Katie Lee's Beach Essentials

The Groundswell author packs her beach bag for FOAM.

Insider // Johnie Gall // 07/04/12
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Groundswell author Katie Lee.

Some of the items in Katie Lee's beach bag.

Katie Lee is no stranger to the spotlight. After all, the cookbook author and former Top Chef host spent years married to pop music icon Billy Joel. But after the two separated in 2009, the former food writer ditched celebrity parties and yacht trips in favor of surf, a form of therapy that took her around the world in search of swell. Her real-life research is the basis for her novel, Groundswell. We caught up Lee to dig around in her beach bag and learn about the products that make her feel like a star in the water:

1. "I’m super careful about not getting a sunburn," says Lee, who uses Vertra sunblock sticks in Natural Beige. "It’s kind of like the zinc we used to wear as kids, except it’s a skin tone shade. It creates a physical barrier to the sun and is very water resistant."

2. Depending on the temperature, Lee chooses between her Billabong full wetsuit or her O'Neill shorty.

3. "I love surfer-inspired clothing by Pret-a-Surf. They make cute rash guards and great looks for off the beach as well."

4. For Lee, a good bikini is a must: "I like it to be functional and fashionable. I am a bikini-buying addict—I have two full drawers in my dresser. I am obsessed with Tomas Maier and I have a black string bikini from Billabong that gets a lot of wear."

5. Lee's beach bag is a big white Jil Sander bag that she's had for years. "It holds everything," she says. "I always have a good book to read when I’m not in the water."

Buy Groundswell by Katie Lee on Amazon.com now!

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