If you’re familiar around my blog and YouTube channel then you’ll know that I spend most of my life playing with new beauty products – testing new textures, experimenting with new colours, and discovering what’s new and fabulous in beauty. It may therefore come as a surprise to you that I am actually shockingly bad at packing for holidays. It’s not that I don’t know what to take, it’s just that I don’t know what to leave behind. It’s taken many trips to be able to train myself to carefully justify each and every piece that earns a place in my luggage, so choosing versatile makeup products that not only look fabulous but also stand up to the test of heat, humidity and a full day of top-up-free wear.
My hair products need to shield my coloured locks from dryness, frizz and colour change, while my skincare and makeup needs to protect my skin from the sun but without leaving me looking shiny. For our trip to South Africa, where we spent 15 days living out of our suitcases, I took no less than 30 products. I won’t go into each and every one of them here, but instead share the highlights, and why I chose to pack them. Each product, I believe offers incredible results and convenience when travelling – many are multi-taskers, and to match our luxurious trip, they are all from the higher end of my beauty product spectrum.
The Beachy Base
Yes I know, a makeup base on the beach can seem like a gross idea, but if you choose beautiful products that are tried and tested, from your favourite brands, then it shouldn’t be any different to your makeup routine back home. I am fairly OCD when it comes to protecting my face, so take a three-pronged approach to protection.
Starting with my moisturiser, I choose one that I know works well on my skin, providing nourishment, moisture and protection but also SPF. My current favourite, and one which I happen to have in a small pot is the Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Future moisturiser (SPF 30).It’s part of their incredibly advanced skincare system, and provides the skin with a protective protein barrier while also injecting a cocktail of ingredients to fight the first signs of ageing – so when used on days when you’re in the sun, I see it as a way of neutralising the sun’s ageing effects. On the mornings when I want to go to breakfast sans-makeup, it gives the skin a beautiful smooth effect too, with blemishes, pores and discolourations looking more perfected.
A lighter moisturiser, and one which I reach for on warmer days when I need a lightweight and fast-absorbing moisturiser is a new one in my collection – the Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid (SPF 30) from Aveda. The ingredients are mostly naturally derived and work to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier. The mineral-derived ingredients work to give a superior UVA and UBV protection and my skin feels fresh, clean and protected against not only the sun’s rays, but pollution too.
Lastly, I apply a tinted moisturiser that also benefits from additional SPF protection. I took no less than three on this trip, you know, just for variation! I can’t imagine using just one foundation for two weeks at home, so why do so on holiday?! First thing in the morning I applied the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream. A fabulous multi-tasking product, the almost-weightless cream gives the balancing and resistance building benefits of the Swiss Ice Crystal range, designed specifically for those who are just starting to think about adding anti-aging into their skincare routines, as well as adding a natural looking colour, similar to that of a tinted moisturiser, just enough so that you’re comfortable with your skin, but without adding a layer of foundation. It’s SPF 30 too, so your skin is even more protected from sun damage.
Two that offer slightly more coverage and an SPF of 20, are Guerlain’s Terracotta foundation which you’ve heard me talking about a lot recently – I fell in love with this while in Costa Rica, for the gorgeous sun kissed glow that it immediately gave my skin (thanks to the shade that’s one shade deeper than my skin tone) and the long lasting coverage that gave me perfected skin all day while on the beach.
To add a little variety, I also spent a morning discovering new lighter bases in the Debenhams beauty hall, eventually discovering a launch from Urban Decay that sounded absolutely perfect. Their new One & Done tinted moisturiser. The light cream is part skincare and part makeup, it feels weightless but it’s packed with vitamins, peptides and moisturisers that improve the tone and texture of your skin. The lighter coverage is perfect for beachy days, it even contains light diffusing spheres to help blur out any imperfections!
Lipsticks, Lipsticks, Lipsticks
As with foundations, I really don’t hold back when it comes to taking lipsticks with me on holiday! The selection always tends to be whatever lipsticks I am loving at that time, as well as choosing a few balms and moisturising lipsticks to wear on the beach.
For everyday wear I choose a tinted lip balm to give my lips some moisture on the beach. I have been a fan of the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfectors for a long while now. They are so teeny tiny that I always have one in my handbag and travel bad, the balm is long lasting, and their colour selection is beautiful too – ranging from barely there pinks, to a more browny nude shade. I adore them! Newer balmy lipsticks in my collection include YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick – it’s an oil based formula which is hugely moisturising, without compromising on colour payoff. I have a bright fuchsia pink (shade 49) which adds a gorgeous pop of colour to my beach beauty look! Similarly the new Clinique Pop Lip Colour is incredibly comfortable to wear and moisturising – it’s similar to the YSL Rouge Volute in that the colour payoff is gorgeous, I opted for an incredibly wearable bright pink which looks fabulous with a tan!
A final new favourite within my ‘moisturising lipsticks’ collection is Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire lipstick, which I have in a delicate pink, almost nude shade. This one I apply when I want to have a soft touch of colour and moisturisation, but without looking too made up. It’s a gorgeous one that feels beautifully soft and moisturising on the lips, and it even has a delicate scent to match the La Petite Robe Noire fragrance too!
For the evening I love a more matte shade. I took my favourites from Tom Ford and Burberry with me, both of which I wear all the time back at home. Tom Ford’s First Time is a beautiful classic pink, incredibly elegant and wearable shade, and I wore this most evenings along with a lip liner for a beautiful ‘made up’ look. Burberry’s Full Kisses in Nude was a favourite for evenings when I wanted a beautiful soft and luminous colour, combining beautiful shades with long lasting moisture too. They are quickly becoming a favourite for comfortable day to evening wear!
