Whether you check a bag or choose hand luggage only, here are the winners we never leave behind.
It’s finally that time of year again. Sunshine and a deliberately worded OOO message are only a few days/weeks away. It’s vacation time, people!
If, like us, you’re stretching your travel muscles after two years of pandemic chaos, there’s a slightly frenetic feeling that accompanies packing for said holiday. Where before you might have thrown a few things in a bag and trusted that it’ll all work out, it now feels prudent to pack it all – just in case.
An approach that’ll probably land you on the wrong side of an airline steward or heavy baggage alert, we thought it would be helpful to share the hair, skincare and make-up gems the Stylist beauty team never leaves at home.
Morgan Fargo, senior beauty writer
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30
Well, we have to start with sunscreen, don’t we? On holiday (and every day), I’m the friend asking if you’re wearing SPF – not fun but someone has to do it. This truly invisible face sunscreen (white cast, who?) has been my go-to for over a year now. It glides onto the skin easily with zero residue, gently blurring skin texture and pores with a velvet-like finish. Technically an SPF make-up primer, complexion products sit beautifully on top, too.
Refy Body Glow
The newest product from influencer Jess Hunt’s brand Refy, Body Glow sailed straight into my list of holiday must-pack items.
A larger, body-based version of the iconic Refy Gloss Highlighter, the formula is non-sticky and sumptuous, able to be used on the areas of the body that you’d like a little more glow. For me, that’s my decolletage, shoulders, collarbones, tips of my ears and cheekbones and bridge of my nose.
Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
As a chronic over-packer, it takes every part of me not to shove the entirety of my bathroom cabinet into my suitcase. So, in lieu of packing shampoo and conditioner, I focus on hard-working hair masks and oils that’ll make up for the salty sea water, sun exposure and humidity. This Olaplex mask has accompanied me on every holiday since it launched.
A 10-minute hair mask, it’s quick enough to be popped in post-beach, pre-dinner and restores, conditions, softens, detangles and adds shine to the hair. When there’s room in my allocated hand luggage liquid bag, I like to use the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil as a leave-in treatment, too.
Cultured Resilience Facial Oil
There’s nothing for my sensitive skin like this microbiome and skin barrier-sustaining face oil by British brand Cultured Biomecare. At the beginning of the day, it softens and protects my skin, the fermented and activated oils helping to firm and plump. At the end of the day, it helps to nourish and soothe the environmental stress of sun exposure, sweat, sea water and chlorine.
Bioderma Atodern Intensive Baume
When it comes to skincare – face or body – I prefer simplicity. Simple, consistent use of products that are more substance than style. That’s not to say that science-lead products can’t be aesthetic – of course they can – more that I gravitate towards efficacious formulas with visible results.
This intensive body cream by French skincare brand Bioderma has made the skin on my body feel firmer, more full of moisture and much smoother.
Philosophy Pure Grace
The evening shower on holiday, the one where you wash all the sweat and sand out of your hair and off of your body, is a sacred time. You leave it feeling refreshed, clean and ready for the fun of the evening. If that feeling could be bottled, it would be this perfume.
The scent of truly clean skin, Pure Grace by Philosophy smells like the essence of soap and water – light, fresh and airy with hints of lavender and floral notes. At under £30, it’s been a staple in my bathroom for over 13 years.
Billie Bhatia, fashion and beauty features director
Lancaster Sun Tan Maximiser After Sun Lotion
The first thing that goes in my suitcase for a hot holiday (and sometimes even just a warm one) is Lancaster Sun Tan Maximiser Sun Lotion. This product has been more constant in my life than most relationships and I swear by it as the best after-sun to moisturise skin, lock in tan and give the most golden glow. Plus, it smells absolutely heavenly. Apply generously post-sun exposure and watch as the compliments for glistening, sun-kissed skin roll in.
Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF50+ Luminising Serum
I really struggled to find a lightweight but hardworking SPF that didn’t turn my skin chalky, but I’ve found my sun saviour in Ultra Violette’s Queen Screen SPF50+ Luminising Serum. A sunscreen (with serious coverage) disguised in a serum that hydrates, nourishes and glows all while allowing my skin to breathe is the summer ticket.
Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream
While I prefer a full coverage base in normal life, on holiday I’ll take any opportunity to soak up the sun (and show off a tan). I swap out a foundation for Chanel’s iconic Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, which now comes in deeper shades, and sweep broad strokes across my cheeks and forehead for a light but effective holiday make-up look. Finish off with lashings of mascara and a dabble of highlight for an easy evening look.
111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask
As soon as I step on a plane, my skin is zapped of any and all moisture. I’m convinced it could actually flake off it gets so dry. As extra as it might seem to apply a face mask on a short-haul flight, if your skin is anything like mine, it will thank you for the essential boost and leave you feeling refreshed on landing. 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening facial treatment mask is a cult product and for good reason. Aside from having actual 24kt gold on your face, the smart mask illuminates skin, calms any stresses, and feeds your face with much-needed nourishment.
Dr Barbara Sturm Lip Balm
I have previously neglected lip care on holiday and after hours on the beach with salty water and even saltier air, I have paid the price via cracked and sore lips. This is why you’ll always find Dr Barbara Sturm’s lip balm in my hand luggage. As a barrier and replenisher in equal measure, apply on flights, before bed, religiously during beach and pool days, and even on cheekbones to provide a little bit of holiday glow.
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