beach pixBy: Chrysa Smith

Warm weather can’t come fast enough this year–especially on the East Coast. So, I do whatever I can to usher in those summer senses. You know, the smell of the beach, the balmy air, sunscreen and tanning lotion.

While I’d love to know about more products to give me that kick start that I desperately need when pulling up the shades and finding more white and gray, I’ve got a few staples to share. If you haven’t already, check these out:

Shampoo: While my very favorite scent is Angel Wash from the Kevin Murphy Collection, that’s a special holiday treat (@ something ridiculous like $30/bottle). It does, however, keep it’s beautifully light, feminine fragrance going all day long (which is more than I can say for most shampoos). But I’ve recently found a rival. Not only does it wake me up with beachy fragrance, it does linger longer than many (though not really all day). At less than a quarter of the price of Mr. Murphy’s concoctions, I’m there. ‘Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo’ from Orx–or Organix Spa Collection. It comes in an aquamarine colored bottled, and can be found in drug and grocery stores. It’s from a company that produces many fragranced shampoo for all different hair types. You’ll recognize it when you see it.

Tanning: I cringe when I get dressed. What a pale, white, dry body! While moisturizers do what they can to keep the flaking down, there’s nothing like some golden color. I’ve tried the slater-on lotions from the drugstore, but no matter how well I seem to blend, I always seem to find a line. So I have discovered ‘Tan Towel.’ They are in towelette form, like a baby wipe. Only this towel provides you with slowly growing color. And because it’s wipe on rather than spread on, I have no tan lines. It is a little more expensive than the drug store creams, but I think it’s worth it. I buy it from Amazon.

Fragrance: A few years ago, while at the shore, I stumbled upon one of my favorite fragrances from Crabtree & Evelyn. It’s from the ‘India hicks Island Living’ collection, and it’s called ‘Spider Lily.’  To me, the fragrance is pure summer. And India Hicks happens to be a real woman who of course, comes from a well-to-do family–which explains her own fragrance line. But kudos to her, for I love it and still use it, winter or summer.

Home: About this time of year, the florists are whipping out their spring bulbs. Treat yourself to a fragrant Hyacinth or a bunch of daffodils and tulips. The colors alone bring life to the house—and fragrance? It’s something we sorely miss during winter. Next month, I also begin putting away the stark branches and winter colors I use for pillows and throws, in favor of some seashells, sea grass (well, OK, it’s fake, but looks nice) in containers. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re at the beach, even if you are about 1 1/2 hours away—well, for me.

Do what you can to keep the future in mind as these short-light, long winter days wind down. And if you’ve got any products of your own to share, do tell. I always like to keep up on what keeps my spirits up.