When you go on a holiday, make sure your looks don’t. Holiday time is not a license to over-tan, over-eat and let your hair and skin dry out. So toss the important beauty essentials into your bag and head off with the thought of a fabulous new you emerging in two or three weeks’ time. A holiday can be full of beauty bounties.

Best bets

The most valuable item you can tote along in your beauty bag is an all-purpose cream. What it must do is save your face from drying out, then save your body from sunburn. You should be able to knead it into dry cuticles and around the hard skin on heels. In an emergency it must be able to double as a moisturizer.

Nivea Creme is rich enough to penetrate the worst of sunburnt skin, but is also non-greasy, so that makes it perfect for hands, too. You can carry the purse-size flat pack to the beach, at home dip into the 125g pot, or choose from the foamy aerosol or milk. Other all-purpose creams are Johnson’s Baby Lotion, which acts as a cleanser too, or Vaseline’s Intensive Care.

The best bet with makeup is an all-purpose pencil. The right color can act as a lip crayon and cheek color; then, if red-brown suits you, as an eye color, too. Ultima II’s color pencils come in shades for eyes, lips, and cheeks. A new product available in selected boutiques and at beauty counters is Stendhal double-ended eye pencils.

Essentials

The best authority on holiday essentials is a travel editor. They spend their time packing and unpacking between exotic places and it’s true that practice makes perfect.

One travel editor offers this list of essentials: hand mirror, brush, and comb, base makeup, eye pencils, lip pencils, mascara, polish remover, emery boards, orange stick, clear varnish, hand lotion. Razor, tissues, shower cap and deodorant, bath gel and pumice stone.

Add a shampoo and conditioner and conditioning treatment, and if you are going to be in the sun, a sun screener and a body lotion. Don’t forget a toothbrush, toothpaste, breath freshener, and a first-aid kit. Lastly, a mini sewing kit, scissors, and tweezers.

Disposables

Disposable goods are often smaller and lighter than their permanent counterparts. Take razors, for instance. The BIC disposable throw-away razors can be used three or four times. There are no blades to carry around so your razor is safer.

Ella Bache’s Looky Eye Pads are a super herbal eye mask that rests on the eyes for ten minutes and pep up tired eyes. Use them two or three times then toss them out.

Smooth legs go hand in hand with smooth summer skin. One way to remove the hair is by waxing, a method that lasts from four to six weeks and which results in finer hair re-growth. But forget pots of hot wax.

Hair Off, a pack of wax strips that look like giant pieces of sticky tape, whips the hair off in seconds. Cut the strips to the shape you want, wax the skin, pull the strips off and throw them out. The neat pack of ten strips will last about six months.

Sensible buys

Small investments before a holiday can result in big savings. First buy three tiny plastic bottles and transfer cleanser, toner and moisturizer to them. No breakages, no wastage. Any leftovers can be kept for weekend jaunts.

A tiny atomizer of your favorite scent (try to get it duty-free if you are jetting overseas) means you can have it at your fingertips wherever you are. Avoid big bottles that might break or can’t be carried around with you. An atomizer means you’ll smell just as sweet on the beach as at dinner.

A face mask is a must – every face responds to an injection of cleanser and moisture. Max Factor’s Blue Mask peels off 20 minutes after you apply it. Elizabeth Arden’s Moisturizing Mask No. 2 refreshes and de-tenses lines. Ella Bache’s Turtle Oil Mask soothes a sunburnt skin.

Skin savers

Over-tanning … too many late nights – there are lots of things that spoil your looks. Here’s a pick-up mini facial. Spread a mask over your face, then soak two wads of cotton wool in skin tonic. Put two drops of Visine or Murine eye drops into the eyes, place the cotton wool over them and rest for ten minutes, feet up and head nestled in a soft cushion.

Remember, you’ll look even better on your holiday if you have a glass of lemon juice for breakfast, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, take plenty of exercises, get plenty of fresh air and sleep.

Hair helpers

The first essential for good hair is a cut every four weeks. Then, you are responsible for careful shampooing and conditioning. Decore has come to the aid of problem hair with a new product called Heat Care Shampoo and Conditioner. It prevents hair scorching, comb dragging, and tangling, and helps maintain shine and body.

Breville offers these tips so you don’t damage your hair. If you like curl, Carmen Cascade Self Conditioning Rollers are heated rollers with a built-in conditioning treatment which prevents hair drying out and adds body, too. The specially designed spikes on the rollers eliminate tangles.

Want to carry a curling wand? Carmen’s Crazy Baby and Breville’s Pocket Curl let you take a curling wand on holidays without overloading your luggage. The Pocket Curl can be compressed to half its normal size and both are dual voltage.

Miniatures

Mini-sized packs of skincare products or makeup have two big advantages. They take up much less room, and if you lose them or happen to suffer a breakage, it’s not as important because the quantity is only small. There’s yet another advantage of small sizes. If you are in the mood to try a new range of skincare, you can buy one of the sample holiday kits.

There’s Clinique’s Basic Starter Pack, a tough travel kit that contains their Facial Soap, Clarifying Lotion and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. There is also Yardley’s Oatmeal Starter Kit, with Oatmeal Soap, Bubbling Lotion, Moisturizer and a Scrub Brush.

If your favorite skincare products do not come in smaller sizes, you can solve the problem by transferring them into your own small plastic bottles.

One of the smartest travel kits on the market is Mary Quant’s Overnighter. One layer of the snakeskin kit contains four skincare products and the second layer contains makeup – eye shadows, mascara, blusher, and lipstick, plus translucent powder and a brush.

Air travel tips

Flying is tiring and dehydrating. Remember to drink lots of water, keep your feet up and take a stroll around the aircraft at least every hour. Tuck moisturizer into your handbag and put it on when your skin drys out. Tired, dry eyes will respond to eyedrops. The scent will make you feel fresher and a lip balm will help avoid cracked lips.

The holiday snacker

Emotion is very much a part of eating. Sometimes, if you don’t eat, friends think you’re not joining in the fun. Simply tell yourself you don’t need two servings, skip the butter, potatoes, and gravy and make your drink last twice as long as everyone else’s.

Wherever you are, eat the local food. You can’t go wrong if you indulge in heaps of fresh fruits, salads, and fruit drinks. It’s the beachside ice-creams and the cheese and biscuits after dinner that do the damage.

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