I haven’t been on a proper beach holiday for three years now, so I’ve had to buy all my beach beauty products from scratch and as a real beauty junkie, I’ve probably gone overboard (pardon the pun) on what I’ve bought, is it all necessary? I think so and I’ll tell you why but first, a bit about where I’m going this Sunday. I’m going “back home” to Cyprus where my parents come from, my parents have been living in London since 1962, a long time now. Me and my brothers were born in London, do I consider Cyprus home? No, I don’t however there is an undeniable connection and I just loved my family holidays when I was younger and it’s something I wanted to carry on with my children who love it there, holidays to Cyprus will always be special for all of us. I always go to Paphos which is where my dad is from, I look forward to writing a special post about my holiday and my connections to the island when I return in September but first, what did I buy to combat the fierce Mediterranean heat and protect my skin?
First, sun care protection. There’s so many products out there and they’re so much more sophisticated now and competition is fierce, but I always stick to a favourite few brands. Most of the time it’s just a question of trying a few products and deciding which suit your skin, the texture and smell also count for a lot. For the children, ok, they’re not babies anymore but I would always use well known family friendly brands such as Nivea and Ambre Solaire, this time I chose Nivea factor 50 and 30 for my son and daughter moving down to factor 15 and 8. Hawaiian Tropic has been a favourite of mine since I was a child. My cousin and I use to lie on the beach all day using their factor zero Royal Tanning Blend and not burn at all, I still remember the bottle with its red sticker, I would be able to identity that bottle a mile away if it were still on sale but because of its zero protection, the product has been discontinued however their factor 2 sun oil is just the same as Royal Tanning Blend, that unmistakable scent evokes beautiful summer holiday nostalgia, it’s such an intoxicating smell, I always, buy a bottle. Hawaiian Tropic don’t just do low factor oil, their range is vast and is available in milk and cream formula and a rich creamy after sun balm, this is my product of choice for the final 5 days of my holiday when I just want to get a deep tan and of course, that evocative tropical coconut scent is to die for. Another brand that I always used to use was Bergasol which contained the oils of the bergamot plant, I can’t find this product anywhere now, I haven’t seen it in any chemist or Boots for years.
Ultrasun a new brand would be my product of choice along with French brand LaRoche-PosayAnthelios for high factor sun care, in hindsight, it’s what I should have bought for my son and daughter but the day I went toiletry shopping was a random dash and I just picked up what was on offer. This summer, my products are a mix and match of different brands and a few favourites I always return to. I sometimes choose products by the discounts that I can get, and I usually always buy on-line for that reason, I will link-up a few of these websites at the bottom of the post. Here’s what I’m using this summer.
FOR THE FACE
Elizabeth Arden, a well-respected company for skin care, I’ve chosen to use their EightHourCreamSunDefence which also comes in a stick form to use on specific areas which burn easily. An alternative brand I’ve used in the past is DecleorAromaSunExpert which comes in Factor 30 and 50 for the face and ClarinsSunCareSunWrinkleFactor 50 & 30.
For the delicate eye area, I am using UltrasunphysicalUVEyeProtection, you really can’t avoid using sun cream around the eyes, for wrinkle free skin, it’s a must and I’ve been using sunscreen for the eyes for many years. I am also using Ultrasun’slipprotectionstick which is in effect a lip balm with UV protection, sensible I think. You may think this ritual is time consuming but if you want blemish free skin and keep those sun wrinkles at bay, trust me, you won’t mind spending 2-3 minutes applying protection to face, eyes and lips.
After Sun Care For The Face
For my after-sun skincare routine and since I couldn’t find my favourite brand of night cream for sun weary skin which is Decleor Aroma Sun Expert After Sun Night Balm which I believe has been discontinued, I searched the internet for advice on after sun care for the face. I kept coming up with rosehip oil to use as a serum so after much research I settled on ROSEHIPPLUS an Australian company. This oil is certified organic cold pressed rosehip oil with omega 3,6 & 9, its benefits are vast and includes reducing and healing stretch marks and scars, maintain skin hydration and softness, improve the appearance of dry and sensitive skin, minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promote skin elasticity, repair sun damage from UV rays which cause photo ageing thus combating sun damage – this is good enough for me. You apply 3-4 drops in the palm of your hands to warm the oil and apply to slightly damp skin.
