Beauty: Stay ahead of the pack with holiday products
We're all guilty of over-packing and under-using holiday beauty products, says Sarah Caden, but help is at hand
Despite the best of intentions, most of us have a holiday-packing problem. In part, we could blame the Irish weather, which has conditioned us to be prepared for all eventualities, even when we know that our holiday destination has guaranteed sunshine every day. Airline weight restrictions have put some manners on us, but, still, so many of us return from holiday with unworn clothes and unused cosmetics and promises to pare things down next time. So, this time, we're here to help.
Obviously, bringing mini sizes of the toiletry essentials are a good idea. If you plan to bring your best-loved products, it's cheaper to decant them into empty travel-size bottles than it is to buy miniatures. But if you're feeling flighty, then travel sizes are a low-commitment way to try out new products.
We like a moisturising gradual tanner, too, to give an even glow while you sun worship sensibly. In terms of your make-up haul, keep it minimal. Mascara, eye liner, a lightweight base, bronzer, and a flash of colour for eyes or lips are all you need. So leave the full set of brushes and the cosmetic kitchen sink at home, and set off without the usual fear of the check-in weigh-in.
Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palette in Surf, €58, Brown Thomas, Arnotts, D1, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
There are two twists on this limited-edition eye-shadow palette, comprising eight shimmer colours in each. Sand is made up of gold to deep bronze colours, while Surf is a bit more fun. It has four gold-to-sand shades, as well as a bright blue and a green. Oh, so summery. "The texture is amazing, really velvety and glimmery," said one panellist. "The sandy colours are very sexy, while the sea-bright colours are great with a tan."
Best Even Glow
Chanel CC Cream in Beige, €50, Chanel counters nationwide
In case the CC thing passed you by while you were still getting to grips with their predecessors, the BB creams, then the difference is that the former has complexion-correcting properties, as well as light coverage, decent SPF and skin-care ingredients. This is one of the nicest CC creams we tried, with a tiny bit going a long way to create a dewy but even finish. The Beige shade works well on sun-kissed skin, smoothing out any patchy pigmentation. "This is mask-like on first application," said a panellist, "but it settles into a better-than-natural finish. I looked extra rested on hols."
Best Hair Helpers
Aveda Invati Shampoo and Conditioner, €10 and €9, Brown Thomas; Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; selected spas and salons nationwide
Aveda travel sizes are a winner, partly because the plastic bottles stand up to years of refilling and reusing. And the products are good, too. This summer, they launched travel sizes of this thickening shampoo and conditioner, which have proved a big hit with post-menopausal and post-illness panellists. "An excellent way to trial this product, which I found very effective on my fine, damaged hair," a panellist said.
Best Tan Top-Up
Guinot Lait Hydra Bronze, €31.75, from stockists nationwide, lo-call: (0818) 719-303
According to results of a recent survey, one-quarter of Irish people use some self-tan before they go to the beach. Our aversion to full-on faking and telltale tidemarks won't let us recommend that you go mahogany, but we're not averse to the use of a gradual tanner. A good one will take away the ghostly white and might also help you to avoid tan panic and the resulting sunburn, as the days tick off and you are the same colour as when you arrived. This is an excellent body moisturiser combined with a hint of glow. "I used this every second day on holiday," one panellist said. "It looked natural, but satisfyingly light bronze."
Best Colour Insurance
Color Wow Color Security Shampoo, €22, Space NK, Dundrum Town Centre, D16 and Grafton St, D2
This brand is brilliant with coloured hair - and hair suffers most while on holidays. Heat dries out the hair, which causes dullness, and chlorine in pools can alter blonde shades, in particular. This sulphate-free formulation is good news for highlights, as is the LCD technology, which promises to keep the cuticle smooth and bright. "I love this brand and my hair colour was less tarnished after a holiday when I used the shampoo," said one panellist.