I often find when packing that my toiletries bag weighs as much as the rest of my suitcase put together. Ridiculous. So I have made a study of how to travel light. Or at least lighter.
Beauty planning for your summer hols starts early. It is rather like Christmas. You know those really annoying people who pick up little gifts throughout the year that they think will suit friends or family and then store them in a special "save for Christmas" cupboard? Well, this is what you need to do with the beauty testers and samples you get when shopping. You don't test them, silly, you hoard them, and then when it comes to going away you have everything you need in small packages. The tricky one to get is shampoo, but as my motto is never to stay in a hotel where I don't want to steal the bathroom products anyway, I rarely pack hair-care stuff. But I do sometimes add a little something extra to keep dry ends at bay, such as Pantene Pro-V Oil Replacement.
If you have not been hoarding packets of unguents, then I have some top tips. When picking a moisturiser go for one with an SPF. I am not suggesting you don't use an SPF as well - you need as much protection as you can - but this will create another layer. A good one is Estée Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15. Apply it before you fly as well, to keep your complexion hydrated on the plane.
I never go anywhere (not even to the corner shop) without my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. This is the ultimate multitasker and brilliant for a holiday because you can use it as a hand cream, face cream, lip balm and for soothing chapped elbows and feet. Jo Malonehas come up trumps with its Vitamin E Lip Conditioner SPF15, which combines vitamin E with sunscreen to guard against the damaging effects of the sun. And never forget, however relaxed you are, that the sun is your enemy, or at least your skin's enemy.
While on holiday, you're entitled to be a little lazy, so pack wet wipes. There isn't room to carry a cleanser and toner. I like the Boots Vitamin E Facial Cleansing Wipes.They moisturise, refresh and remove make-up, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
And if you don't trust the hotel products, be sure to pack a multitasking shower gel such as the Olay Shower Gel Body Exfoliating Spa, which is both cooling and moisturising so you don't need a body lotion after your shower.
ELEMIS ANTI-AGEING PRODUCTS
The rising temperatures combined with the cranked-up AC in the office have taken their toll on our skin. Thank goodness for the Elemis limited edition Anti-Ageing Cleansing Collection to put the glow back in our dull and dehydrated complexions and smiles on our faces. This gorgeous blue faux ostrich leather wash bag is packed with essential skin goodies: Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, Soothing Apricot Toner, Papaya Enzyme Peel and our favourite, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which always keeps our skin wonderfully moisturised. An ideal skin regime to deal with the changing seasons and with 50 per cent off (Dh405 from Dh819), it's a perfect excuse for a weekend of pampering.
Elemis limited edition Anti-Ageing Cleansing Collection, Dh405, available at Debenhams, Mirdif City Centre, 04 231 6607; Va Va Voom Arabian Centre, 04 284 5392
3 of the best
Keep your hair in tip-top condition throughout the summer season
MOLTON BROWN SMOOTHING LILA LEAF HAIR GLOSS, DH96 For taming frizz and flyaway ends. Infused with lila leaf, cardamom and neroli, it enhances condition and strength, leaving a sleek finish.
FREDERIC FEKKAI BEACH WAVES, DH89 A cult beauty buy for a reason: a lightweight styling spray that when applied to damp or dry hair instantly creates a tousled, touchable, windswept texture.
LABEL.M ORGANIC ORANGE BLOSSOM SHAMPOO, DH85 Lacklustre locks are gone with this follicle-smoothing shampoo. Packed with jojoba seed oil to boost volume, its Enviroshield technology also protects the hair from UV rays and enhances condition.