I’ve also decided to try ElizabethArden skincare as I am using their Ceramides ampoules for my morning serum so to continue my night time routine, I am using EAFlawlessbeautypoweredbyceramidenighcream. For my morning routine, I am using ElizabethArdenAdvancedCeramideCapsulesDailyYouthrestoringserum which will help repair sun damage, over this I will be using their CeramideFlawlessFutureMoistureCream
Also for my face, I’ve bought UltrasunOvernightSummerSkinRecoverymask which I’ll use every other night. I’ve used this before, it tends to be a bit drying in the sense that it isn’t creamy in texture but merely a hit of hyaluronic acid and brown algae which delivers long lasting slow releasing hydration, you apply generously about half hour before bed to allow the mask to absorb. I’m the sort of person that will try anything just as long as the reviews are good and the products deliver targeted benefits. When I’ve been on a beach all day and I’ve come back to the hotel and I’ve had my shower and cleansed my face, just as I would use an after sun for my body, I use one for my face and this time, I’ve bought a relatively unheard of Italian Brand called CollistarAnti-WrinkleAftersunfaceTreatment and Japanese brand ShiseidoIntensiveAftersunRecoveryCream which I will share with my daughter. Can I also stress the importance investing in a hydrating face mist, many skin care companies have their own, my favourites have been Givenchy and Clinique (part of their Moisture Surge range) but I’ve opted to stay loyal to Elizabeth Arden with their EightHourMiracleHydratingMist.
FOR THE BODY
I’ve gone back to some trusted favourites in sunscreen. The French brand Nuxe and the difficult-to-get-hold-of Biotherm which I had to get on line are products I’ve been using for years. Biotherm used to be readily available in Debenhams and I just don’t know why it isn’t as popular anymore. In hindsight, I should have bought it from Paris as I’m there 2-3 times a year. Nuxe is available on-line and there are always very good offers on whether it’s 15-25% off and a selection of decent sized freebies. In Nuxe, I’ve chosen DeliciousLotionHighProtection30 for the first few days of my holiday when I want high protection, and then there’s that unmistakable beach scent of theirs which they’ve made into a perfume. For factor 15, I’ve bought BiothermSunscreenFluideSolaireWetorDry15, it’s melting sun fluid which can be used on wet or dry skin, it’s a new formulation which I really hope continues to have that lovely citrus scent which is why I always loved Bergasol range of sun products. Of course, as I’ve mentioned above, for the last 5-7 days of the holiday, it’s HawaiianTropic all the way and I have Factor 8 which my daughter wants to use because of that gorgeous tropical scent and factor 2 Sun Oil Intense, there can never ever be a holiday without Hawaiian Tropic, for me it’s a must.
After Sun Care For The Body
I’m going to be using Bronze Goddess body crème and shimmering oil just before I get dressed, more on Bronze Goddess later, but straight after a shower, one must use intense hydration in the form of a repairing after sun. For the first few days when skin is parched and possibly sun burnt, I’ve chosen to use a Greek brand called Korres which you’ve probably heard of. Their CoolingAfterSunFaceandBodyYoghurt is a product that kept cropping up when I was researching products for sun burnt skin so I’ve bought some of that for the whole family as well as an Nivea after sun for the boys because let’s face it, they’re not into using products but I insist that they use an after sun, I remember how I used to run after them after a shower which I will probably have to do again with the Korres after sun. Also for sunburn, I always buy Aloe Vera gel which you can get from Boots or any chemist. Next for my daughter and I, I have bought Nuxe Refreshing After-Sun Lotion as it smells so gorgeous, she’ll love using that and I’ve also bought her the Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Butter because she is also in love with that tropical scent. I’m also going to use my favourite BiothermOligothermalSparkleCreamIntenseMoisturiser as an after sun, it’s something I’ve been using for a long time and I love it, it has tiny sparkly particles which adds a hint of shimmer. Just a note, why so many after suns, well I use it in the morning after a shower too!!
