When you were growing up, did you ever go to your grandparent's house, explore their medicine cabinet, and find yellowed bandaids and crusted sunscreen from the 80s? Or did you ever search under the sink at your house and find your parent's hydrogen peroxide from 1990, or old hair curlers? That's exactly what it felt like when I opened my package from Vacation—like I was a kid again, in the house we lived in during the 90s, discovering ancient beauty relics. My moms single eyeshadows, a tortoise comb, cotton balls—Vacation products would fit right in.
Launching today, Vacation is a nostalgic SPF brand that is all about 80s beach culture. Created by Dakota Green, Lach Hall, and Marty Bell (founder of retro internet radio station Poolsuite FM), Vacation is in their words, "'excessively good, leisure-enhancing' sunscreen that people crave to wear." I recently started wearing their sunscreen and fragrance (think Seinfeld and Kramer's Beach Cologne, stolen by Calvin Klein) and I've already been asked multiple times "what are you wearing? It smells so good." My partner, who I can't convince to wear anything, now wears this fragrance. It's summer on the beach in a bottle.
They also kicked off their season-long Summer Sweepstakes today—with any purchase made on Vacation.inc, you'll be entered to win your choice of prizes including a margarita machine, a tiki boat charter, a Jimmy Buffet concert ticket, at at-home fondue kit, and more hilarious retro prizes. Even their ads are absolute 80s Miami perfection.
I asked Vacation's founders to tell us more about the creation of the brand and why they went with a full on 80s feel.
Marty Bell: "I launched my internet radio station, Poolsuite FM, nearly 7 years ago to be the sunniest spot on the internet. It’s a combination of serotonin boosting, super-summer songs paired with 80s VHS visuals, and was always a fun side project to keep me going through the dreary months in the Scottish Highlands where I’m from. Over the years the station organically grew to have an extremely dedicated annual listenership of nearly 1 million, and I was looking for a way to continue this trajectory—but it had to feel absolutely right.
Lach and Dakota had been working on a sunscreen line at the time (and were just as enchanted by 80s beach culture as I was) and Vacation immediately felt like a match made in heaven. Like Poolsuite FM, sunscreen has countless layers of nostalgia to play with—the smell, the feeling when it hits your skin, the summer activities it’s associated with—there’s really nothing like it. I knew that this was the only product that could bring Poolsuite FM IRL."
Dakota Green: "For Lach and me, Vacation was always about making 'excessively good, leisure-enhancing' sunscreen that people would crave to wear. We missed the good old days when wearing sunscreen was actually fun, and set out to amp up the experience at every angle—combining tried-and-true sunscreen ingredients, like coconut oil and aloe vera, with the best from modern sun care science. We went through tons of variations to get the products to look and feel just right, and worked alongside board certified dermatologist and a VP of The Skin Cancer Foundation, Dr. Elizabeth Hale, to ensure that our formulas were safe and effective. We like to say that all of our products take leisure just as seriously as they do protection."
Lach Hall: "We’ve been completely obsessed with the over-the-top culture of the 80s for years, and started building this amusing brand world that was greatly inspired by the excess of Miami, where Dakota and I were both living and where the business is currently based. We spent so much time sourcing imagery and looked through thousands of online archives from nearly 40 years ago of things like family vacations, travel agency advertisements and timeshare pamphlets. It was all about capturing that carefree joy of summer holiday, and there wasn’t an era that achieved it better than the 80s."
You can shop the Vacation product line here, which includes a classic sunscreen, mineral sunscreen, face mist, tanning oil, and fragrance.
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