Summertime and the living is easy… Says who? If you are one of those rare women who is beach-ready and perfectly groomed all year round, requiring little more than a spritz of Clarins Eau Dynamisante before jetting off on holiday then  don’t bother reading this article. If not, you’ve come to the right place…

In spite of having taken an afternoon off to get ready ahead of my holiday last year, I found myself running, newly pedicured, in flip-flops, through a torrential downpour as I hurried to my next appointment on the other side of town. After hair and waxing appointments, I didn’t have any time left. My unpainted nails and ungroomed brows joined me on the plane the next day with my hurriedly packed luggage and equally bedraggled family. 

Half the fun of any holiday is getting ready so, in the spirit of investigative journalism, and as I’m a bit of a beauty nerd, this year, instead of being envious of the VS models of the world I’m getting my act together to ensure my 2018 holiday sees me smooth skinned, hair free and parading a sun-kissed shimmer even before I step foot onto the plane. 


Book yourself in for a trim at least two weeks before you go. This way, any new style will have time to settle and you will get used to looking at it. Don’t have highlights touched up just before you go away. The sun will lighten your colour anyway and chlorine from the swimming pool could leave you with a distinctly green tinge! 

Invest in a good moisturising shampoo or a leave-in conditioner.L’Oreal Professional Solar After Sun Repair Shampoo (£5.45) or Aveda Elixir (£8.50) are my favourites. If all else fails, get a hat – there are so many cute options from ASOS, Accessorize and M&S you’re bound to find something to protect your barnet! 


Exfoliate:  After a season of warm clothes and wintry weather this is a must. Body brushing is an excellent way of getting rid of dead skin cells and also helps boost the lymphatic system and circulation, which brightens the skin and helps shift stubborn cellulite. Body brushes are widely available but I rate the Body Shop version (£9).  

Body Brush, £9; The Body Shop

Moisturise:Use a good moisturizer like E45 24-hour Skin Confidence (£6.39) everyday, to keep your skin soft and moisturised long before you go away. 

Wax:The least glamorous and most painful part of anyone’s beauty prep should be saved for at least three days before you go and if you’re planning a spray tan, it’s important to save that for afterwards. Do not set foot in the tanning salon until at least 24 hours after your wax as the pores will still be open. Don’t forget that freshly-waxed skin tans more evenly too. 

BPerfect Cosmetics 10 Second Tan Spray 200ml, £19.99; Gordons Chemists

Tan:Your final step before suitcase wrestling time is to tan (if that is your bag). I always get a spray tan before a holiday – I need that boost of feel-good as I jet off to switch off – but that’s just me. And don’t be bullied into choosing a darker tan that “will last better”, opt for the lighter tan and gradually build up. Vita Liberata Fabulous and Body Blur, Rimmel Sunshimmer, Dove Summer Revived… these are my beauty constants but this year I’ve discovered a revolutionary new option. The homegrown BPerfect Cosmetics 10 second tan spray! For me, if I’m faking it, the one that develops overnight is the one that lasts although you are at risk of stained sheets and streaks if not applied evenly. The other option is the instant wash-on wash-off tan which is pointless, faffy and often dodgy in a downpour. The 10 second tan gives you the best of both worlds applied by a luxurious velvet mitt which dries quickly, leaving your skin with a flawless finish and a mild scent of coconut oil, not biscuits! It’s available from Gordon’s Chemists at £19.99 or direct from the website 


Do you remember the time when eyebrows were nothing more than an irritation? Two annoying strips of facial hair to be plucked, threaded, waxed and generally kept under control? Over the past few years, women have been waking up to the fact that good brows can actually transform your face. I’m not talking about the Scouse Brow – the much-maligned strong eyebrow seen on  Desperate Scousewives 

Elizabeth Hurley

Fluffy, HD or microbladed; eyebrow grooming is a boom business simply because a good brow can knock years off your appearance if you get it right. Liz Hurley is celebrity proof. If you’re a first timer, I would recommend getting them shaped professionally which should set you back around £10. Visit ShavataBrow Studios at House of Fraser in Victoria Square or speak to Judith Mulgrew at Skin Medi Spa on Belfast’s Lisburn Road.

The day before… 

Triple check you’ve packed everything and don’t forget to put liquids over 100ml in your checked baggage. Be sure to drink lots of water and get a good night’s sleep before you fly and spoil yourself by downloading a new album from iTunes to listen to on the plane.  

Do Not Disturb Floppy Straw Hat by Lily and Bean, £99; Not On The High Street.

On the subject of technology, yes, it has transformed family life over the years. We can stay in touch over great distances, play games with relatives in different continents, co-ordinate our diaries, research homework and of course watch movies and TV when we want to. But maybe this year you could use your holiday as an excuse to turn off, shut down and log out. Don’t be a slave to your smartphone. Work will get by without you, social media will continue to exist without your likes and Love Island will be available on Catch-Up. 

The bottom line is, ask yourself how you want to remember your holiday? When you look back on this year’s holiday memories, will you see them through a screen or through your own eyes? It’s up to you. 


Happy Holidays! 

Heather Black

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