The Suitcase Experiment

After what seemed like a glorious and fully deserved holiday I have been back in the motherland for two weeks and I am still suffering from a severe case of holiday blues. As a few of you know, every year the Annable family and close family friend Mandy embark on a two week Club Med holiday which always turns into what I continue to call for the rest of the year ‘the best two weeks of my life’ as it is usually fun filled, alcohol fueled, full of laughs and jokes and serious sunbathing. Better still, the majority of the clientele are French so I spend 14 days vous-vousing and s’il-tu-plaiting which makes me feel like my whole degree was worth while.

This year was the first year away where I could technically call myself a beauty blogger so I used it as an opportunity to find what truly are my holiday essential beauty products. This didn’t mean that I cut down on what lotions, potions, creams and bottles I pack, quite the opposite. The idea behind the experiment was pack as much as products that baggage allowance would permit and keep a log of what I used ‘frequently, often, sometimes and never’. I was so dedicated to the experiment that I actually had minimal clothing and became what Lizzie McGuire refers to as ‘an outfit repeater’.

So I am aware that I probably use a lot more products than most. Not everyone has the time every day to remove their make-up, polish their skin, tone their pores and moisturise their body, oil their legs, wash their hair in the shower, then dampen in the sea for the beach effect, whilst trying to actually commit to some form of sporting activities as well as the  seven hour sun bathing stint. Thus the products that I used ‘frequently’ may not be a complete necessity for every gal, however for those who are interested please see below.

Avène

I kept to my normal skin care routine using Liz Earle and all the Avène Cleanance range products however for the day I replaced my normal Hydrance Optimale moisturiser with the SPF version which came in factor 20. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. Unlike most sunscreens for face, it was light weight, non greasy and gave maximum protection. I applied morning and mid-afternoon and didn’t burn once. All in all, a total win.

Hawaiian Tropic

 

The first products I used every day are obvious… sun cream. An absolute must for protecting the skin from those UVA rays. I used 30 down to 15 throughout the holiday to make sure I was getting maximum protection whilst getting the tan I spend the rest of the year trying to maintain. This year I used Hawaiian Tropic’s Silk Hydration which has THE most DELIGHTFUL smell I have ever come across in a suncream. Rich coconutty and tropical aromas filled the air as I creamed up next to the pool, so much so that the sunbather next to me commented on the heavenly scent. Furthermore, the lotion has ’12 hours of hydrating ribbons’ which not only create delicious candy-like packaging but seriously moisturise the skin leaving it soft and supple. Unlike a lot of sun creams, the lotion is easily absorbed, feels silky and lightweight rather than thick and greasy.
In addition to the suncreams I tried out Hawaiian Tropic’s  Silk Hydration After Sun. I’m always skeptical about after sun because whilst they promise to be ‘soothing’ I find they don’t offer as much hydration as a usual moisturiser. That is until I came across Hawaiian Tropic with those oh so clever ’12 hour hydrating ribbons’. As well as soothing my post-tanned (I did not burn once HURRAH) it provided excellent hydration and smelt just as divine as its sun cream counter-part.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

A dark horse that trumped as a total surprise for ‘frequent use’. I’ve used this product from time to time at home when I fancied a little bit of luxurious TLC but I wouldn’t have ever said frequently. I thought the last thing I would have wanted in a hot, sweaty climate would be oil but it turns out my parched skin lapped up this nutritious mix of vitamin E and sweet almond oil. It gave a lovely dewy glow in the evenings, particularly on the legs.

Tangle Teezer

Before I went away I invested in what I would now call the best tenner I ever spent. Advised by Damien, the highlighting prince at The House of Rush, I bought a Tangle Teezer to get through my ALMOST nipple-length  locks. The disadvantage with trying to get my hair to this desired length is its incredible ability to knot up and tangle… queue the Tangle Teezer. This little beauty has moved permanently into my handbag and worked wonders at brushing the tangles out of my post wind-swept beach hair. Like magic, the tiny little bristles work through even the knottiest and matt hair (often the outcome of backcombing, Batiste and big nights out). Apply conditioner and brush through to achieve the silkiest, tangle-free, princess style locks.

To be honest the products I used frequently were the only products I used. Turns out I am low maintenance when on holiday… the sun clears up my complexion, I am make-upless in the day, my hair has genuine beach waves and lets face it everything looks better with a tan. The product I used often was Sudocreme which is a regular favourite of mine. I used this product less than I usually do at home, purely because for the first 10 days my facial skin was in tip top condition. However when a few blemishes struck and struggled to heal in the moist and exotic climate, like the good post drunk  girl I am I applied large patches to each blemish.

The products I never used were hair products, I simply didn’t need them. Being as vain as I am, I used to make sure I washed my hair post-pool at midday and then thoroughly rinse it in the sea and let it dry naturally. It was SO nice being such low maintenance and the overall effect was even better than all the lotions and potions I use back home. Flushed cheeks, a facial tan and real beach girl waves cut my evening getting ready time in half. I simply added a touch of bronzer to even me out, strokes of greys, bronzes and brown eye khols to accentuate my eyes, and finished with a slick of Chanel’s Le Voume De Mascara which truly is the business and a new personal favourite.

Unfortunately I don’t have a permanent year-round tan or a beach at my disposable to continue such an easy and low product ritual. In fact since I’ve been back I’ve been using and trying whatever I can get my hands to recreate that low-key, natural beauty look…next blog post to come 🙂

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5 thoughts on “The Suitcase Experiment

  1. This has just cheered me up no end on a wet and windy Sunday night on The Island. But you forgot to mention that the ‘ bronzer’ in question was mine, and by Versace!
    Fair swaps, as used your Nuxe on my legs too! Happy days ciao bella xx

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