Some people don’t take a lot of products when they go on holiday. I am not one of those people. I usually pack as if I am going away for a year and my holiday will be RUINED if I don’t take that luxury cuticle cream or chocolate scented face mask. HOWEVER, this year I decided not to go down this route and take the ‘only pack what you need’ approach.
Okay, so I tried to take this approach, and although I didn’t take as much as I usually do, I did take quite a lot. However, I took this opportunity to test out the products I packed and picked out my favourites. Obviously everyone is different, so this guide won’t be for everyone (I am a fair-skinned, frizzy hair Scottish lass, so fake tan and hair taming products are necessities for me) but I’m hoping it will be useful to some!
So, these are my top picks on what hair and beauty products I found to be essential on holiday…
- Garnier Ambre Solair Golden Protect, £7.50, Sainsbury’s
As I mentioned, I have peely-wally Celtic skin which hardly tans. Whenever I go abroad I always pack a high factor suncream, which I wear for the first few days or on easy-to-burn areas – face, ears, shoulders. I then start using a medium factor, usually 20. I found this Garnier Factor 20 Shimmering Lotion on offer in Sainsburys for around £3 (usually £7.50) which I thought was a bargain. I was sceptical about how ‘shimmering’ it was going to be, but as soon as I put it on I LOVED it. The non-greasy lotion glistens in the light without being glittery. It makes you look toned and lean and elongates the legs. It also had a really light, sweet smell which takes me straight back to the sun lounger whenever I smell it. The lotion claims to enhance natural tanning and is water-resistant which is a bonus. I would definitely recommend it and will be using this again.
- Madame LA LA Tan*, £36.00, www.madamelala.com
I was in a bit of a limbo as whether to put fake tan on for going on holiday or not, and in the end I decided to do it. It was the first time going on a beach holiday that I put tan on and I am so happy I did. It made me feel better about myself and was the first time EVER that I didn’t get burnt, because I didn’t feel the need to fry myself trying to get a tan.
I trialled this tan before going away to see how long it lasted, how natural it looked and what it faded like. I was ecstaaatic with the results. It glided on really easily and didn’t take long at all to develop. Once the guide colour is washed off I was left with a perfect golden glow, not too dark and not too light. I moisturised every day which I felt made it last so much longer and prevented my skin going all dry and making the tan patchy. I was really apprehensive about what the sea and sand would do to my tan but it didn’t do anything. The only thing I would say is I wasn’t in a pool, so I don’t know what effect chlorine would have on it. Overall, although this tan is quite pricey, it is definitely worth it. I put it on the day before I went away, and over 12 days, only topped it up once when I was over there. Big thumbs up from me!
- St Tropez Instant Tan, £10.00, Boots
Whenever I need a quick glow, this is my go-to instant tan. I took it on holiday to give me an extra boost of bronze for going out at night. This tan goes on really well and has good staying power. I always go for Medium/ Light, as I once tried Medium/Dark and was not impressed, colour was green and had to wash it off. However, this one gave a really nice healthy glow, and at £10 it’s a fab price.
If you haven’t heard of Korres, you can read my review of the Wild Rose Collection here. I love Korres, as their products are made almost entirely of natural ingredients. Their bodymilks are my favourite, they are mineral oil free which is the key to making fake tan last longer. Mineral oil, even though it sounds good, is really bad for tan and can make it go patchy. With its light, summery fruit scent, this Santorini Vine bodymilk smells amaaaazing and leaves the skin so soft. A definite holiday essential for me!
- Maybelline Dream Bronze BB, £6.99, Superdrug
I try not to use much make up on holiday, and only at night. Because this was SPF 25 I could use it throughout the day, giving me a nice glow and protecting my skin from the sun at the same time. I got the light/medium as I am quite light-skinned and it suited my skin perfectly. It looks dark when you squeeze it out at first, but once blended it leaves you with a dewy glow. It’s perfect on its own over moisturiser for a laid back look or over foundation for a glam night-time glow.
- Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Sculpting Kit, £3.99, Superdrug
If you are a frequent visitor to Cocktails & Fairytales then you may remember this brow kit from a previous review, if not you can read it here. This is one of my favourite beauty products and is a staple in my make-up bag. Even though I hardly wore make up, I occasionally filled my brows in a little. This wax/powder duo didn’t smudge once and had really long staying power. It’s so dinky as well so takes up hardly any space – perfect for taking on holiday!
- Revlon Bold Lacquer by Grow Luscious Mascara, £9.99, Superdrug.
Like most girls, I am always on the hunt for a new mascara. I discovered this one last year and have never looked back. The thick brush sweeps mascara all over lashes leaving no clumps behind. My lashes look long and thick and doesn’t smudge. I wouldn’t recommend the waterproof version though, I tried it and I was really, really disappointed in it. It stuck on like glue taking forever to come off and ended up losing eyelashes in the process. The normal one however, is an absolute gem, I love it!
- Lee Stafford Argan Oil Ultra Hydration Lotion, £10.99, Boots
As I have thick, curly hair, I can really struggle to maintain my locks on holiday. If I do nothing at all it just dries out and I’m left with a frizzy disaster. This Argan oil lotion was a lifesaver and kept my hair looking smooth and shiny. It can be used on either wet or dry hair so can be used at the beach or at the apartment. It has a handy pump which made it really easy to use.
- Tangle Teezer, £10.99, Boots
I LOVE my Tangle Teezer and wouldn’t DREAM of going on holiday without it! This wonder brush fights through knots and tugs with ease and causes no pain whatsoever. I have really thick hair and it glides through my bushy barnet effortlessly. Perfect for detangling hair after being in the sea and leaves it tangle-free. Definite holiday must-have!
- Aussie Mirace Moist Shampoo & Conditioner, £5.99 each, Superdrug.
This is without a doubt my favourite brand for shampoo and conditioner and I thought I would test it out and see how it held up under the strong Spanish sun and salty Mediterranean Sea. And, just as I thought, it passed with flying colours. The thick shampoo smells amazing, as does the conditioner, and lathers up with loads of soapy bubbles, while the conditioner leaves hair soft and silky. I usually wash my hair a LOT on holiday so instead of buying the wee mini travel size bottles I bought empty bottles and bought the full size shampoo and conditioner and filled them up. I would definitely recommend this shampoo/conditioner duo for either at home or away.
I hope this helps anyone going abroad and having trouble finding their summer toiletries! I would love to hear what your essentials are! Please comment with them below! 🙂 xx