Chances are, your last day at the beach is coming up. If you went on holidays this summer, like I did, then you’re probably kicking yourself right now for not reading this sooner. Arguably, I might have written this post in early July so we’d all have time to brace ourselves. Mea culpa. However, whether you’ve closed the beach chapter for yet another season or hanging onto those final days of summer like an eighth grade teacher, I’m sharing my “last day at the beach” rituals that have always eased the transition for me. I hope they do the same for you.
Wear the Black Bikini, the skimpy one.
I have a rule of thumb for the last day at the beach. Always wear black. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, you’re obviously mourning the end of what is arguably the most beautiful time to be alive, summertime. Secondly, a black bikini shows off your tanned, chiseled body unlike anything else. It’s like the Hail Mary of swimwear if say, your summer crush has yet to make a move. I recently found the sexiest black bikini giving me Hervé Leger vibes here. I wore it on my last beach day in Mexico, even though the only Hail Mary I was saying was for my diarrhea to settle.
Exfoliate the Night Before.
I know this sounds dangerously counterintuitive but believe me, it is the secret to a long-lasting tan. The way I see it is like this. Whether you exfoliate or not, your skin is going to do so naturally in about a week’s time after your last day at the beach. So, by forcing the exfoliation before your last opportunity to tan, you’re prolonging the skin’s need to naturally exfoliate later. Does this make sense? It’s like science for dummies. NB: There is no scientific truth backing up my findings, I just know this to be true from experience. So do what I say and you’ll be happy. I love using L’Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Body Scrub, $38.00 available at www.thebay.com.
Body Jewels, No Tan Lines.
If there were ever a day to wear a belly chain or body harness with a bikini, the last day at the beach is the day. First of all, your tan today is going to be the best it’s ever going to be – so why not show it off like a J.Lo music video and bling it up. Also, and more importantly, the tan lines you’ll get from the jewelry will be minimal because it’s only one day of wear and even if you get the tiniest of tan lines, it won’t be so noticeable because of how tanned you are (or should be, by this point). Some suggestions? This sexy gold body harness from ASOS is on my list and I also love to browse Smoke and Ash, a cute Toronto boutique on Queen West for amazing body harnesses by wellDunn.
Leave the Beach Hat at Home.
It’s just one day. You’ve been so good this entire summer always shading your precious face and wearing SPF 150 to stop wrinkles in their tracks. On your last beach day the chances of getting a sunburn are at their lowest, so give yourself a break and let loose. Wear your hair in a top knot or let the beach waves fall down your back. Use some texturizing spray, leave-in conditioner and hair protectant (PHYTO Phytoplage oil is THE BEST) before you leave the house.
Remove Your Nail Polish.
Ahhhhhh the glory of un-painted nails against tanned cuticles!!!! Such sweet pleasure. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, looks better with tanned hands than natural nails. The beautiful contrast between the nail bed and the skin is something so rare, I highly recommend just getting a simple manicure on your last day and forgo the polish. But if you’re on a beach in Europe steer clear of nail salons, really, their standards of beauty pale in comparison to those of North American aestheticians (unless you’re in France, in which case, they are the best in the world). But yeah, only those who have had a pedicure done before on the Amalfi Coast, which I would never recommend to my worst enemy, know it’s best to just grab some acetone and cotton pads at the corner store and DIY. Personally, I never go on vacation without an arsenal of at-home mani pedi tools from Amopé.
Stay After Sunset.
If you’re like me and start to get antsy around 4pm at the beach, jonesing for aperitivo hour and a shower, it’s time to chill out. On the last day at the beach, those who do not stay past sunset might not ever return. Ok, I made that up. But if throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain all those years ever taught me anything, superstitions don’t lie. I always have to watch the sunset on my last day at the beach. I started this ritual after my first Eurotrash summer in Italy when we spent our last day in Jesolo on the beach doing a crossword puzzle with a bunch of Italians we just met that day until twilight. Something about closing your vacation with a sunset just feels right. So, pack some Sudokus and playing cards, anything that will keep you occupied until the very last ray of sun disappears in the horizon.