Perhaps I’ve been a bit extravagant in the many after sun products that I’ve bought but I just don’t want to risk running out of products and I don’t want to buy any on holiday as in Cyprus, everything is just so heavily overpriced. Lancaster is a brand I always use, they’ve been established for 70 years now, they’re just such an iconic brand ever since I can remember so this time, I’ve bought their IntenseNourishingAfterSunMoisturiser because it’s so rich and hydrating and thinking ahead when I come home, their AfterSunTanMaximiser, a repairing soothing moisturiser which has a tan boosting effect prolonging the tan and we all want to keep our tan for as long as possible, I won’t be taking this with me as I intend to use it when I return home.
HAIR, SHOWER & PRE-HOLIDAY PREP
Before you go on holiday, always prep your skin in the two weeks before you go away. By that, I mean exfoliate 2-3 times a week to get rid of dead cells which will help bring about an even tan, there’s a vast range of body scrubs out there, one that I am taking on holiday is StTropezrep&MaintainTanEnhancingPolish, yes you must also exfoliate when you are on holiday! There’s a misconception that exfoliating is scrubbing your tan away, it’s utter rubbish, it promotes a gorgeous even tan so please do it at least twice a week when you’re on holiday. I always use a tan promoting product a couple of weeks before I go away and that’s usually ElemisTanaccelarator it’s a rich cream which smells of sun cream which I use after my shower for at least 10 days. I use to use DecleorAromessenceSolaireTanActivatorSerum for the body but because they have a separate one for the face, I just found it a bit expensive to use a separate product for the face and body but it’s a luxurious French brand and I love French beauty products. In its defence though, you can use both serums under your sun creams to boost their effectiveness. After my shower on holiday, I use NuxeAfterSunHairandBodyShampoo but just as a shower gel, Nuxe sent me a complimentary full-size shower gel as part of my order (I did say they are very generous in their offers), so I have two to use for myself and my daughter. There are many really good hair products to use for sun-dry hair to get rid of chlorine and sand such as Redken and Kerastase but I’ve chosen to use a brand my salon uses on my hair and that’s WellaSystemProfessionalAfterSunShampooandconditioner, for my daughter, I’ve bought her MatrixBiolageSunExpertshampooandrepairconditioner, the conditioner is a small tub which I don’t think will last her two weeks, she has such long thick her so I’ve bought her TigiBedHeadTotallyBeachinMellowAfterSunConditioner. For a hair protective spray while on the beach, I have NuxeMoisteningProtectiveMilkyOilforhair because hair needs protecting just as the face and body does.
ESTEE LAUDER BRONZE GODDESS
We all know and love the company Estee Lauder, I did a separate beauty post on why it’s my go-to for affordable skincare and for years, their iconic brand, Bronze Goddess has been something I’ve looked forward to buying every spring, it’s the ultimate in luxury beach beauty. I’m sure the range is available all year round, but they always add a few new special edition products. Sadly, for me, I lost out in buying their Bronzing Face Gelee unless I can find it when I’m out shopping on Friday, this is a beautiful product to add a bit of colour to the face as part of your evening make-up routine and it’ll enhance your tan with a gorgeous glow. I believe Clinique, Lancaster and Guerlain (their iconic Terracotta range) have similar products so I’ll check those out, I may be lucky and find the Estee Lauder product.
