I am in the enviable position of being on holiday as I write this. A proper holiday. Palm trees are lolling to and fro lazily in the breeze overhead. The peculiar scent unique to beach holidays of coffee, croissants and sun cream is wafting through the air to occupy my grateful nose.
I won’t go into the horror of some of the burning skin on display around me, suffice to say ample reddened bodies are present and are reminding me to rub in some more suncream presently. After this. ‘Cause caring is sharing (particularly when it comes to skincare), and whether lucky enough to escape the UK for a sunny break or enjoying a breakthrough ray in England’s green and pleasant land, you need to defend your skin against the pernicious rays daily. And have a good book to hand if you’re going outside. And some sandals.
Oh, heck, I’ll just share a picture of some of the plum products I’ve packed to keep me happy. Happy, happy holidays:
1) Philip Kingsley Vented Grooming Hairbrush, £17 here. Not quite a masterful paddle brush, but sufficiently large to work through knotted, wind-swept hair and help to achieve a decent blow dry when in need of prettified hair for evenings out.
2) Ray-Ban sunglasses, £98 here. Ray-Bans work their way into all my travel bags. These ones are in favour at the moment as they cover the tops of my cheeks and therefore act as a second shield to a patch of skin that’s vulnerable to pigmentation (pigmentation, in case you hadn’t gathered, strikes fear into the very core of me).
3) La Paire Audrey sandals, £109 here. Never underestimate the importance of having some pretty, comfortable flats to hand. La Paire make the prettiest and most comfortable of them all. These have cushioned my feet when on long walks along the coastline and have kept my feet blister-free (JOY).
4) Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 Daily Defence Moisturizer, £39 here. Good enough for my skin-savvy mum to steal it out of my bag, prior to her requisition I put this moisturiser on in the morning and skipped off to breakfast happy in the knowledge my skin had had a drink and a dose of SPF in one.
5) The Violins of St. Jacques by Patrick Leigh Fermor, £6.56 here. A ditty of a book, this tale of the final days on an island doomed is evocative and displays many examples of the ‘outstanding descriptive powers’ John Betjeman revered Fermor for.
6) Sisley Sunleya Age Minimizing Global Suncare SPF 30, £158 here. How can I justify the cost of this suncream? I can’t, really. But if you’ve got £158 to spare, it could be worse spent considering sun damage is the number one contributor to unsightly skin. While protecting your skin from the negative effects of the sun, Sisley also provides ample moisture and antioxidant power in one whammy. I love them dearly for it.
7) Korres Almond Oil and Shea Butter Hand Cream, £9 here. Korres products are made for rendering parched skin supple once more. This hand cream is no exception. The fact that everything Korres smells dreamy is just an added bonus.
8) Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF 15, £21 here. Another one my mum tried to steal from my bag, this tint is exactly that – a tint. Not a foundation, not a new-fangled BB/CC, but a tinted veil that moisturises and provides a little SPF. And on holiday (or for those of you with excellent skin), that’s all you need.
9) Leonor Greyl L’Huile de Leonor Greyl Beautifying Oil, £27.54 here. The label on the bottle of this oil says it does it all and the award it recently won hints at its superiority over the many, many hair oils flooding the market. My experience of it is that it’s a good quality moisturising oil that ticks all the boxes. I’m drizzling this in my hair while in the sun in an attempt to redress the moisture lost during the winter months of styling my hair.
10) Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Nail Polish in Nectar, £11 here. Yes, I love peach colours. I love them as one born in their zenith, the 80s, ought. And you know what? I’m not one little bit ashamed. I am waving the flag for the renaissance of peach. Nothing is more flattering than a nice, peachy nail. And this peach is perfection.
11) Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 SPF4, £9.50 here. Granted, the SPF in this balm may be low but it is, crucially, there. Very important over here; my lips parch easily so allowing the sun to beat down on them without a filter is a big no no. And a modestly shiny lip always looks good, too.
12) S5 10ml mini serums in Replenish and Calm, £15 each here. Take a moment to appreciate these little vials of serum. Pretty, aren’t they? Now let me tell you the real reason you want these on your shelf: S5 are an organic cosmeceutical brand (a rare thing indeed) that make serums that strengthen and treat the skin without irritation. Calm is an anti-redness serum that I like to layer under the punch of moisture that is the Replenish serum.
13) Jurlique SPF 30+ (at jurlique.com). I put this on my chest, back and arms as they are prone to the sensitivity my face displays and most creams irritate them something chronic. This is where this sunscreen stands out – it provides a nice, high SPF, but isn’t greasy and doesn’t irritate skin. It also doesn’t leave a telltale white sheen.
14) Murad Pomphenol Sunguard Dietary Supplement, £47 here. Clinically proven to increase cellular resistance to sun damage, I’ve been popping one of these every morning to fortify my skin and strengthen it from within.
15) Katherine Daniels Sensitive Skin Trial Kit, £32.50 here. A kit comprising cleanser, toner and moisturiser that are all ultra-gentle and pamper skin. Though loathe to pick a favourite, if pushed, it’d be the cleanser for it’s slippy texture and the soft skin it leaves in its wake.
16) Liz Earle Botanical Aftersun Gel, £13.50 here. A staple on summer holidays because it smells amazing, seriously cools sunburnt skin and, at £13.50, makes up for the ludicrous price of my beloved Sisley face cream.
17) Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer, £29.63 here. Does your skin look perfectly uniform on holiday? I wish I could say the same. My skin likes to kick up a fuss at the slightest provocation. When inflamed the supposed wisdom that sun heals is tripe; sun on healing skin will usher along pigmentation (see above point on the terror the p word invokes). Put this concealer that contains non-chemical broad spectrum SPF 35 on to cover moderately angry skin and protect at once.
18) Nars Lip Pencils, £18 here. I have a selection of matte and velvet ones with me because: a) nothing makes the face come alive more quickly than lipstick, b) these pencils do the work of liner and lipstick bullet in one and c) the bold, highly-pigmented nature of these pencils makes for an awful lot of fun. This is not the last you’ll hear of them on ML.