Beauty & the Beach

One expert short lists her ultimate protection products.

It's a tricky thing looking good on the beach. You want to be natural, but pretty-glowy natural — not don't-give-a-crap natural. You need to be protected from damaging rays but not streaked in white glop. There's sand, sweat, salt, humidity — it's a pore-clogging, hair-frizzing nightmare (despite being the best place on earth, of course). So we turned to Mollie Chen, editorial director of beauty site Birchbox, to set us straight. As someone who has seen every innovative cream and elixir out there, she knows what works. She also grew up in Miami (which, in our book, amounts to instant beach cred). "I spent practically every weekend on the water," she says of her childhood. "Over the years, I’ve perfected my list of essential beach bag products — and no, it doesn’t include tanning oil." Since Birchbox sends its members a perfectly edited assortment of goodies each month, we asked Chen to curate her dream beachy Birchbox just for Q: