It’s been a bit quiet round these parts in the last few weeks as I’ve been on my holidays to Florida. It was a bit of a last minute decision – only booked a few months ago. After the events of the last six months, we felt we were owed a bit of a break, so we went to Disney World in Florida in search of some warmth, sunshine and happiness. Boy did we find it! The weather was stunning, never below 30 degrees. The theme parks were awesome – like nothing I’ve ever see before. And people just are really really happy there! It was a fabulous two weeks and we’ve come back refreshed and ready to move forwards.
Going on holiday is also an excuse to spend a bit of money on new American beauty products that we don’t have in the UK. I went armed with a list to Sephora, CVS, Target and Walgreens … more on those purchases in a few weeks when I’ve sorted through everything. I did take a fair few things with me though – beauty wise. I packed, repacked, wrote lists and packed again, the beauty things I thought I’d need – I did take quite a bit with me, but I did use everything I took apart from some makeup that I never touched. I thought it would be good to do a post about my holiday favourites – my most used items from the massive bag that I took with me: the heroes if you like. I do also have a post about holiday fails coming next too.
Institut Esthederm Adaptasun Sea and Tropics Extreme Sun £38.25 Feel Unique/Escentual- I’ve spoken about this product before. It is the only thing I take away on holiday for me to use as sunscreen/tanning. I have a bee in my bonnet about sunscreen as we have skin cancer in our family. I am always harping on about sun protection – in whatever form – and I HATE ‘once a day’ application sun products: they do not work. Ever. I know it’s a faff, but you have to apply sun protection multiple times a day. This product I put about about six times a day between 9am-6pm. The science behind it is a bit beyond me to be honest, but Google tells me that it helps the skin to protect itself against UV rays ‘contains UV in-Cellium Technology and has an Extreme Sun 3 Star rating which offers the ultimate UV protection for all skin types’. All I know is that I have never, ever been burnt using this product (I’ve used it in Thailand twice, Sri Lanka, on a Mediterranean cruise and now Florida – all with 30+degree heat and extreme sun) and I have a lovely golden tan – not an extreme tan as I am ghostly pale to start with, but for me, I’m tanned. I wouldn’t bother buying this for the UK as it is expensive and our sunny days are so hit and miss, but for a two week holiday this is my go-to product. It isn’t greasy, smells lovely, sinks in beautifully and doesn’t peel or roll when you reapply every few hours. I’ve very nearly finished this bottle and it has lasted me two weeks of six times a day applications. Thoroughly recommended.
M&S Beauty Sun Smart Australian Formulation SPF 50 £10.50 Marks and Spencer – This stuff is amazing. I took three bottles of SPF for Elsie/Steve (this one, Clarins and Bioderma) – all Factor 50, and this was the favourite. We’ve completely finished the bottle and would definitely re-purchase. M&S Sunscreen has won lots of awards for their formula and protection – all well deserved. Again, this was applied 6+ times a day all over her body apart from the face. Steve used it too. It smells lovely, sinks in well and doesn’t peel/roll on re-application. For £10.50, this is amazing value. Elsie didn’t get burnt at all, neither did Steve, and we were all in the extreme sun almost every day. In the water parks, we reapplied after swimming, but we were rarely in the shade and there was no redness or burning at all. The Clarins sunscreen was double the price, and it is good, but this is better for cheaper. Next time we go away on holiday, it’ll be M&S sunscreen for Elsie and Steve for definite.
Zelens Daily Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30 £55.00 Cult Beauty/Look Fantastic – Yes, £55.00. I know – you think I’m insane. Maybe I am, but all I know is that Steve, Els and I used this for the whole two weeks, on our faces and none of us got burnt at all. I almost always get a red, sun-burnt nose and forehead, but this time – nothing. This is the first time I’ve used this product and in all honesty, it was well worth the money. I’d definitely buy it again. It wasn’t greasy, sunk in well – it didn’t really smell of anything, and it didn’t give me acne/spots (which facial SPF always does). Zelens are something of an expert in SPF and I trust them to protect me and my family, and they did. The skin cancer that we have in our family is facial skin cancer – under the eyes and around the nose. I slapped this on all three of us and I’m confident we were protected. Again, about 6 applications a day for all three of us and there is a little left in the tube – so as far as I’m concerned, money well spent.
