Beauty review: TLL’s guide to this summer’s top holiday essentials
With literally thousands of products on the market, there is no shortage of choice. So here at TheLondonLuxe we’ve been trialling a selection of this year’s hottest products; from skincare and SPF, to the best hair products to take you from beach to bar, here’s our guide to what you should be packing this summer….
Going on holiday is always a great excuse to try out new product ranges in miniature versions and nurture’s protect mini collection proved just why. Packed neatly in a clear plastic make-up pouch – ideal for getting through airport security – the collection (£14.95) includes: protect day cream SPF15 20ml tube, protect night cream 20ml tube, protect moisture boosting serum 20ml tube protect eye cream 6ml tube, 3-in-1 cleansing wipes 15 wipes. Basically everything you need to keep your skin glowing and moisturised while you’re away. I’d not come across this natural skincare range before but the products worked well on my normal skin, whether used after sun exposure or as a base under make-up. The products are hypoallergenic and free from fragrance, colours and artificial preservatives, making them perfect for sensitive skin. nuture protect is exclusively available direct by mail order, through a freephone line 0800 072 9510 or via the website: www.nurtureskincare.co.uk
Another skincare find was Tara Walker’s Dream range. Consisting of six products, including serums, day and night creams, the range of products come in handy capsules that can easily be slotted into the fullest of vanity cases. The products are said to include ingredients which are sourced from all over the globe, such as passion fruit, watermelon, kiwi and apricot seed oils. I didn’t care for the herbally fragrance of the range, but Tara Walker’s Dream range gets full marks for its nifty packaging and efficacy. Click here for more information on the range.
Next up is the gimmicky, yet handy Duwop Flight Stick, costing £19.20. The scented hydrating stick is ideal for long haul flights where air conditioning can play havoc with the skin. Applied regularly to prevent the skin from drying out. the DuWop stick also contains a hint of tint to even-out and perfect your complexion. DuWop’s Flight Stick is available online at www.simplebeauty.co.uk or at www.lookfantastic.com – a great site for stocking up on your holiday essentials.
While working for one of the world’s largest beauty companies, the best skincare advice I ever received was to slap on an SPF every day and to stay out of the sun. So this year I tried La Roche Posay’s Anthelios XL Face Fluid Tinted SPF 50+, and I was impressed, very impressed. The watery fluid blends easily into the skin and can be used in place of your daily tinted moisturiser or foundation. The product is waterproof making it ideal for trips to the beach or pool, while the subtle colour helps to even-out skin tone. What’s more the colour adapts to different skin tones, meaning that it works just as well at the start and end of a week or two in the sun. The product is available in major pharmacists and larger Boots and is another of our holiday essentials.
A trick I learned in my travelling days was to replace heavy and liable to burst shower gels with a simple bar of soap and none is more ideal than Scottish Fine Soap’s Soap in a Tin collection. Moisturising and easily transportable in its prettily designed soap tin, I tried the green tea version, which at just £4.95 is a must-have product for holidaying. Scottish Fine Soaps are available online and from Topshop and John Lewis.
For sun protection which doesn’t prevent you getting a tan, then look no further than Piz Buin’s Tan & Protect Tan Accelerating Oil Spray, the first SPF oil range that includes Melitane, which is a technology that accelerates the natural tanning process, while still providing effective SPF sun protection. Available in SPF 6, 15 and 30, the product helps you to achieve a beautiful, bronzed colour, safely and quickly. It’s easy to apply and fast-absorbing and unlike some other oil products, it leaves the skin smooth and glossy without ruining clothes or beachwear with grease. The product is by far the most effective product I’ve ever used and I’ll definitely be buying this again. The product is available from Boots and other leading retailers.
Staying with Piz Buin, another great find for 2012 is the Piz Buin Self Tanning Lotion + Colour Dial. The fake tan contains a colour dial which lets you lighten or deepen your colour until you’ve reached your desired shade, making this a great choice for covering up pale legs pre-holiday and for extending your tan on return. Like most fake tans, it doesn’t smell great so I’d suggest applying this before bed and leaving it to develop over night, but for ease of application, blendability and colour selection, this product is in a class of its own. The product costs £18.49 and is available from Boots and other leading retailers.
I’ve already banged on about the importance of wearing a high SPF but sometimes sunburn is inevitable. For these occasions I’d recommend leaving at home your traditional after sun, which does little more than an average moisturising lotion, and switch to a cream designed to treat burns, like Nelsons Burns Cream. At just £4.85 for a 30g tube, this is a must-have holiday item, which works well to soothe red bits. Nelsons range of skincare products is available from Boots, Holland and Barrett, selected Lloyds pharmacies or online at www.nelsonshomeopathy.com
Blistered, flip-flop feet seem to be another holiday inevitable, so make sure you’ve packed some Compeed, which provides instant cushioning and pain relief for sore feet.
