As some of you may know, I've recently returned back from a very much needed break in the sun on the lovely island of Crete (if you follow me on Twitter you probably struggled to avoid my sunshine-related tweetings - apologies). As well as meeting some wonderful people (some of which I hope I'll stay in contact with), I've come home feeling much more refreshed, relaxed and altogether more positive. I guess you could say I'm enjoying that 'just got back off holiday' feeling and I'm making the most of having a natural tan for a change! Of course, being a beauty blogger, two thirds of my suitcase weight allowance was taken up with lotions, potions and cosmetics galore (okay, so i exaggerate slightly - but trust me now when I say that 'packing lightly' is not my forte...) I thought I'd pop a little 'holiday favourites' post together consisting of my most used hair and beauty products - I've narrowed it down to my top 8. Considering I took everything and the kitchen sink, this was easier said than done but if you're jetting away soon and are at a bit of a loss as to what to take, this might give you a few ideas. I haven't photographed everything separately because my camera was having an 'off day' (don't we all...), but I have written individual posts on the majority of things featured in this post anyway so I've linked those for you if you fancy a more in-depth read up! Without further rambling, let's get stuck in to this year's holiday favourites...
The Fuss-Free Base - Benefit 'Big Easy' in 'Beige | Review Post
I'll admit that when I first tried 'Big Easy' a few months ago, I wasn't instantly blown away. I liked it, and the review was still a rather positive one, but at that particular time I wasn't sure it suited my skin as well as it could. I did, however, make a note to try it again when on holiday as the cream to powder finish and added SPF seemed to tick all the boxes for the perfect lightweight holiday base. I wasn't wrong. This stuff is amazing! I'd simply apply a teeny bit over the top of my sun lotion on any areas that I felt needed a bit of help (yes, you might be lounging around a pool but a little cheat never hurt anybody did it?) and I was good to go. It was the perfect base when we hired a car and went sightseeing for a day as it blended seamlessly into my skin and I didn't feel caked - it just gave me a little bit of coverage whilst still allowing my natural skin to show through and breathe. I didn't really use it at night as I wanted to avoid 'ghost-face' (the SPF is quite high), but for day wear and for using on the airplane/travelling - it was a godsend and I will definitely be using this should I jet away again soon. It was amazing in the heat and humidity and didn't go patchy or orange - plus the fact that its so lightweight and sheer worked extremely well in the sun. OO and it's worth mentioning that I find it works best applied with fingers as it helps it to blend. Put the buffing brush away - this stuff really is as fuss-free as they come!
The Primer - Benefit Porefessional | Review Post
I alternate between this and my trusty Loreal Professional Resurfacing Primer but for hot climates and balmy nights - Benefit wins hands down! It's lightweight, silky and smooth and helps prepare your skin for foundation as well as helping it to stay on longer - even on humid evenings. It helps to smooth over any dry patches as it doesn't cling, and it also helps to minimise the appearance of pores (i can vouch for this as my pores go crazy when I'm in a sunnier climate!). I always pick up a travel size before I jet away - it's well worth looking for the miniature size if you fancy giving it a whirl.
The Eyeshadow Bases - Art Deco | Featured Here / & Mac 'Rubenesque' | Review Post
I received Art Deco's shadow base in one of my beauty boxes ages ago now and it's still one of my favourites! Although I love my Urban Decay primer potion, I find this one a little more hard-wearing if it's hot outside due to the thicker consistency. I also find that my eyeshadow appears much more pigmented and bright when I've used this beforehand. I threw caution to the wind this year and opted for a smokey eye on a couple of occasions and this was my ultimate must-have! You only need the tiniest bit and you're good to go. Another favourite was Mac's Paint Pot in 'Rubenesque' - its great because it doesn't crease, is super easy and quick to apply and can be used as a base for building up further colour or simply on its own - very versatile. The peachy-gold tone is also the perfect shade for summer tans!
The Eyebrow Tamer - Benefit 'Gimme Brow' | Review Post
Although I always fill in my brows if I'm going out of an evening, when I'm around the pool in the daytime I just cannot be bothered to faff around! If I wanted a little bit of definition, I simply filled them in ever so slightly with a cheapy pencil, quickly swept a bit of this through and I was set for the day. I love 'Gimme Brow' - I actually need to repurchase the darker shade when I get chance as I prefer how it looks on me but this came in so handy. If you have sparse eyebrows like me, you'll love this as it's so easy to apply and adds the perfect finishing touch. At the end of an entire day of sunbathing, my eyebrows were still pretty much perfectly in place and I owe it all to this little mascara.
The Summer Blush | Stargazer Blush in 'Shade 8' | Review Post
Ok. So this isn't exactly a summer 'saviour' but it would have been silly if I didn't include it because it's the only blush I've been using for the past 3 weeks and the only one I can see myself using for the foreseeable future (until my tan has completely gone...) This is my ultimate favourite blush for when I have a bit of sunkissed glow to my skin. It's not for the faint hearted as it's undeniably quite bright but it instantly brightens the complexion and looks amazing when worn subtly with a contour. Although it's super pigmented, it's so easy to blend and lasts very well on the skin.
The Lip Colour for All Occasions | Tanya Burr Gloss in 'Let's Travel the World' | Review Post
I managed to solve all of my 'which lipstick shall I wear with this outfit?!' issues whilst on holiday this year. I'll be honest and say I didn't use the majority of the other shades I bought simply because all I needed was this. The orangey-red sets off a tan perfectly as it brings out the warmer tones in your skin and the glossy finish adds dimension. The colour is perfect because it's not so opaque that it's difficult to wear but it's bright and pigmented enough to make a statement in the evening. I must say, it lasted incredibly well and even my mother was impressed when it was still going strong after a cocktail or three...
The Hair Saviour | Aussie '3 Minute Miracle'
As much as I love holiday hair (sun, sea and sand don't half help to boost the volume!), I hate how dry it feels after a few days of sunbathing. I used Mark Hill's Sun Protection Spray in the day to try and limit the damage but there's no getting away from the fact that any length of time in the sun is going to leave your hair rather parched - I could almost hear mine crying out for some moisture! I picked up 3 sachets of '3 Minute Miracle' in the airport just before I boarded the flight and my goodness, am I glad I did! I used them half-way through the holiday to restore some shine and quench my poor thirst-deprived ends. It's well worth picking up some deep-conditioning sachets before you jet away - they don't weigh much at all and are so easy to pack. I've picked up a few more so I can use the treatment again over the next few weeks.
If you're looking for products to keep your makeup in place, I'll also recommend Mac's MSF Natural (my holy grail powder) and Urban Decay's Setting Sprays - both of these were also holiday must-haves for me - I thought they were worth a mention even if I didn't include them in this post! (I should have done my 'Top 10' shouldn't I?!)
What have been your summer saviours this year?