of SPF, purchased in Boots at Dublin airport, ranging from 15 to 50 for various parts of the body; 50 on the face always! I will have the latest Peter James (Roy Grace series) novel to hand which will have been saved especially for the holiday and consumed within the first two days. Sunglasses by Louis Vuitton, a wide brim sun hat, reusable water bottle and wet wipes to clean sandy hands will will complete the contents of the beach bag.

Síomha Connolly, Assistant Editor

My beach bag has become like a walking advert for La Roche Posay; their SPF is the only one I like to wear on my sun-sensitive skin so I always have SPF50 for my face and 30 for body, as well as the hydrating mist for a refreshing spritz when I start to overheat! I always have more than one book, as I can go through one per day when lounging by the pool or on the beach. On holiday in Mallorca this month I plan to read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and Women Talking by Miriam Toews. If I could have Totême’s entire travel edit to pack in my suitcase I’d be eternally holiday happy, but for now I’ll start with just their stylish logo towel. A straw hat is essential, I have a wide-brim one from H&M that I bought around six years ago and it has come with me on every holiday since but if I was upgrading I’d choose one of Sensi Studioor Clyde’s cool designs. A cool organic cotton kaftan by Mara Hoffman is perfect for day to night, and gold jewellery is also a must for me on holiday – I love Alighieri‘s statement pieces for evening and always wear plain gold hoops during the day.

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