Beachside days mean beachside reads, and what better way to kick off the summer than with NYC-based BookBabesNYC? Founders Victoria Natenzon, Caroline Schimmenti & Stacey Stewart started their community almost two years ago with the goal of bringing women together to read and discuss women's stories. Hosting at least one event (sometimes 3-4!) per month, the trio hosted their signature book club event series at the Wander Beauty pop-up store in May. 

The timing for the event was perfect for their network of readers to pick up their beauty goodies for travel plans this summer. The three ladies picked up a few of their own and gave us a glimpse of the products they purchased and recommend for summer travels. We also got the chance to chat with the ladies about their favorite reads this year as well as books that they recommend for a fun summer day at the beach or by the pool. 

Wander Beauty Bookbabes Event

Recommended Read:

Victoria: Educated - Tara Westover. I actually read this book while on a plane (wearing my Baggage Claim Rose Gold Eye Masks ). I intended to use the time I had during a trip for some much-needed catch-up emails at work, but absolutely couldn't put this book down - her story is both impressive and the writing sucks you in. I found myself googling her life story for hours after I finished, wishing there was more to learn from this extraordinary woman.

Stacey: What I was Doing while You were Breeding- Kristin Newman. I also read this on a plane wearing the same eye masks! This is a great travel read since the main character is a global jetsetter, and it is inspiring to follow her solo journeys to new countries (all based on a true story!). Plus, while traveling, she takes on a different persona who has zero inhibitions (“Travel Kristin” is wild!), so each chapter is packed with juicy recounts of her racy adventures abroad.

Caroline: Normal People by Sally Rooney. I threw on the Lift Off Purifying and Brightening Peel Off Mask and demolished this book in one evening. The author’s style is wonderful, making it fun to read beach- or poolside. It is a story of high school/college-age millennial love that will get you in all the feels. It is so easy to see your teenage self in the books’ characters, making it feel completely nostalgic, cringe-worthy, and totally relatable all at once.

It's On Our List:

Victoria:  City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert I love keeping tabs on other book groups and book news. What's a best seller, what's the most-anticipated book of the summer, etc. That said, you don't have to do any deep digging to know that Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel is the talk of the town. Not only am I a fan of her other books like "Big Magic" and "Eat Pray Love," this novel is even more exciting as it is her debut fiction novel written from the perspective of an eighty-nine year old woman who reflects on her life in NYC after she was kicked out during freshman year of college.

Stacey: Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens. My parents have been nagging me to read this book, and I feel like it will be super nostalgic since I grew up in the South. Plus, it has been a NYT best seller for months and Reese Witherspoon is producing the movie adaptation (and you know Reese wouldn’t steer you wrong)! I’m finally getting a chance to read this soon since it is one of the picks for our June book club!

Caroline: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I’m dying to read this sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale (of the Hulu series fame)! This is the author’s response to the overwhelming reaction from the Hulu series and to the current political climate. I love using travel and vacay time to get really lost in a story, and I’m hoping to dive in and do just that with this twisted tale of a dystopian future. 

What else is in our bags:

Victoria: Since I'm thinking about my summer vacations, I try to pack light. (Said no one ever.) You just never know if you’ll wind up at the beach, pool, dive bar, rooftop, fancy dinner, or the theater! No matter what I'm doing, I always apply a layer of SPF before anything else. My pale skin simply cannot handle the rays of the sun! From there, I will typically stay away from foundation in the summer, but the Dualist Matte and Illuminating Concealer is my new best friend to help cover under eye circles and blemishes. I love a glitter-y, glow-y look, so I'll always put on eyeshadow. I start with the Smooth Sailing 360 Eye Primer , and I’m loving the Wandress Seascape Eyeshadow Palette and all its different day-to-night color combos! From there, I'll dab on some blush & highlighter, using the On The Glow Blush & Illuminator  in Petal Pink. So nifty to have it all in one tube! I love defined brows, so I'll always make sure to outline with the Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil. The last step in my routine is the Mile High Volume & Length Mascara . Since I'm a HUGE lipstick person I'll throw in Beach Balm in Petal Pink - love how light it is, making it perfect not only for the beach but also for any other occasion without looking too "done-up!"

Stacey: I like to keep my makeup routine simple and typically only go “all out” for special occasions. That said, skincare is important and I tend to focus on that the most. When it comes to travel, the best and easiest thing to throw into my bag are the Baggage Claim Rose Gold Eye Masks. A nice refresh that I can always have on me! I do like to pack at least a moisturizer and a cleanser with me, so I’ll pack up the Dive In Moisturizer and Drift Away Cleanser so that I always have it on hand. Lastly, I do love to accentuate by brows and eyelashes - just to give a tiny bit of a pop! Can’t forget to pack the Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil and Mile High Volume & Length Mascara 

Caroline: I’m vegan, so I LOVE all of the offerings from Wander. Healthy skin is my #1 priority, so I always start off with SPF, without fail. To recover from the sun (I swim and do yoga outside all summer) I love the Glow Ahead Face Oil and Lip Retreat Oil to repair my parched lips and skin after a day out. I love complimenting my summer bronze and freckles with a sparkly glow, so I use Catch the Light Highlighter & Glowtion to add some shimmer. To top it all off I add Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara and fill in my brows with Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil.

We hope this inspired you to slip a new summer read into your beach bag! You can follow @bookbabesnyc to read along with us (and get invites to our book club events!) Be sure to follow @wander_beauty for all things beauty!