No, I didn’t disappear off the face of the Earth!
I’m back after a lovely week in Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava in Spain. Do you ever feel when you come back from holiday that you have spent the time you were away in some sort of parallel universe and have then been thrust suddenly back into normality?
I will share some more holiday snaps with you soon but first I’m gonna talk about something we all need to remember to take on holiday: toiletries. Holiday toiletries is something that I think divides quite a few people: some people pop into Boots or Superdrug, will pick up a few trial sizes then go; but some will take their whole bathroom cabinet and more.
I went from being the former to the latter.
In the past year I have invested a lot more time and money into makeup, skincare and haircare. This is obviously what has caused me to start this little hobby blog, but perhaps unlucky for me this has also transferred itself over to my holiday packing this year.
So now I’m gonna go through some of the things I took for my week long holiday this year, and let you know what I needed, and what I definitely didn’t (some aren’t pictured). I’m actually going to include a few other bits and bobs in this list that I found particularly useful as well as toiletries.
The Full Rundown
Aussie Beach Mate Shampoo | Aussie Beach Mate 3 Minute Miracle | Aussie 3 Miracle Oil | Sure Invisible Deodorant | Boots Soltan Once Kids Water Play SPF50 | Boots Zingy Zest Lemon Shower Gel | Garnier Micellar Water | Ladival Sun Protection SPF15 | Parlour by Jeff Chastain Shampoo | Benefit Dream Screen SPF45 | The Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil | De Bruyère Monoï After Sun | Paula’s Choice Ultra-Light Daily Mattifying Fluid | Origins GinZing Eye Cream | Vasanti Brighten Up | Wet Ones | Swiss Smile Whitening Toothpaste| Hydrocortisone Cream | Garnier Ultralift Day Cream | Garner Ultralift Night Cream | Ibuprofen | Combination Case Locks | Euro Travel Adaptor | Wilkinson Sword Razors | Blistex Lip Brilliance SPF15 | Carmex | Lacura Cotton Wool Pads | Cotton Wool Buds | Plasters | Primark Hair Bobbles | Kids Paracetamol Sachets | Tampax Compak Pearl Tampons | Primark Watermelon Bag
These were definite necessary buys for my holiday. I knew I was going to buy full size products as I think trial sizes are one of those things that only last a couple of days, or are maybe okay for a week if you have short hair and only wash your hair every other day.
My hair is extremely dry and damaged, and I knew I would be in sunshine, sea water and pool water which would exacerbate it completely. The Beach Mate products are apparently the same formula as the Miracle Moist ones, which I have used several times in the past and smell divine. These were definitely a good choice, and they kept my hair really, really moisturised under such weathered conditions. A must have for holidays from now on.
This is probably my new favourite product. I started using hair serums and oils around the same time as my husband Ell. He has really curly hair with a slight afro texture to it and used to get it relaxed, but once he cut it and started wearing it naturally he had to start using serums to keep his curls in place, and I found some of the stuff he used helped my damaged, over-dyed hair too. We have used quite a few products, but we have both fallen in love with this.
As with all Aussie products, it smells fantastic and is made with 3 different types of oil to help keep hair nourished. I use it on wet hair after washing and I can honestly say it’s amazing, especially after being in a pool and sunshine all day. Perfect.
No explanation necessary. Deodorant is a necessity in heat, and a roll on is not only kinder to the environment, but saves you the space an aerosol takes up.
This was bought not just on behalf of my daughter, but for myself too. My skin literally burns in heat about 22 degrees C + without an SPF of 50. I’m very pale and Scottish, and the closest I get to a tan is a pale pink that blends into my freckles. This sunscreen was a good choice as you get prolonged water protection and sun protection. I didn’t have to apply it as much as others I have used in the past, and it works. It is a little sticky, but I can live with that for the protection it provides.
A cheap alternative to Natural Source, and a good one. Lemon scents are always fresher smelling and feeling, which is particularly good after being covered in sunscreen and sand and water all day.
Still my go-to cleanser and makeup remover.
Along with the Aussie oil, this has been my favourite summer product. My skin is very dry anyway, so I knew it would be worse on holiday, but this was my saviour.
I applied a few drops to my face and to my décolletage as soon as I got out the shower when my skin was still soft and warm, and it made the biggest difference to my skin. I will definitely be buying this in full size as soon as my trial runs out.
