Travelling light – five beauty essentials to take on holiday

— by Alyson Walsh

Every time I fly it’s the same. My case is so stuffed with cosmetics, there’s barely room to shoe-horn the flip-flops in, let alone the capsule wardrobe for a week. I shouldn’t feel ashamed – I’m a beauty writer after all, says Vicci Bentley. But whereas I’ve got the swimsuit and separates thing down to a fine art, streamlining the slap’s a dilemma on some deep, soul-searching level. Have I over-complicated my life to the extent that I can’t live without that selection of mascaras? Am I now so dysmorphic that only an entire range of concealers will do? If novinaphobia’s the fear of running out of wine (no fear of that in rosé-soaked Provence), then I’m a self-defined nocosmophobe. However, this time, for my holiday on the Côte d’Azur, I got feisty on priority. Let’s hear it for the high temp five…

The sunscreen. Okay, there are two – but there’s a reason. To protect and take the ghostly edge off my pasty face, I packed Zo Skin Health Oclipse Smart Tone Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF50. This cocktail of antioxidants, anti-redness agents and moisturisers also has smart pigments that adapt to your skin tone to give it a healthy glow. You’re not likely to get a tan with this, but at least your age spots won’t get worse. Hoping for a bit of cautious colour on my luminously pale limbs, I trusted Clinique SPF30 Virtu-Oil Body Mist. What bliss to be able to spray right down to your feet (an easily forgotten high-burn zone) without having to sit up on your lounger. No, didn’t burn at all.

The lite-fantastic fake. No two ways about it, I loathe fake tan. Smell, Tango, streaks – undignified. Don’t care how sophisticated products claim to be, they just look naff on my pallid skin. Legology Sun Lite is in a different league. The cooling cream’s great after a flight, while just a hint of convincing, pinky-bronze sun leaves bare legs (and arms) looking good to glow from day one. And you can wash it off…

The better-than-bare-face palette. Nope, not losing the concealer. Ever. Luckily, Chanel’s Palette Essentielle in Beige Clair is a creamy, bare-face dream. In addition to a great concealer, there’s a creamy blush that mimics that fresh, rosy sun glow (so much more natural-looking than bronzer) and a sheeny highlighter that looks great on bare lids. Only problem is, it launches on August 4th, but it’s well worth waiting for….

The lip-booster balm. You need a bit of lippie, but too much colour looks daft on the beach. Zelens Lip Enhancer in Natural looks like a balm, but stains lips a just-bitten pink that won’t creep into lines in the heat. Smarter than a gloss, it softens and prevents sun-induced dryness beautifully.

The blue sky scent. If you ask me, cologne’s the only way to go when it swelters. (I caught a waft of Angel in the loo queue by the beach and nearly fainted. Like wearing a fur coat on a sun lounger). Tom Ford Private Collection Mandarino di Amalfi with breezy mint and thyme hints has that cooling citrus riff, but lasts longer than classic colognes. The 50ml size is hand-luggagable, too.

Worth noting that thanks to shrewd editing and various mini-sizes, my case checked in at an amazing 13.5kg – well under City Jet’s 23kg limit. Unlike Dame Joan Collins who was also on that City Jet flight to Toulon-Hyères, en route no doubt to St Tropez. The trousseau of Louis Vuitton luggage (heaved from the belt by husband Percy) was, er, impressive. Clearly glamourpuss Joanie rarely travels light. Or takes her hat and sunspecs off, come to that…


What are your holiday essentials?

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Every time I fly it’s the same. My case is so stuffed with cosmetics, there’s barely room to shoe-horn the flip-flops in, let alone the capsule wardrobe for a week.