Finally, to avoid any hassle transporting your favourite perfume through airport security, then make sure you pack an atomiser. FLO’s £10 atomiser connects to any perfume bottle, making it quick and easy to fill, and is available in Boots and John Lewis.
Ideal for jam-packed suitcases, Diva’s range of lightweight, ceramic plated and multi-voltage hair stylers are great for travelling. Whether it’s beach waves or straightened hair you’re after, the range of four stylers caters for everyone. My favourite product is the Mini Wand (£29.99) which is ideal for creating loose waves. For a full list of products, visit www.sallyexpress.com
Alternatively, try Sleep In Rollers which don’t require any heat to add some oomph to your hair. The rollers come in a handy pink bag and since they flatten so that you can leave them in overnight, they’re also ideal for cramming into suitcases. The rollers work very well and can be used on dry hair but I’d probably avoid using them if you’re on a more romantic holiday, unless your other half is into the 1950s housewife look! The rollers cost £16.50 for 20 and are available from www.velcrosleeprollers.com
For an even easier fuss-free way to get tousled, beachy hair, try Phil Smith’s Life’s A Beach sea salt spray. Spray onto towel dried hair and leave to dry naturally, or blow dry with a diffuser for added bounce. Unlike other salt sprays, this product brushes out easily the next morning, leaving you with silky, soft hair. The product costs just £3.99 and is available from Sainsburys.
Sun, sea and chlorine can be very damaging to the hair and can leave it brittle and dry. Mark Hill’s new holiday line, launched in June 2012, offers a great antidote to these common problems. Particular favourites are Holiday Hair Sunshine Shampoo (£1.99 50ml) and Holiday Hair Sunset Smoother Aftersun Conditioner (£1.99 50ml) which contain a number of nourishing hair goodies which protect coloured-treated hair against UVA and UVB rays, meaning your colour will look as bright and glossy as it does at home. The range of travel sized products is available in Boots nationwide.
Another vanity case essential is Moroccan Oil’s Oil Treatment, for fine and lightly coloured hair. Beauty bloggers have gone crazy for the Moroccan Oil range which recently hit the UK, and I can quite see why. Infused with argan oil, Moroccan Oil’s Oil Treatment can be used on wet or towel dried hair, to nourish, style or tame frizz. A little goes a long way with this product which despite its rich, olive oil like texture, is absorbed easily by hair. I’ve used this product on the ends of my hair every day for the last month, and have noticed a real difference to the quality and strength of my ends. Handily, the product comes in a 25ml bottle, perfect for travelling. The product costs £12.85. For your nearest stockist, call 0800 310 1133.
For post-holiday conditioning Moroccan Oil’s Intense Hydrating Mask, does exactly what it says on the tin. The rich cream should be applied after shampooing and left to work for between 5 and 7 minutes before it is rinsed off. Used repeatedly, the mask improves the elasticity, texture and condition of dry and chemically altered hair, making it an excellent choice for beached-out, sun-drenched locks.
Although I’m a big fan of L’Oreal’s telescopic waterproof mascara for wearing beachside, this year I decided to give mascara a break, and instead decided to try L’Oreal Paris’ Super Liner Gel Intenza in black, for adding some subtle depth to my eyes on the beach. As previously reported, this product is one of my beauty favourites, but I’m pleased to report that its staying power when used in the pool and sea is equally impressive. The product is available in all major health stores and retails at £11.99.
Alternatively, I’d recommend heading down to www.perfecteyelashes.co.uk for a set of semi-permanent lash extensions, as recommended by Big Fashionista’s Kellie Hill. They’re not cheap at £80 for a full set, but semi permanent lashes generally last for around 3 weeks, meaning that you can leave the mascara at home.
I prefer to give my skin a bit of break when I’m on holiday, so don’t take many cosmetics with me. However, NYX’s Nude on Nude palette, is a great way to make sure you have an easily transportable range of eyeshadows and lippies on hand, should you decide you want to make a bit more of an effort. The palette contains 20 different eyeshadows and 10 lipsticks and glosses, and comes in a sturdy, plastic palette complete with lip and eyeshadow brushes. The eyeshadows are all neutral shades, so for a jazzy look, you’ll need to pack your other favourite products, but for a subtle natural-looking look, then this is a great palette. NYX Nude on Nude is available online and costs £25.
For freshening up on the beach, or for removing post-party eye make-up, then make sure to pack Kleenex’s facial cleansing wipes and eye make-up removal wipes (both £2.99 for 24 wipes). Unlike other similar products on the market, Kleenex’s wipes are more moist and incredibly effective at removing even the most stubborn waterproof make-up. Kleenex’s Shine Absorbing Sheets (£2.99 for 50 sheets) are also great for popping in your clutch bag for removing shine during sweaty evenings sipping cocktails beachside. The new range is available from all major beauty retailers.