Nivea Sun Protect SPF30 Waterproof Lip Stick £1.79 Superdrug – I got this at the airport before we left and I’m glad I did. Again, all three of us used this and it worked a treat. I always get sun-burnt lips in hot countries, but not this time. My lips stayed soft and supple with no cracking or burning. It does apply with a slightly whitish cast, but that soon goes. It smells decent and sticks around for a while before needing another application – probably about 5 times a day we applied and we’ve hardly dented it, so it would last for ages. Excellent product for a fab price.
Original Sprout Miracle Detangler £12.24 Amazon – I have no idea where I got this from, I think it might have been Look Fantastic, but it is cheaper on Amazon now than anywhere else. I’m always skeptical when a brand uses the word ‘miracle’ but my god, it is totally justified with this product! Elsie’s hair, after wearing a hat for a week, swimming in the villa pool, going to bed with wet hair as she was so exhausted after long park days, water-park chlorine hair etc. etc. It was horrendous. I couldn’t get a wet brush through it. Then, I was by the pool at Legoland one day and remembered I’d put this in the bag. I sprayed it all over her hair (I’m not a fan of the scent, but I’ll forgive it!) and as if by magic, the brush went through. I couldn’t believe it. My mum was amazed too – it was just so easy. I covered her hair in the product, brushed it, combed it, plaited it and then washed it when we got back to the villa and even after washing, it was tangle free. Amazing stuff. I will not be without this now.
Tigi Bed Head Some Like It Hot Heat & Humidity Resistant Spray – This has been discontinued I think as I can’t find it anywhere but on eBay. I got this years ago, when we went to Thailand I think. I’ve used such a tiny amount of it that it is probably not worth buying unless you’re always jetting off somewhere – but it is good. I use a pump or two on the end third of my hair – just to banish the frizz. I also used it on Elsie’s hair too. I guess you could use it if you straighten your hair to protect it, but I only ever use it when I’m on holiday. I did keep the frizzy ends down and it smells divine!
La Roche Posay Serozinc £5.65 Feel Unique (£8.50 in Boots) – I took an absolute tonne of skincare to Florida – I wanted every possible issue covered and my skin usually goes bonkers in a different climate and I always get spots. Fortunately though, this time things were a lot calmer and I didn’t have any breakouts! This product I used all the time. I took it out every day as a refresher spray – the whole family used it – and I also used it in my AM/PM skincare routines. I used to use Evian sprays when it was hot and I was out and about, but they are quite drying, whereas this is actually good for the skin and can soothe irritation/redness from heat. It is so cooling and just what you need around your face and neck when it is 30+ degrees and you’ve been traipsing round a theme park for eight hours straight! Elsie loved it too. This was a brand new can that I got just before we left and I’ve used about half of it, so excellent value for money.
Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate SOS Serum £34.20 http://www.allbeauty.com – This is such a good product if you have redness, irritation, dehydration, sensitivity or other skincare issues. I used this on the plane after toning and before Hydraluron. It has a kind of oil texture, but when applied to the skin it sinks in beautifully and there is no oily residue left at all. It layers well with other products and smells lovely. I don’t use this day-to-day, but more as a treatment when needed. It is designed to be a repair serum that immediately calms skin and leaves it soft and smooth – which I completely agree with. I used this on both plane trips and about 5 times across the two weeks. I think this product had a lot to do with my skin staying in check.
Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask £23.00 Boots/Look Fantastic – I’ve had this tube of loveliness for ages but it was perfect for using on the plane. After doing my normal skincare routine, I kept layering this on my skin during the flight to retain moisture. Aeroplanes are just about the worst environment for skin – air con, other people’s germs, change in pressure etc. and I was determined that my skin was not going to have a freak out after a nine hour flight. This was the perfect product – and after applying it about once an hour during the flight, upon landing, my skin was plumped and soft- no dehydration or spots in sight. I also used this as my night time moisturiser every night. It smells divine – fruity and fresh. It does say to wipe off excess after letting it sink it, but I never do – I apply it generously, leave it about 45 minutes and then go to bed. Skin feels lovely in the morning.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser £8.50/90ml or £18/240ml Boots – I hadn’t really tried this very much before taking it away – I only took it as it was a little bottle, but I’m glad I did! I had a few cleanser fails (more info coming in the Holiday Fails post) and I ended up relying on this. I was a bit dubious as it has the feel of a foaming cleanser – which I don’t like – but there isn’t any SLS in it. What it turned out to be was a lovely, gentle, soothing cleanser – perfect for the morning and a second PM cleanse. It didn’t leave my skin dry or irritated. I didn’t use it for makeup/SPF removal, so I can’t comment on that, but I did really like it. It has a subtle scent that isn’t overpowering and I used it over my eyes without irritation. I was pleasantly surprised at this product and I can’t believe that I used it every day, sometimes twice a day and I’ve only used the tiniest amount – very good value for money.
