Holiday beauty: the Stylist team on the best products for trips abroad

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From an indulgent body to an SPF that wards off insect bites, here’s the beauty products we associate with holiday bliss.

From purchasing a new lipstick for a fancy dinner to a last-minute Boots dash in the airport to stock up on SPF, there’s so many pockets of joy that beauty products can bring to a holiday.

Even better, any time you use that beauty product, it’ll forever remind you of a blissful memory. 

As the travel industry slowly kickstarts and holidays begin to seem like more of a reality, we run through the beauty products that remind us of happier times abroad.

  • Hanna Ibraheem, senior beauty writer


    “Navigating our first year as a long distance couple, my partner and I were thrilled when we reached September 2019. It kicked off the beginning of four consecutive months of seeing each other, thanks to a holiday, family wedding, 30th birthday celebrations and Christmas.

    “The stretch of plans kicked off with a trip to Dubai and even though we’d both been before, there was so much excitement around this trip. Every time we got back to our room at the end of a day lazing on the beach, I used Dizziak’s Hydration Wash, £20, and Deep Conditioner, £22, to wash the salty sea water and gritty sand out of my hair.

    “Along with the buzz of getting ready for evening dinner plans, the relaxing floral and peppery scent would fill the shower and the formula left my hair feeling so soft and smooth. Now, any time I use it, the smell instantly transports me back to those post-beach evenings and it brings me so much joy.”

    Dizziak Hydration Wash, £20, and Deep Conditioner, £22

  • Kayleigh Dray, digital editor-at-large


    “It doesn’t matter where I’m flying, I always end up buying the same four things at the airport before I go on holiday: a new book for the plane, a bottle of water, an obnoxiously big bag of sweets, and a pot of Benefit’s Dandelion blusher, £27.

    “The first time I bought the latter was just after uni, when I was jetting off to Spain’s Benicàssim festival, and I’ve not looked back since. Why? Because it is the perfect rosy shade, and lets you build up colour as you go, meaning it always works, no matter how tanned (or not tanned, if I’m being honest) I find myself getting. 

    “And, if I ever use it on soggy UK shores, just the sweet smell of it is enough to send me whirling back to the tropical beaches of my past.”

    Benefit Dandelion Brightening Finishing Powder, £27

  • Shannon Peter, beauty director


    “I’m really lazy when it comes to body moisturising, apart from when I’m on holiday. There’s just something so delightful about rounding off a day in the sun with a warm shower followed by a slathering of body oil.

    “Just the smell of Votary’s Hydrating Body Oil, £65, takes me right back to Antigua, where I visited last summer. It’s super rich and swirling with nourishing plant and fruit oils: just what you need to replenish the moisture the sun takes out.”

    Votary Hydrating Body Oil, £65

  • Hollie Richardson, digital writer


    “After some seriously sore holidays as a teenager, I accepted that I burn easily. So I’m there with the thick, pasty factor 50 (always Nivea), sitting in the shade and hiding under a hat and light scarf – read: I NEVER tan.

    “So I always have Garnier’s Summer Body Gradual Tan Moisturiser, £9.99, with me at home AND on holiday so that at least I can give myself a bit of a glow and fake it a bit when I go out for dinner with my beautifully bronzed friends. I believe it’s called ‘sun-kissed’.

    “The smell is not the nicest – quite a cheap, biscuity aroma mixed with apricot – but it just makes me think of holidays. I’ve used it since I was a teen so it has nostalgic value and I can’t imagine swapping it with another product. Fake it; don’t bake it.”

    Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan Moisturiser, £9.99

  • Megan Murray, senior digital writer


    “I’ve always loved stocking up on holiday minis to go away with. There’s something exciting about treating myself to a few new products before a trip, and I love that because they’re small enough to fit in my hand luggage they’re perfect for holiday. 

    MAC’s Little False Lashes Mascara, £12, is my favourite. Although it’s smaller in size, the brush is still really voluminous and if anything, it means I can do my bottom lashes easier and pop in my handbag for when daytime fun turns to nighttime adventures.”

    MAC Cosmetics Little False Lashes Mascara, £12

  • Victoria Sanusi, acting digital commissioning editor


    “This product reminds me of my first holiday with my boyfriend in Portugal. So many things were going wrong and I was constantly being bitten by insects. For some reason, insects love my skin, and the bites I get from their love are truly painful! I remember my dad gasping when he saw a huge gnat bite on my leg once.

    “A few years ago, I discovered Soltan’s Protect & Repel, £6.50, which is an insect repent but also a sunscreen lotion. So you don’t have to pack both and when I went on holiday again, it really, really worked. I was so shocked.

    “As holidays are on hold because of lockdown, I’ve been wearing the lotion during my walks as the weather is getting hotter and I live in the countryside. Every time I apply the lotion before my walk, it reminds me of my holiday in Portugal and how much it would have come in handy.”

    Soltan Protect & Repel SPF50+ Sun Cream, £6.50

  • Jazmin Kopotsha, deputy digital editor


    “This Soap and Glory Sugar Scrub, £8, reminds me of a holiday I took to Barbados with my mum and my brother when I was about 19.

    “It was glorious, but one of my most vivid memories from that trip is stealing handfuls of this scrub from my mum and being complimented by a boy I met on how silky soft my skin was when he touched me on the shoulder.

    “Romance! Made my holiday.”

    Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub, £8

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