On The Eyes
Without meaning to, it seems as though it’s within the Eye category that I reduce my numbers on holiday. Perhaps it’s because it’s the area that I am the least experimental. I know that bronze and nude tones are what I reach for at home, and so old select one palette and a few extras to take with me. Equally, with mascara, I know what works. There’s no need to fill up my bag with loads of options, when just two will work perfectly throughout the whole trip.
I chose my Too Faced Natural Eyes palette, as it isn’t too big, and yet contains little powders of the types of shades that I reach for on a regular basis. I choose a matte nude for a daytime look, while there are plenty of shimmering shades for a deeper smokey evening eye. My Zoeva brushes are the perfect application tools, and I took one for shading and one for blending – it makes me wonder why I need to have quite so many at home!!
A new launch from Clarins, their Ombre Waterproof Eye Creams were the only other options that I took. Usually not a cream shadow fan, I really just took them to put them to the test! However, within just a couple of days of the trip, I found myself reaching for them even when their water-resisting powers weren’t required, the bronze shimmering shades look beautiful for a sunset glowing makeup look, and the fact that they stay put for an entire day on the beach makes them a new firm holiday beauty essential.
For mascara I take a well tried and tested waterproof mascara – the Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara. I’ve definitely put this mascara to the test on previous trips, scuba diving, photo-shoots in waterfalls, and banana boat rides, and this stuff doesn’t budge. I wear it whenever a trip to the beach is on the daily agenda.
For the other days, I took a small sample of Benefit’s Roller Lash. I adore this mascara as it’s easy to create beautiful long and lifted lashes, and I often don’t feel the need to wear liner when I wear it. I don’t like applying too much makeup even in the evenings on holiday, so this mascara with a stroke of bronze shadow is all I need.
Finally, I took the Clarins Double Fix Mascara top coat with me too – ideal if you have a mascara favourite and don’t want to switch to a waterproof one for your beach trips. I wore this over the Benefit Roller lash for a few beach days, and my makeup remained in tact after a splash in the sea. Another winner from Clarins!
I absolutely love using highlighter on holiday, and for this trip, that strobe of luminosity didn’t stop at my cheekbones! As well as falling truly in love with Estee Lauder’s new highlight, blush and contour palette, I also used their Bronze Goddess Shimmering Body Oil Spray for adding a glow to my arms, neck and décolletage – the scent of it is simply beautiful and the delicate warm glow that it applies to my skin is absolutely gorgeous. I wore every evening and for sunset cocktails, allowing the light to bounce off the shimmering particles.
For a more intense highlight on the cheekbones, I applied another new addition from Debenhams – the Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter. What I loved about this was the blend ability – I could apply a subtle sheen for afternoon beach strolls, and they layer up for a more intense highlight in the evening. The shade is warm and gives a healthy glow, and the soft creamy texture makes it absolutely wonderful to apply.
For my legs, I tested out the new ThisWorks Perfect Legs Sculpt and Shine. This was a fun one to play with – as you can be quite selective with where you apply it. I chose to use it in strokes to accentuate my thigh and calf muscles, giving the illusion of more toned limbs!
Accentuating the Tan
As well as highlight, the best way to accentuate a holiday tan is to boost it with bronzer. I took my favourite Guerlain 4 Seasons bronzer, a tried and tested favourite which I use at home to give the illusion of a sun kissed glow, as well as a new launch from NARS.
Fans of the Laguna Bronzer will be excited to discover that the brand has released a liquid version, and I truly didn’t expect to love this as much as I do. I experimented with this in the evenings, using it to contour and bronze, as well as mixing into my foundations as my natural tan developed, ensuring that the shade match was as bronze as my skin.
I also popped a Clarins Glow Booster into my case – this was perfect for those first few days of holiday when I wanted tanned limbs ready for the first days on the beach. I added a few drops of this to my daily body lotion to give a tanned glow to my limbs, but without the need of packing a specific fake tan. As my natural tan developed, I added less drops, meaning that my transition from faux glow, to authentic tan was perfectly seamless.
Hair & Body
Holiday hair care is something that I select carefully when packing for a trip. The shampoo and conditioner needs to be intensely moisturising to combat the dryness from sea, sand and salty air, and a leave in conditioning spray is an absolute essential if I stand any chance of combing through my locks after a shower! L’Oreal’s Mythic Oil range is perfect for this – I took the shampoo and intense conditioning mask to ensure my hair was full of moisture, while Pureology’s Colour Fanatic is an absolute essential for conditioning and detangling my hair.
Last but not least, there are a few products which I pack on every trip, including the Avon Skin So Soft Oil – I adore it for it’s insect repelling properties but without that horrid smell that most repellants have, as well as products by HealGel to help my skin recover from sun exposure. While I don’t usually need After Sun, as I am very careful at protecting my skin from burn, HealGel’s body gel is perfect for cooling and nourishing my skin after a day in the sun. A mini of their intensive Gel is always handy too, any areas of redness can be treated with this, and I also find it works perfectly on any stings too.
While I usually use the hotel’s shower gel, this trip I decided to take a couple of favourites, including L’Occitane’s Pivoine Sublime – this 2 in 1 exfoliator has the most beautiful fragrance and is perfect for keeping skin smooth and exfoliated but without having to scrub away your tan. Equally as luxurious is Ritual’s Foaming Shower Gel, and I had a mini of their Yogi Flow foam – this acts as a fabulous cleanser for the body, as well as a great alternative for shaving gel!
Being on holiday for some may mean taking a break from your beauty routine, and that’s absolutely fine too! In fact I have a couple of trips coming up where I plan to hugely strip this back, but if you love your luxurious while you’re away then these are the pieces that I love and would recommend to all. Each of these beauties make worthy travel companions, and will be coming with me on many trips to come!
What are your favourite little luxuries to take on holiday?