Thursday, 14 August 2014

Before, During & After the Beach Essentials

Now we all know by now that I'm a bit of a travel bunny.  I love nothing more than jumping on a plane and heading to a hot destination to relax, explore and top up my tan.  Whether I'm by the pool or laying on a sandy beach in the sun, I have some essential products that I always use and today I am going to show you the ones that I use before, during and after the beach.

I was lucky enough to be in Turkey this summer when it was National Bikini Day so it felt very appropriate taking these photos then, although it was absolutely boiling at 42 degrees so do forgive me if they're a little rushed!


Before I hit the beach, I like to make sure that my body is fuzz free as I like my legs to look sleek under my summer dresses and no one wants to see any stray hairs peaking out the sides of my tankini bottoms as I'm knocking out the Z's on the sun lounger.

Nair Ultra Precision Bikini Brush-On Hair Removal Cream*
I have been using the Nair hair removal products on my whole body for well over a year now and I love them because they don't irritate my skin.  I'd been fearful of using them at first after a nasty experience with another hair removal brand that left my skin feeling sore, burnt and looking red however I have never experienced anything of the sort with Nair and I use it on far more areas than my legs.  If you've read my post about taking off my tash then you'll know exactly what I mean, if not, then catch up here.

Before this holiday, I used the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay (review here) the day before I went, along with the Nair Ultra Precision Bikini Brush-On Hair Removal Cream (buy here) on my bikini line.  This was my first time using this particular hair removal cream and I have to say, I am really impressed.  It comes with a little brush that is attached to the lid of the bottle so when you unscrew it, the brush comes out of the bottle.  You apply a generous layer to the area of unwanted hair and then leave it to develop.  The brush makes the application really precise and I found that the hair removal cream didn't sting or irritate my skin at all which is good given that the skin there is sensitive. 

It is recommended that you leave the hair removal cream on the area for between five and fifteen minutes which is a little longer than the standard hair removal cream.  I would imagine that is because the hair in that area is often thicker and more coarse than the hair on your legs.  I left it on for about ten minutes before removing with warm water and a wet cloth.  The results were great- all of the hair had been removed and my skin was left soft and smooth thanks to the Lily Flower Extract and Cotton Seed Oil in the cream.  I didn't need to reapply the cream during my week away as only very minimal regrowth occurred towards the end of the holiday.

Nair hair removal products are one of my essential products to use before hitting the beach or pool as I am yet to find a bad one.

You can shop the full Nair range here.

Collection Work The Colour Nail Polish in Tropical Pink
Another before the beach essential for me is a manicure, whether that's an at home polish or a salon treatment.  I usually have my nails done with Artistic Colour Gloss, which is a type of gel manicure, before I go away but on this particular occasion I decided to paint my own fingernails and toe nails as I was trying to save some money and start making inroads into using up the nail polishes that I have in my collection.  For this holiday, I painted my nails using the Collection Work the Colour Nail Polish in Tropical Pink which is a gorgeous pinky coral.  This is a fabulous summer colour that I haven't stopped wearing for the last couple of months now.  It reminds me of Pink Flamingo by Barry M (review and swatchesand Elephantastic Pink by OPI (review and swatchesbut a little more coral.

One of my favourite brands is Collection and I love their Work The Colour nail polishes because, while their brushes can be a little hit or miss quality wise, for the cost they're superb overall.  Tropical Pink applies opaque in two coats.  It is relatively fast drying and leaves a lovely sheen on the nails.  I found that it lasted a couple of days on my finger nails before chipping so I took my Sephora twisty nail polish remover pot away with me and reapplied it a couple of times during the week.  It didn't chip on my toes at all although the colour did fade a little because of the sun so they only needed a quick top up coat towards the end of the week.  You can buy this polish and many other colours here.

The ring I'm wearing is from Pandora.  I don't like to wear my wedding and engagement ring while around the pool as they're too precious!


For while I'm at the beach or the pool, my essentials definitely start with sun protection as it is super important that I don't burn my skin.  One area that is often forgotten about when it comes to sun protection is the hair and scalp.  I discovered the Boots Soltan Head and Hair Dry Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30 (buy hereearlier in the year and I've been using it on my holidays ever since.

Boots Soltan Head and Hair
When the sun is really strong, I can easily burn my scalp.  I'm so fair and I'll often end up with a bright read scalp that makes brushing my hair painful and ends up peeling after a week or so.  Since I have been using this spray I haven't experienced that at all.  I simply spray it through my hair and reapply throughout the day and it stops my head from burning.  It feels a little sticky in my hair but that soon dries and although my hair doesn't feel completely natural while it is in there, it stops my head from burning and that's all that I am bothered about.  This is supposed to stop your colour from fading too so if you have hair that is very heavily dyed then this might be a product for you to try out.  I found that my hair didn't bleach up as light in the sun after using this although it did still get lighter.  My hair is so porous the sun only has to glance at it and I'm super bright blonde!

While on holiday, my friends and I often like to enjoy an ice lolly or lunch on the beach so another essential for me is hand sanitizer or cleanser.  The one that I have been using at the moment is by Nannic and it is the QC Crackling Gel (buy here).

