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What I Learned at Necker Island

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This spring one of my favorite clients got married in the British Virgin Islands on Richard Branson's private island, Necker Island, and I got to tag along to do makeup for the wedding (sidenote - if anyone ever invites you to Necker Island drop everything you are doing and GO).  Beautiful beaches, incredible food and wonderful company were on display the whole time but some good reminders came up for me as we go into summer - here's what helped me -

Beach and pool at Turtle Beach on Necker
Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
That whole reapplying sunscreen thing is a THING.  You must do it if you're going to be at a pool, on a beach, or just in the sun all day in general.  Reapplying every 2 hours if dry and 40-80 minutes if wet or if you towel-dried is super annoying but I didn't do it and I got burned.  I had my white thighs looking up in direct 11am sunshine snorkeling in the ocean and had covered them with my Mineral SPF 32 for Body and was untouched.  Hours later (with no reapplication) I went swimming around 4:30pm (sun was low) in a slightly shaded pool for under an hour and got toasted.  Reapply!

Use a physical SPF - if you don't know what that is click HERE to read all about it - but bottom line, you want Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide as your active ingredients in your sunscreen.  They're sometimes marketed as Mineral or Reef-Safe (but check your ingredients!).  The Mineral SPF 32 for BodyPeptide SPF 30 for Face and Sweet Mint SPF Lip Balm are Non-Nano Zinc and/or Titanium Dioxide.  Chemical sunscreens literally bleach and kill coral reefs (read the post linked above to see which ones) and there are alternatives so why not choose them?

If you DO get a sunburn I am a fan of Organic Aloe Gel (like this one from Aubrey Organics) followed up with my Monoi Tiare Oil - the combo seriously hooked up me up when I got burned after aforementioned lack of reapplication of SPF.  The Aloe Vera cools and heals skin and the Monoi Tiare Oil hydrates and does more healing as it pushes the moisture further into the body.

Get a suit that you feel great in.  When in doubt I love the Esther Williams suits - the one pieces have a double layer in the front and the outer layer is ruched.  The bust gives decent support with the built in bra and halter neckline.  The booty doesn't ride up at all and you feel pretty but modest all at once.

Those rash guard shirts are genius.  I got one from Hiho in the gift shop and LOVE it.  It's a Suntek SPF 50 shirt, is super lightweight mesh so it dries quickly and wasn't hot (some of them were thick and looked like they would be hot in the sun).  I'm in.

See below for links to cover ups
If you're maxing and relaxing and don't want to do an SPF shirt I think the longer beach cover ups are so tropical and lovely - I vote for a loose fit in a flowy fabric - they billow in the breeze, aren't hot, but give you some leg coverage which you'll need if you're lying on a lounge chair (a lot of coverups are short). 

Links to cover ups: White with colors, white V-neck, navy and white, multi-colored, white with lace.

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
Also - wear a hat!  See those fun little straw numbers on the bed?  They give you those on Necker and they are fantastic - but any hat will do - baseball, fedora, sombrero - just don it and wear it in style.

Also - the Virgin Islands are home to a bunch of flies and mosquitoes that like to take a bite out of visitors so carry on some bug spray - for real.  The night of the wedding everyone was wearing these mosquito repellent bracelets and they were getting devoured.  I am normally the one who the bugs love to chomp on, and I was wearing a backless dress, but I had sprayed myself up and down with my Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent and I had nary a mark on me at the end of the night.  In fact, everyone near me at the table ditched their bracelets and sprayed down with my stuff as they were tired of getting bitten as well.  Just saying, it works :).

On to the fun stuff - here's a pretty pic of my gorgeous bride, Marissa

Photo courtesy of Virgin Portraits
And a few more from the wedding -

Clockwise: Marissa and her sisters (Photo Courtesy of Virgin Portraits), a fun table shot of all of us at the wedding, the happy bride and groom (Photo Courtesy of Virgin Portraits) and the obligatory wedding selfie of yours truly.
And then a few more of Necker Island because it is so so pretty - 

Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This is the great house where we got Marissa ready - great views and tons of room.
Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
This was the living room and private pool that was just for our room.  When the guy who was showing us our room told us that I think my jaw hit the floor.  

Clockwise from top: 
*My desk while we were there - it was heavenly!
*Me taking a bath in the biggest tub I've ever seen (which had an incredible view of the ocean as it was outdoors - naturally)
*The view from the private pool from the room
*What my bedroom looked like when I came in at night

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