A few things I’ve been super lucky to buy in their Bronze Goddess range is SummerWavesSeaSaltSprayforHair which is lightly scented with that mesmerising Bronze Goddess scent which one whiff off, sends me to a faraway beach paradise, it just screams “summer holiday”, it’s a gorgeous smell. This product is used on the hair after washing and will emulate that sexy tousled look that only seems to happen after a day spent at the beach. I’ve also bought something else that’s new in the range, CoolingBodySpray which does what it says, a cooling refreshing spray to spritz at the beach and of course, that smell. You just go on a summer holiday and not buy some BronzeGoddessShimmeringBodyOil and the BronzeGoddessEauFraicheSkinScent which now comes in a stronger perfume concentration. It’s such a hypnotic beachy, exotic fragrance, you’ll want to wear it again and again and layering it with BronzeGoddessWhippedBodyButter is the ultimate in holiday luxury. Using these gorgeous products together enveloping your body in that seductive Bronze Goddess scent is essential for any holiday in my opinion. The shimmering body oil adds a sexy sun-kissed glow and sparkle which you can use just before putting on your clothes. You might ask, if you’re using after sun after your shower, when and how can you use more cream on your body? Well it’s simple, if you’ve had a shower 1-2 hours prior to going out, use your after sun to soothe sun drenched skin, relax in your nightgown or sleeveless all-in-one as I do because it’s so hot in Cyprus, then literally 5 minutes before you get dressed for your night out, slather on some of this rich hydrating cream which IS the scent of summer and then spray a bit of shimmering oil over the top. It’s the ultimate summer beauty routine and if you’re a beauty junkie like me, there is simply nothing better than Bronze Goddess, finally a spritz of their Eau Fraiche and you really don’t need to bring any other perfume with you. Before I forget, this summer, they’ve brought out a lip glow called BronzeGoddessBloomingLipBalm which is great to use for a hint of colour, it warms to the natural PH of your lips and is perfect for the beach.
PERFUME AND MAKE-UP
Apart from the seductive evocative Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche which is my go-to scent, I only ever usually wear my ultimate favourite holiday perfume and that’s CreedVirginIslandWater, a luxurious French perfume house of which I also have Aventus for Women and my husband uses Aventus for Men as his very special “going out fragrance” Virgin Island Water is a hypnotising scent of the tropics…a sense of being on a deserted beach somewhere in the Caribbean which includes tiara flower, coconut, ylang ylang and lime. Whenever I use that, my kids always say how much it reminds them of holidays.
With regard to make-up and effortless beach beauty, the idea is to keep it simple with a hint of bright colour whether it’s lipstick or eyeliner and mascara and I tend to use a light bronzer to add a healthy glow especially in the first few days of a holiday such as the Bronze Goddess Face Gelee, fingers crossed I manage to find it this week. I also use a gel blush in a strong colour as it needs to be vibrant to show over a tan, it adds a flush of cheek colour. For my eyes, I use a bright blue eye liner, last year Dior did a fabulously vivid blue as did Chanel and then I use a bright mascara on my lashes. For my holiday mascara, I always rely on Yves Saint Laurent, they never fail to surprise in the selection of bright colours on offer every summer. This time I’ve bought Volume Effet Faux Cils in Fascinating Violet no 4, a lovely purple to use with my purple eyeliner which really brings out the green in my eyes and for a real pop of colour, their VinylCoutureMascarainImtheTroubleno5 which is the brightest blue to use with my blue Dior eyeliner. I can’t not tell you about the best eyeshadow and eyeliner I bought a couple of years ago, it’s probably the most effective eye make-up I’ve ever bought for the summer and it’s by Dolce & Gabanna which they appropriately named the Portofino range, I say appropriately because I was going to Portofino that September, it the most stunning vivid turquoise in a soft creamy formula and it has a matching eye liner. You really must be brave to wear this without a tan and I did however I am so excited to be using this on my holiday, it’s a bright pop of colour that will really show off my tan. As far as lip colours go, it always must be bright, and I have many lovey lip colours to take from Tom Ford to Dolce & Gabanna to Dior.
I’m no style or fashion blogger by any stretch of the imagination but a company I discovered recently which offers affordable but more importantly, super stylish and sexy swimwear for the curvier lady is SimplyBe. I absolutely adore their leopardbeachcoverup and onepiece and also the curvestuddedswimsuit which is so sexy and comes with a gorgeous Grecian-style gold lined coverup. They can be accessed by clicking on this link.
That’s pretty much it, well it’s a lot of beach beauty products I know but I hope I’ve inspired you to choose some of these for your summer holiday and they’ll probably become your favourite products too. Where ever you’re going on your summer holidays, enjoy and I look forward to telling you all about mine soon.
Love Helen XxX
http://www.selfridges.com (for Creed, skincare & make-up)
https://www.escentual.com (For La Roche-Posay Anthelios plus many other skincare brands)