My 10 Summer Essentials

Sandy Beaches, European Adventures, and exploring Chicago with friends old and new. This has been quite the summer for me, and I am so happy to finally have the opportunity to really get to know this city.  With all the exploring there have been a few beauty and fashion products that I haven’t been able to live without these last couple months.

Ouai Sun of a Beach

Ouai is one of my favorite brands for hair care.  They create simple products designed with no fuss or fluff, and they are sulfate free.  I was first introduced to Ouai with a sample of their Wave Spray and I can honestly say it is my ride or die texture spray.  It doesn’t leave my hair crusty or brittle and smells fantastic.  So when Ouai brought out Sun of a Beach I knew this product was going to be fantastic.  It’s made with Lemon and Pineapple juice and acts like that Sun-In product your mom bought in the 90s… only better.  It doesn’t turn your hair orange but creates beautiful, and natural highlights in any shade of hair. Just spray it in damp hair and head out in the sun.  I also love how it gives my hair a little bit of “been at the beach’ texture like the Wave Spray.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

It has been very hot in Chicago lately.  The last couple weeks it’s felt like you’re swimming through the air and the last thing I’ve wanted to do was put makeup on because it was going to literally melt off my face.  But that all ends with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Spray.  This stuff keeps your makeup in place all day no matter the humidity index.  I went to a concert a couple weeks back and not only was it muggy outside but it was also quite humid in the venue and my makeup lasted all evening long.  Don’t let the weather keep you from wearing the makeup look you want.

Glossier Cloud Paint

Typically in the summertime, I try to switch most of my makeup over to a cream or liquid product.  I just feel like they last longer in the summer heat and don’t get cakey.  Glossier makes some amazing products that give you that beautiful no-makeup makeup look.  I’ve talked about my love for their Boy Brow before and I am also a big fan of their Cloud Paint Cream Blushes.  A little goes a long way and they blend so beautifully into a sheer and natural flush.  They have shades to compliment every skin tone and you can even mix shakes to create your own custom colors.  My personal favorites are Dusk and their new coral tone Dawn.

Glossier Invisible Shield

SPF SPF SPF, if there is one part of your skincare routine you should never skip its the sunscreen.  And in the summertime when you’re out on the beach or at the rooftop bar drinking mojitos with friends it is especially important to protect your skin.  But with all the heat layering on so many products is the last thing you want to to do to your skin.  I hate having to compromise my normal skincare routine because I’m afraid of clogging my pores with so many products.  So that is why I love the Invisible Shield by Glossier.  With SPF 35, this watergel formula instantly absorbs into your skin and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling. Because it’s a clear sunscreen it has zero white cast so you can wear it all day and into the night without flashback in your selfies at ladies night.  It’s paraben free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free.

Pacifica Mineral Bronzing Sunscreen

Not only is it important to protect the skin on your face but it’s also important to protect the rest of your body!  You should never use a sunscreen with SPF lower than 30 and you should always reapply even if you’re trying to get a tan, future you will say thank you.  When I found this Pacifica Sunscreen I was floored by how genius it is.  Working in an office most of the week I definitely don’t get to get out as often as I’d like and sit in the sun so my “base” is definitely lacking (hint to my next favorite…) but this bronzing sunscreen gives you a little assistance! It is an aerosol sunscreen that is slightly tinted to give you a slight bronze before you even get in the sun! That way you aren’t afraid to bare those pasty thighs!  It is water resistant for 80 minutes and is 100% vegan.

Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water

If you’re anything like me when it comes to summer I want my skin to have a JLo glow.  When I was younger I would sit in the sun for hours to try to obtain this color.  But now as an adult, I have realized that is really bad for my skin, and another adult problem is I’m in an office 4 days of the week.  So my favorite alternative to laying out is self-tanners!  Everyone has heard me rave about the Loving Tan products and although I still swear by those tanners if you’re just trying out self-tanner I have recently discovered the Vita Liberata range and I’m obsessed.  The Inivis Foaming Water is especially mind-blowing.  This clear foam is cooling and refreshing as it goes on, it’s all organic and lasts a week.  It gives such a beautiful natural glow and definitely doesn’t leave you orange.  The thing I love most about this product is it won’t transfer to your clothes or sheet!  The only downfall is you definitely have to pay close attention to where you’re applying it because you might miss a spot.

High Waisted Bikini

Moving on to fashion essentials this summer, a summer list wouldn’t be complete without swimwear.  This is probably my favorite thing to buy in the summer.  I wish I lived closer to the ocean so I could just live on the beach.  This summer has been the year of the high waist swimwear and I’m living for it.  If you’ve been following me for a while you would know I LOVE vintage trends.  I went through a very deep 1950s phase and I think it’s still in me.  This season’s high waist is a little bit more 80s inspired with the equally high hip line.  I am loving this trend as well because not only does the high waistline give you the appearance of a tiny waist but the exaggerated hips make your legs look miles long and as a petite lady myself we need all the help we can get!  Some brands that have been killing this swim trend are Triangl of course, they are killing the sporty swimwear game with their neoprene swimsuits.  I always love this brand for swimwear.  Onia also collaborated with the sensational Danielle Bernstein or WeWoreWhat on a swimwear line and they are to die for.  The bottoms are the perfect cheeky cut in the back with high hips and the cutest waist belt.  They come in some stunning patterns and shades too.

Beach Cover Up

Of course for your inevitable beach photoshoot with your ladies you need a cute swim cover up!  ASOS has some gorgeous rompers, maxi coverups, and skirts perfect for any beach trip, not only are they cute but if you’ve gotten a little bit too much skin or forgot to reapply your SPF you can use them to protect your skin.  I also love how versatile they are to head to lunch or if you’re daring out for an evening on the town.


I’m sure you have probably noticed from my trip to Germany, or basically every shoot I’ve done since I have been LIVING in my Keds.  They got me through just about every adventure in Germany.  They are so comfortable and I love wearing them with just about any outfit.  As you can tell the dress sneaker combination is something I love lately and Keds are the perfect sneaker to still keep the look very feminine.


My final summer favorite has been Audible.  I think I’ve mentioned Audible before but I have really gotten into audiobooks lately.  While traveling it was great to relax on the plane listening to a book or on the beach while sitting in the sun.  I have been listening to dramas like Big Little Lies as well as business books like Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck.  I also really love listening to a couple chapters on my commute to work.  Audible is so convenient and has so many amazing titles.

What can’t you live without this summer?



  1. July 10, 2018 / 11:15 am

    I am such a fan of high waisted bikinis this year- they are so so fun and flattering!! Thanks for sharing your summer essentials with us 🙂

    • itsjustjessa
      July 10, 2018 / 5:16 pm

      Thanks so much, McKenzie!

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