The fine art of holiday prep
Don’t go packing the whole Boots beauty counter. Some smart planning is all you need
THERE ARE many breeds of women I will never comprehend: the ones who are still fad-dieting in their 40s, the ones who insist on accompanying you on loo breaks in restaurants, and those who sunbathe in their bras in public parks. But in top spot are the peculiar strain who spend their summer holidays dolled up as if for a cocktail party.
You see them at the breakfast buffet with their stacked wedges, contoured faces and sticky lids, and you wonder: what must that be like? To spend one of the few liberated weeks of the year strapped in, caked-up and shackled by the desire to look ‘done’? Holidays are about being undone: no fixed wake-up times, bedtimes or meal times; no tight clothing to wear and strictly no body admin to take care of. You do that in the weeks and months before take-off.
My prep used to begin with a course of LPG endermologie around April. But now I’m over 40, I do at least two sessions a month all year round. How more people haven’t tried this body-toning and inch-loss massage treatment, I can’t fathom. Not only is it efficient (the new triple-action LPG machines are able to eliminate localised fat, smooth cellulite and stimulate collagen in one 35-minute session) but it’s pleasurable, like being massaged with a tiny car vacuum (only in a really nice way).
That, a Sienna X spray tan 48 hours before flying (I have a therapist from the Secret Spa app do mine at home for only £40) and a serious pedicure, like those at Margaret Dabbs, is your body prep done.
For hair, it’s worth packing Davines’ restoring The Quick Fix Circle red clay mask (£8, cultbeauty.co.uk). And for the face, take a good exfoliator (try Su-man Exfoliating Facial Polish, £38, lookfantastic.com), a hydrating but non-gloopy moisturiser (Decléor Hydra Floral Moisturising Fluid, £33.35, lookfantastic.com), and some non-make-up make-up. Avène Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF50+ (£17.50, boots.com) and Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF50 BB cream (£14.85, allbeauty.com) are the best, most invisible skin perfectors I’ve found – meaning nobody’s sunbathing in face paint that has all the subtle brushwork of a Van Gogh.