DIY Holiday Prep

So we all like to go on holiday feeling as preened and gorgeous as possible.  This may include plucking, waxing, tinting, eyelash extensions, manicure, pedicure, gel nails, sunbeds, fake tan, spray tan, hair cut, hair extensions, highlights, low-lights, balayage, exfoliating, moisturising……….It can be a busy and time-consuming task getting ready for a holiday, that’s before you even start packing and let’s not even go into the cost.  Plus if you are like me and have a little one at home full-time or the children have already broken up from school then getting some ‘you time’ to get any of this essential beautifying done or finding time to get to a salon is like chasing that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  So this week I thought I’d share with you some of the best short cuts I’ve found this summer that you can do yourself when your little cherubs have gone to bed.

Let’s start with the waxing.  Now I’m not a big fan of waxing but I do occasionally use the Veet Wax Strips (for both face and body).  They are so easy to use and can be used on even sensitive skin.  They also can be great fun to use on your husband (my hubby actually let me wax his back before holiday this year and it was soooooooo satisfying – although he might not agree) but I do recommend following up with some aloe vera gel afterwards to prevent any redness, especially if using on the face.

So now we’ve de-fuzzed it’s time to scrub.  It’s always a good idea to have a good exfoliate before a holiday to scrub off that dead skin ready to get a nice fresh holiday tan.  My favourite body scrub is Floral Memento Body Scrub from & Other Stories.  It smells gorgeous and leaves skin feeling really soft and smooth.  There are actually 12 scents to choose from so don’t be put off if floral smells aren’t your thing.  A tub is £7 and I find it lasts quite a while depending how often you like to scrub.


Now to moisturise (essential if you are planning to apply a bit of fake tan later) and I love, love, love Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion by L’Occitane.  It’s a bit of a luxury at £21 a bottle but it’s worth every penny. It is really thick but soaks into skin really quickly leaving it feeling really soft and hydrated.  A little goes a long way and it has a really nice smell to it that is not too strong.  I like the pump bottle (although the lotion is so thick it can sometimes get stuck to the sides of the bottle so you have to give it a good shake now and then to loosen it) but it is also available in a tub which might be easier to use.


If you are a bit on the pale-side like me (understatement of the century) then fake tan is a pre-holiday essential, nobody wants to be the obvious Brit who has just arrived on resort looking like they’ve never seen the sun before.  I’ve tried so many fake tans over the years and struggled to find any that don’t look too streaky or too orange on me but I think I’ve found the best one yet.  It’s L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Elixir.  It’s more of a gradual tan which they recommend you apply on 3 consecutive days and lasts 2 weeks.  I generally don’t apply 3 days in a row as I prefer a more subtle colour but it does give a golden, natural looking glow.  It is a gel consistency so goes on really nicely and leaves no stickiness but I do recommend applying with a tanning mit to get a more even and streak free application.  I’m not sure that it lasts a full 2 weeks as I tend to apply once or twice a week but I’d be interested to hear how long any of you have found a full application (applied over the recommended 3 days) lasts.


That’s skin done so let’s move on to nails.  I usually have OPI Gels done by a lovely nail technician friend of mine that comes to me and allows extra time to allow for my little 1 year old to interrupt proceedings regularly.  They would definitely be my preferred choice for holiday nails as they usually last for at least 2 weeks and you don’t have to worry about nail breakages.  However, my friend was not only on holiday the week before I went away but she is also in the process of moving house (I’m so gutted) so without her around and no time to get to a salon I have been forced to do my own nails (shock horror).  I tried out Essie Gel Couture polishes which Essie claim can last for up to 12 days wear.  It is a colour polish and a top coat which is said to give you a gel-like finish without the need for a UV lamp.  As a busy mum of 3 with my nails constantly plunged into sinks and baths and exposed to wet wipes, sudo cream etc I would never expect such long wear but a weeks wear would be a triumph for self-applied polish.  Unfortunately I didn’t get quite a full week out of one application of this polish and did have to re-apply midway through my holiday. However, with the constant applying of sun cream to myself and 3 children and the chlorine of the swimming pools I can’t say I’m surprised.  Now I’m home I will persevere with this polish and keep you posted on how I get on with it at home.


In an ideal world I would love to have had the time for individual eyelash extensions but this year that was just a distant dream for me.  A cheaper and quicker alternative is to go to a salon and have your eyelashes tinted and curled.  However, this was still out of reach for me this year with my little ankle-biter in tow.  So for a DIY job at home I used this Colorsport 30 Day Mascara Eyelash & Eye Brow Dye Kit in dark brown.  I’ve used this quite often before and regularly tint my eye-brows at home.  It’s really quick and easy to use and much cheaper than going to a salon.


Finally on to hair.  Ok so I don’t recommend DIY haircuts, that would be a step too far.  And I don’t currently colour my hair so can’t share any wisdom on home dyes, but I do like to make sure my hair is in the best condition it can be before going away and I regularly use Charles Worthington Salon At Home Moisture Seal Leave-In Conditioner.  You only need a small amount applied to towel dried hair and once hair is blow-dried it is left feeling really soft and refreshed.  I also took this on holiday with me to treat my hair regularly to combat the drying and damaging effects of the sun and chlorine.


So there we have it.  Yes I have really missed my trips to the salon this summer getting pampered and preened and whittering away to some lovely therapist (a real grown-up to talk to) but I have still managed to get my glam on and go away feeling the best that I can be without the hours and expense of salons.  I’d love to hear about any DIY tips and tricks you have for us LWLTs (ladies with limited time – yes I just made that up but it should definitely be a thing!).  Happy holidays!

Kelly xxx

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