Nannic QC Crackling Gel*
This is an absolutely genius little product as you squirt it out like a gel and then it quickly foams into a mousse and crackles and fizzes as your rub it between your palms.  It feels SO incredibly cooling on the skin and makes your hands feel light and airy which is just what you need when you've been out in the heat for a long time (you can even use it on your tired feet if you like!).

It is antibacterial so it cleans your hands and it deodorises them too, leaving them with a fresh melon scent.  You don't need to wash it off so it is perfect for taking to the beach.

Another essential product to cool off with while around the pool or at the beach is the Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water (buy here) which is a water spray that is designed to soothe the skin.

Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water
I take a can of this with me whenever I travel as it is a fabulous way to cool me down and refresh my skin while I'm away whether it is on the plane or out in the sunshine.  This water spray is extremely cooling and it really soothes my skin if it is looking a little red or feeling tight from the sun.  Even those with the most sensitive skins can use this as it has a formula that doesn't irritate the skin at all.  I have a full review of this water spray from a long time ago but I list the benefits of it and talk about I use it to soothe my psoriasis in that post, so check it out here.  I would definitely consider it to be one of my travel essentials as not only do I use it while sunbathing but I also use it as a burst of hydration while on the plane and as the third step in my skincare routine after cleansing and toning my skin.

Hit The Beach Bikini Bag*
Another essential product for taking with me to the beach is a good beach bag (I get mine from KPink Bags, you can read my review here) and a bikini bag like this florescent pink 'Hit The Beach' bikini bag which is available here and here.  The bikini bag that I used prior to this was from Primark which is a really affordable alternative at only a couple of pounds although they are quite a bit smaller.  Either way, bikini bags are great because if you get changed while you're out then you can put your wet swimwear in them or you can keep your poolside products in them like I do.


After I've been to the beach or pool, it is so important for me to wash my hair and put some nourishment back into it.  I like to use a good shampoo, conditioner and hair mask, followed by one of my absolute essentials, a hair oil.  The one that I used on my most recent holiday was the Moroccanoil Treatment.

I massage quite a few drops between my fingers and then run them through the mid lengths and ends of my wet hair, really making sure to work it into the ends.  Then I quickly run my hands over the rest of my hair.  The oil feels quite substantial, it isn't an overly runny oil so it is easy to control where you're distributing it in your hair.  When I'm at home and my hair isn't quite as thirsty for some hydration, I use far less of the oil as I find that the original formula can be quite heavy and oil inducing on super fine hair like mine, however I do not have this problem on holiday.

I generally leave my hair to dry naturally right until the last moment and then I blast it with the hair dryer on a mid heat.  This enables me to lock a style in place with my round brush whilst causing the most minimal heat damage to my hair.  The Moroccanoil gives my hair a lovely healthy sheen.  My hair looks glossy and very smooth after using it.  I then run a very small amount of the Moroccanoil through the ends of my hair to make my hair look smooth and sleek.  This is particularly effective if I happen to have some split ends.  After a night out on holiday, I apply a little more of the Moroccanoil all over my hair and then tie it up for bed.  I find that this helps to infuse into my hair while I sleep and help to protect it from drying out in the sun the next day.  I'd definitely recommend taking a hair oil away with you when you travel- its an absolute essential for me to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy.

Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm*
My last essential for using after the beach has to be a very rich balm to apply to the very dry areas of your skin.  The one that I am using at the moment is the Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm which is absolutely amazing.  It has a solid oil texture in a tube that you really need to squeeze hard at first to get it out.  Then you warm the balm between your fingers and as it warms up, the balm becomes more of an oil consistency that feels incredibly luxurious on the skin, especially after a day in the sun.

The balm to oil warming occurs very quickly on contact with the skin and because it is so rich, I like to use a body butter or after sun all over my body first and then I use this oil balm on the extremely dry areas of my body like my knees, elbows, wrists and hands.  On holiday my feet tend to dry out very easily, especially my heels, so I also apply some of this there just before I go to bed at night so that in the morning I wake up with nourished skin.  This is a holiday essential for me because it gives my skin the extra nourishment and hydration that it really needs after a day in the sun.  It leaves my skin feeling extremely well moisturised and softened.

If you're in a hot country, I would definitely recommend keeping this product in a cool place as if you take it out with you then it will totally melt in the tube; don't worry, it will harden up again later but you may find yourself using much more product than you need to when it is a runny oil as a little goes an exceptionally long way.  If you're not in a hot country, somewhere like England like me then you're fine to keep this in your handbag, plus the gold packaging looks super sleek and luxurious.  It is a multi use oil so you can keep it in your bag to massage into your hands and cuticles if you're at your desk at work or giving yourself a manicure.  If you're a fan of Sanctuary Spa products then you'll love the scent of this too as it has their super delicious signature scent.

Buy your own here from the Sanctuary Spa website or from Boots.

What are your essentials for before, during and after the beach?  Please let me know in the comments!

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1 comment

  1. I've only tried nair twice but the smell is what I can't stand. It scares me. I use veet sensitive skin and I like it a lot.


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