The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter 200ml £14.00 TBS – This was a brand new tub when I left and I think I’ve used about half of it. I love coconut products and this scent just reminds me of sunshine, summer and warmth. I hate after sun products as they peel and roll of my skin, so after experiencing a complete after sun fail, I turned to this. I wasn’t sun burnt at all, but my skin was dry from the sun after having a shower, so I slathered this on every night on arms and legs. I also used this on Elsie and Steve used it too. It is a rich butter that I usually only used on newly shaved legs, but it worked perfectly on arms too. It sunk in well and the scent hung around for ages. An oldie but a goodie.
The Body Shop Coconut EDT £8.50 TBS – This was the only perfume I took with me. It is an old favourite and a staple in my summer fragrance collection. I love smelling like a coconut and this does the job. It’s cheap and affordable, smells delicious and I love it. It isn’t the most long lasting of fragrances, but I apply it all day long and because it is such good value, I don’t feel guilty for it! Again, this was a new bottle and I used about half during the two weeks. I’ve convinced my mum to buy one too as she kept complimenting me on it.
Clinique Sweet Pot Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm in Black Honey £15.00 Boots – I keep changing my mind about this product. I took it away with me as I wanted a lip scrub and I have to say, I used it a lot. The scrub was ‘scrubby’ enough to slough away dead skin but didn’t leave my lips sore. I did apply the lip balm, but not as much as the Burt’s Bees one. I think, in my opinion, the scrub is better than the balm. The scrub clearly does the job that it is meant to, but the balm is a bit meh. I have better lip balms and where they don’t give any colour, I feel like it is a bit of a waste of time. The scrub though is a definite favourite and I used it every other day on holiday, so a big hit with me.
Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm £3.99 Boots – This is my new favourite lip balm. Since I finished my Caudalie one a few months ago, I’ve been hunting for a new moisturising, non petroleum based, lip balm and I’ve tried about four I think. This one is without a doubt, the most moisturising of the lot. It is 100% natural and leaves lips feeling soft and moisturised. I used the Nivea Sun lip balm in the day on holiday, but every night I applied this and I didn’t have cracked lips once. I also applied this all flight long as my lips are the first thing to feel the damage from the AC on the plane. I bought another one of these in the USA as they were cheaper, but if you need some lip help, look no further!
Liz Earle Skin Tint in Bare 01 £22.25 Liz Earle/Boots/John Lewis – I took quite a few base products away with me, but in the end, this was all I used. It was just so easy and simple to apply with fingers and it gave me a bit of a glow without feeling or looking like I was wearing makeup. My makeup bag literally didn’t even get opened for the whole two weeks except for this and the NARS. I didn’t wear this every day either – water park days I didn’t wear anything. This was just perfect for evening meals out and on days where I wanted a bit of something on my face. It didn’t peel/roll when I reapplied the Zelens SPF either.
NARS Orgasm Illuminator £23.00 Feel Unique/ASOS – I love this product! This is the most gorgeous glowy product. I apply this before the Liz Earle Skin Tint and it just gives a warmth to my skin. I’m not tanned on my face at all but it just gives a little glow that makes me look healthy. It looks really dark on the swatch above, but as you can see, in the bottom right image, it blends out really well and gives a nice, subtle sheen to the skin. If you’re pale like me but desire a nice, bronzed, healthy glow, then this is for you. And a little goes a long way so it is such good value for money; the blob on my hand in the image above is a bit too much for my face, so only the tiniest amount is needed.
Wet Brush (not pictured) – Again, my love for the Wet Brush continues. I used it constantly throughout the holiday and it worked a treat on my hair and Elsie’s too. Combined with the Organic Sprout detangler, it is the dream combination! I still can’t see myself using any other hairbrush for many months/years to come.
Right, there we have it – my most used holiday products. I hope this was useful to you if you’re jetting off somewhere hot! Some of these products can obviously be used if you aren’t lucky enough to be going away and I’d thoroughly recommend all of them.
Thanks for reading … Holiday Fails are up next.