Personal Style: Sunkissed...

My grandmother instilled in me a desire to be very sun-safe and to always, ALWAYS protect my skin from the sun. Her porcelain skin always serves as an inspiration to me, but I wasn't always so swayed. Melanoma scares on both sides of my family (in addition to a certain level of vanity), however, have convinced me to shield my largest organ from the gorgeous sun.  

Obviously I'm a zealot when it comes to skin care all year round, but never is this more important than during the summer months. How, exactly, do you avoid the sun in Texas? You don't. You can't. You must simply embrace the fact that you'll be tan by May without even trying. But you can be smart about it by protecting your skin. And lucky you... the way I do it could not possibly be more stylish!

First, the sunnies. The sun may do the damage, but squinting tells the wrinkles where to live. Avoid this at all costs with wrap-around sunglasses that protect the sides of your face from the sun's rays. I happen to adore these from Tom Ford. Feather light and flattering, the Miranda frame in gold is the epitome of summer cool. Next, you'll want to rock a pretty tunic or glamorous kaftan on your way to the water. The look says "I've come to play, but I might pitstop for lunch on the terrace afterwards."  These chic coverups shield your shoulders and keep chest and back protected from the sun. Not to mention - it looks FABULOUS poolside or on the deck of a yacht in port at Monaco.

Next... a hat. This fabulous Eric Javits packable hat (FAB!!!). Why packable? Because someone will most certainly sit on it, step on it or otherwise seem to strive to damage any hat you wear... ever.  For this reason I'm a huge fan of the more durable variety that can withstand the beating that life offers. (and since I do have a weakness for standout accessories, this fabulous Lilly Pulitzer tote cannot be beat for travel and running around town. What to put in the tote? Here's my list below: 

Let's talk BEAUTY, ladies. As you know, Clarins UV Plus is my go-to sunblock for day. However... summer brings its own special challenges, such as hanging out by the pool and that all too familiar mid-day face shine. For this, I suggest Clarins's other product, this SPF 50 Broad Spectrum for face.

Lest you forget your gorgeous locks, I urge you to coat them in a hydrating SPF that prevents summer damage and protects those hard-earned tresses from the ravages of ocean water and chlorine. This Clarins hair & skin spray is amazing! Somehow it works as an all-over spray to give you protection and moisture so you can play without fear.

While the above may offer some protection for the body, I mostly consider it a hair product. I'm a big fan of this motto: prevention is the best cure. So to ensure my skin doesn't turn to a leathery mess or run the risk of melanoma scares, I opt for something much more heavy duty like this Shiseido SPF or the Clarins 50 body spray. It is sand-proof, perspiration proof and even combats wrinkles and scaly skin while you're out enjoying the sun. 

Since any gloss you toss in your bag is likely to melt, why not invest in a little tube of balm from Sun Bum? At only $4 a tube, the faint pink hue and SPF 30 make this an investment worth sharing! 

But back to the skin care tips. Numero uno is do what is necessary to prevent damage. Repairing it is a losing battle. So it's a heavenly miracle that hats are so stylish. I say grab a few that you love and toss one on anytime you'll be out for an extended period of time. Next: sunblock. Discover products you love (I swear by Clarins, personally) and commit to wearing them every day for the rest of your life. Yes. Ever day. Finally... sunglasses. The bigger the better.

Ready to shop? Neiman is having Camp Gorgeous right now, giving you a chic striped summer tote filled with goodies with every $100 purchase. More skin care options an be found here. Don't miss Candice Swanepoel's sage beauty wisdom. It's not always just about looks. Summer can truly be about being healthy on the inside. For this reason, you'll want to see Vogue's guide to a healthier summer. Now... off you go. And don't forget the three S's of summer skincare: sunnies, sunblock & a sensational hat ;)