If there was one word to describe my mood/thoughts/motives/life over the past few weeks, it would be Wanderlust. Whether it’s because of my recent inability to stop working 18hr days and therefore the total need to take a break, or the constant stream of Holiday envy via Instagram – yeah, stalking following travel bloggers isn’t really the best idea for this – I have been thinking/dreaming of a holiday consistently so my fiance and I decided (over an Indian Takeaway and wine binge, no less) that we’d go away somewhere in the next few months.
At the moment, we are umming and ahhing over a city break or a beach holiday but either way, I am beyond excited. So I thought with this mysterious trip looming that I would put together a Holiday Essentials post – as my last holiday/summer type essential post went down so well. Thanks guys [insert embarrassed smile emoji here] – and when Marks and Spencer got in touch and asked if I’d like to collaborate with them on this project, it was of course a no brainer.
I mean, surely this means I’m practically best mates with Rosie Huntington Whitely and David Gandy now, right? Right…
So, here are my holiday essentials in the form of my “must-have”/”does it all” holiday clothing item and some beauty/grooming products and tools.
The Fashion essentials
Dear Lord, please bring the sunshine out because I want to wear this two-piece all summer long. Love, Elle. This two-piece is the most comfortable, stunningly well made linen co-ord* that is just so incredibly versatile. Not only is it the perfect beach cover up that takes you from the sand to a beachside restaurant, but paired with a pair of wedges or summer heels and you could easily dress this up and wear it out for dinner in the evening. If that’s not enough, pop on some converse and you have the perfect sight-seeing outfit. Not only is it just versatile though, it’s also so ridiculously comfortable – I may have also slept in it on the day of shooting these photos. Sue me… – and chic with the stunning crochet pattern/design. This is easily my must pack item. You go Glen Coco Marks and Spencer!
If you’re like me, then you’ll no doubt take a ridiculously large amount of shoes with you that you definitely don’t need – and probably won’t wear – but a girl needs her options right? Right… However, as I’m talking purely about essentials today, I’m just going to choose one footwear option and that is of course a pair of sandals/sliders. These sliders are actually from Primark and I completely wore them to death last summer. They’re made of a waterproof foam-esque material so are perfect for on the beach/around the pool… but they also look quite smart and dressy paired with the right outfit. So much love!
The same – totally ridiculous – logic applies for sunglasses. I probably take around 4 pairs per holiday – making decisions is my nemesis – but for my essentials, I opted for these Rayban Aviators because they’re classic, they go with everything, and they make me feel like someone from The Hills.
“I want to forgive you, and I want to forget you” #LaurenConradGoals
A bikini. Pretty self explanatory right? This beauty is from Primark and I can’t wait to wear it. I basically just can’t wait to be somewhere hot enough to be able to wear it….
Let’s get the no-brainer out of the way first, the Tangle Teazer. Sea Salty/beachy hair might look amazing, but we all know that when it comes to brushing that shiz out… ain’t nobody got time for that. The tangle teazer brushes through tangles so easily and just keeps hair in tip top condition.
The next item is one that I was so excited to try and equally really intrigued by. It’s the Philip Kingsley Swim cap and is basically a cream that protects against UV rays, chlorine, sea and pool water as well as keeping your hair colour bright and vibrant. In other words, it’s perfect, no actually… essential, for a summer holiday/trip. It’s so simple to use too, you just put it in your damp hair, comb through and then continue on with your shampoo and conditioner. [*insert meerkat accent* Simples…]
I am self confessed Nail polish whore – this is where my grandparents spit out their tea because they didn’t quite read that sentence right 😉 – so I was so happy when I saw 3 mini Leighton Denny polishes *in my lovely M&S package. I’m currently wearing I love Juicy (slightly questionable name there Leighton) which is a gorgeous orange toned red which we all know is just the summer holiday colour.
OK, so you’ve got your clothing sorted, your nails are on fleek – oh for f**ks god’s sake, when will I learn to not take the piss and use nauseating “down with the kids” phrases in a blog post, subsequently hating myself? – your hair is covered… it’s time to get your skin, and more specifically, tan, in check. First thing’s first, the face tan. It’s so, so hard to get face fake tan right but for me, it’s so essential as I use sunblock on my face all year round so I am forever that idiot with a tanned body and casper the ghost face. James Read’s Overnight tan sleep mask* is genius! It’s clear, blends in seamlessly, you basically cannot feel a single thing on your face. It’s a pleasure to use and it’s an even bigger pleasure to wake up with a natural tan on my pasty face. 🙂
On to the body and I am so excited to tell you about this next item. It’s not just any gradual tan – it’s an M&S gradual tan – No, literally… M&S stock Fake Bake which is why I got my mitts on Fake Bake’s Amplify* tan. It’s a gradual tan that also works by prolonging your tan – fake or natural – as well as giving you colour, and preparing your skin for a holiday tan.
For when you’re actually on holiday, you’re going to be needing all the SPF and my top pick for facial SPF is Ultrasun’s Face SPF* which is so amazing as it’s probably the only face SPF that absorbs within seconds, doesn’t leave you feeling sticky or oily, makeup applies seamlessly over the top… it’s perfect.
Could I possibly say the word SPF any more times if I tried?… SPF
For your body, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not too fussy. As long as it has Factor 50, has complete UV protection and smells good, I’m happy. Simple things please simple minds and all that…
The After sun essentials
You’ve spent the day on the beach in the sun, or exploring the city in the sun – basically, you’ve been exposed to all the sun – so now it’s time to look after your frazzled skin. After sun is amazing if you’ve got burnt at all as it’s cooling and soothing, but it’s also just brilliant anyway to prevent your skin from peeling and prolonging that tan. M&S’s Sun smart aftersun* is my favourite for this as it sinks in well and smells amazing!
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. *Confession time* when I went on holiday to Dubai, I actually only took Origin’s overnight mask and used it morning and night as my daily moisturiser because it’s so nourishing and hydrating. The sun completely dries out and dehydrates my skin so it totally just drinks that shit shiz up and I’m sure yours will too.
Exfoliate – We all know the importance of exfoliating our skin, but I recently was lucky enough to be able to try the highly lusted over Ren Radiance renewal mask* which is a face mask and chemical exfoliator. This.Stuff.Is.Incredible! (Apologies for that completely grammatically incorrect sentence right there.) But seriously, it leaves the skin feeling so soft, smooth and glowing and I will 100% be repurchasing this when it’s used up.
[insert “cry face emoji” to represent the feels coming from my bank account when that day comes]
So that brings this Holiday’s Essentials post to an end. I really enjoyed putting this piece together because not only did I totally get into the holiday spirit, but I also discovered just how incredible Marks and Spencers Holiday wear and beauty/skincare department is. I’d highly recommend checking it out online and in store.
I would love to know what your Holiday essentials are? Have you tried any of the picks that I mentioned in this post? I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!
*Thank you so much Marks and Spencer for collaborating with me on this post. As always, all opinions are my own and 100% my honest, genuine opinion. Because I’m as real/brutal as it gets… 😉