Let me start by saying this is essentially a beauty (Yay make-up!) and holiday wardrobe post. I wanted to make that clear just before you might have scrolled through the images of mopeds and um…. trucks full of fruit and wondered what on earth I was doing.
I’ve been to Italy you see… And what with you gorgeous lot going on Honeymoon or just on a lovely break with your favourite boy in the not too distant future, I thought I would share my sunshine essentials in the vain hope that in return, you might share yours with me.
And of course each other, am not a complete selfish Madam.
The images this post is illustrated with are my personal interpretation of Italy, little pieces of day-to-day life rather than a whole heap of standard picturesque scenes. And no, I don’t pretend to be any kind of great photographer, this is proved by the amount of times I can’t understand why my camera won’t work only to discover I have left the lens cap on…..
Oh and the (mostly cringeworthy) pics of me are to illustrate what wardrobe items I’m waffling on about. And to show off my shoes.
My Sunshine Beauty Products
No.7 Anti-Dark Spot Facial Protection SPF 50 – I don’t tan my face. Don’t even show it to Mr Sunshine if I can help it. I just think wrinkles. And age spots. This No.7 cream isn’t too greasy and has a 5 star UVA rating. It also contains pretty glowy particles that make you look all radiant and promises to be both water resistant and non comedogenic (ie won’t block your pores).
I like it. A lot.
Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Lotion SPF 30 – I have super sensitive skin and must have tried nearly EVERY suncream there is on the planet. The fancy department store ones, the ones that promise to be “Hypoallergenic” and “Fragrance/Paraben Free” even the ones made for children and babies…. only to end up with a reaction of some description or another. This one feels lovely on your skin, like silk. And not at all sticky. It also makes you smell of coconuts and pineapples. Delicious.
Nars Lipstick in Niagara – I find that in Summer my usual go-to neutral hues make me look a wee bit washed out, especially with a sweep of bronzer. I return to Nars Niagara every year, it’s the perfect pink-tinged coral and really “wakes up” your face.
Dove Summer Glow + Soft Shimmer – A few days of applying this fake-tan lotion every night prior to departure and I arrive to warmer climes looking sun-kissed rather than pasty. It doesn’t streak and smells kind of clean and soapy…. which is in my humble opinion is a distinct improvement on a packet of Mcvities digestives.
Nars Blusher in Desire – A really HOT pink. Don’t be put off my the colour in the pan, a gentle sweep on the apples of your cheeks and you look Holiday healthy. Promise.
Bourjois Liner Glitter Fizz – This is a liquid liner with tiny silver shiny bits in. It’s one of my all time favourite evening make-up items and is dirt cheap (about £4 from Boots). I paint it over a denser black liner on my upper eyelid and leave a few seconds to dry. It lends a gentle elegant sparkle rather than full-on disco dolly.
Korres Milk Protein Facial Wash – A fairly recent discovery of mine, I don’t know about you lovelies but after spending all day in high temperatures and layers of creams I always feel the need for a foaming facial cleanser and it’s difficult to find one that doesn’t leave you feeling tight and dry.
This one by Korres turns into a satisfying creamy lather and feels super clean and ultra soft. Have been recommending it to everyone.
My Sunshine Wardrobe Essentials
I like to think I am at an age now (Ahem. Somewhere around thirty) where I know what suits me and what doesn’t in terms of fashion. I’ve also been on enough holdidays to know what I actually enjoy wearing and what ends up unworn at the bottom of my suitcase….
The Cropped Trouser: Flight Pants by J Brand – I’m not a fan of my legs so favour Maxi dresses and floaty floor length skirts. This year though I succumbed to the 2011 S/S phoenomenon that was the J Brand Flight Pant. There was like a waiting list at My Wardrobe and everything. Glad I invested though, I’ve worn them to death.
The Nude Sandal: All Saints Rosalina Heel – These are officially the highest heels I have ever owned. They are verging on the completely ridiculous. And I freakin’ LOVE them.
The Fitted Vest: L.O.G.G by H & M – These are not the cheapest vests that H & M produce (a whole £6.99 each!) but they are the loveliest. Expensive looking brushed cotton and they fit beautifully, the scooped neck-line with the feminine lace trim is particularly pretty. I have several in grey marl, black, white and navy. Pink and pale blue are next on my hit list.
The Flattering Bikini: Candy by Caprice – Yup. I mean model Caprice, she of teeny tiny waist and pneumatic chest fame. I have neither assets as it happens but her bikini collection was still one of my favourite finds last month. I’m personally not into the whole “lots of cleavage on display by the pool” look (although if you’ve got it why not flaunt it I say)…. so I always buy a size up for more coverage.
This design is also available in a cute Barbie-esque pink. And no I’m not being ironic – it IS cute!
The Sun Hat: Coyote by Seafolly – I wear a hat by the pool to 1) keep my face out of the sun 2) keep my hair out of the sun – too much and it turns to straw and an attractive shade of banana yellow. This one is really comfortable for my (rather substantial) moon head and worn with over-sized shades completely hides my hot-and-bothered blotchy mug.
My Sunshine Hair Care Must Haves
I have very fine very blonde hair. In the heat and humidity it has a tendancy to somehow be limp, lank and frizzy all at the same time (I know, lucky lucky me) however, on holiday the last thing I want to do is spend hours faffing around with a million products in an attempt to make it look half decent.
As well as my usual shampoo and conditioner these are the products I recommend you pack in your wash bag (decant as many as you can into travel bottles, that way you gain more weight allowance for ridiculous shoes…)
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatment – An oldie but a goodie. It cuts through tangles like nothing else. Also available in convieniently one-application sized sachets.
Redken Hair Cleansing Cream – This is a clarifying shampoo. It makes your hair REALLY clean and shiny.
OSIS Style And Care Spray – Apply to damp hair before blow drying, it makes your barnet soft and bouncy with a bit of volume. Love.
Lee Stafford Matt Fat Mustard – Another recent find, rub between your palms and vigorously work through the whole of the hair from roots to ends. End up looking like beach babe/rock chick…. well almost.
So then folks, what are your holiday essentials? Any wardrobe item you religiously purchase every year? Any sunshine beauty products that you want to shout about?
I would LOVE to know.
And if you could attach links of covetable items to your comments you would make this blonde blog Queen really REALLY happy…..
Big Italian Love