De Bruyère Monoï After Sun
I spoke about this product when I received it, but disappointingly I still can’t access the site where I should be able to buy this :[
I’m still raving about this, even more so now that I’ve used it properly. It smells amazing, and made my skin super soft after being in the sun all day. I love it and would buy it again, if I could.
Eye creams are one of those things that take a while to see the results of, but this one is feeling great so far, and I do think it is working after a fair bit of travelling this past week. Stay tuned.
Handbag must-have. Should have bought two packs.
Still smiling using this toothpaste from Swiss Smile. It works fantastically but as stated before, it’s way too expensive so I won’t be buying it again. Still, it was good to have with me when I needed to take a lot of pics on holiday.
This might be a bit of a weird one to chuck in there, but the best thing I did on this holiday was create a little makeup bag of essentials for my handbag, which included hydrocortisone, lipbalm, plasters, medicine, cotton buds and bobbles. Hydrocortisone might not be something you think to take, but it’s great for bug bites, and also good for if your skin gets dry or sensitive after being in chlorine or salt water.
Just good sense. You never know what could happen on holiday and what you might need, and I did end up having a couple of headaches after so much sun, so was glad to have these with me.
These locks cost me only £1 from Poundland! They were great little locks for putting on our cases and just made me feel a little safer. They’re probably not as safe as metal locks but they did their job.
Another Poundland super buy. I saw adaptors in the airport being sold for up to £10 so felt really good for being able to get them so cheap elsewhere. Essential for charging your phones and if you need heated hair tools.
Obviously if you don’t shave these won’t be a necessary for you, but I always pop a razor in my bag on holiday for keeping my leg hair and bikini line in place.
This is my favourite lipbalm. My only problem with original Carmex is that it doesn’t have SPF, which I definitely recommend on holiday, but the lipbalm I took with SPF didn’t work very well on me, so this worked in keeping my lips moisturised, but maybe not protected.
Putting all of these in one because they are all just great products for popping in your hand luggage and remembering to take (except the kids’ paracetamol if you don’t have kids!). They’re all functional products which you may not necessarily use, but you’d miss them if you didn’t have them with you.
Primark Watermelon Bag
I got this as a last minute from Primark and it was actually just a bag for life, but I used it as my handbag all holiday. I don’t have a beachbag because I couldn’t find one I like, and didn’t want to use a handbag in case it got ruined with beach towels and sunscreens and whatnot, so I was glad to have something I could just shove stuff in and looked cute and holiday-y.
This was a GlossyBox product which I was excited to receive. It’s non-sticky, non-smelly, non-working. Boo. This was one for my husband to try because the SPF was way too low for me, and he switched to ours half way through the week.
I did say to you all that I would take this to try it out, but unfortunately I didn’t even end up trying this because my Beach Mate products were just working so well. I promise I will be using this soon, but just didn’t end up being necessary on this trip.
I had such high hopes for this product, I really did… but it obviously wasn’t for me. The good: applies beautifully. Is completely non-sticky and doesn’t feel like an SPF at all. The bad: even though it’s an SPF of 45, it’s clearly not enough for me as I still got burnt.
This just doesn’t seem to work at all. At all. It’s really, really runny and doesn’t seem to do anything.
Don’t get it twisted, I still love this product, but I just couldn’t use it on holiday. My face is already sensitive, but it got more sensitive in the sun and it meant that I couldn’t use this even as a gentle exfoliant. I’m happy to be able to use it again now I’m back :]
These are my favourite day and night creams, but they just ended up not being useful to me because my facial oil was soooo hydrating and worked so well that I used that a few times a day in lieu of moisturiser. I wouldn’t recommend doing that all the time, but it just felt right for my skin on holiday.
I just don’t like this stuff. I don’t feel like it’s very moisturising, and the colour and shimmer that’s in it actually feels a bit grating on my lips.
I’m happy that I took so many products on holiday and I think I chose mostly the right stuff. Sensible options like medications and creams are particularly helpful on a family holiday and when you’re a Mum, and despite overpacking on my toiletries I was still way under my case limit!
As with all my posts, all opinions are my own and you need to work out what’s right for you and your skin. And if you’re off on holiday this summer: have an amazing time and enjoy shopping and packing – weirdly, one of my favourite bits!