It's the annual dilemma; how vain should you be on holiday? As we speak I'm in sunny portugal and this year I was determined for once to pack light. Which means only one thing: to pack smart.
First off, you need to decide what's most important. For me it goes like this: body, hands, feet, eyebrows, hair - in that order. So the week before I set off, I prepped the bits I didn't want to bother with.
I started with a three day juice cleanse courtesy of Radiance juice delivery service. Apparently all the rage in LA, the fast is meant to leave you flatter, and more svelte in your bikini. After completion, I definitely felt flatter (the latter is debatable). However, the best bit is the effects it has on your skin. Mine looked brighter and more youthful after detoxing.
I booked in with David at Percy and Reed the Thursday before my trip for a foot overhaul. Known for transforming even Hobbit-looking feet, my heel-worn tootsies were scrubbed, buffed, soaked and filed to baby soft proportions. I opted for a tan enhancing coral polish from Nails Inc.
For my manicure I was keen to try Gelish - the polish and gel hybrid that's being hailed 'the new Minx'. Feeling brave (and with a big nudge from my colleagues), I went for a chic pink glitter. Three coats and half an hour later, I am blessed with a three-week chip-free mani that sparkles under sunlight. I've been here two days and have already had three women approach me about my nails.
Finally it's on to packing. The Pro Makeup shop do the best clear zip-up bags in all sizes so you can see everything for easy access.
For a week away, mini sizes won't do, so I opted for midi travel sizes instead. Kerastase Bain Satin midis are turning out to be my saviour. As is Cowshed's midi sized shower gel. I can't live without my Shu Uemura facial oil so I decanted, naturally.
By the pool, Lancaster Sun Beauty Care for face is turning out to be a nifty sun protector and moisturiser in one. And I've been relishing the benefits of Institute L'Estherderm aftersun for its sheeny leg softenening abilities.
Makeup wise, I've been mostly doing without except for Clinique's Longwear Lash Power Mascara in brown (better than black with a tan) and a dab of Giorgio Armani red lipstick.
As a result of all this, even though I feel stripped of my usual beauty arsenal, it's turning out to be a good thing. It's amazing how groomed you feel with a glossy mani-pedi and great pair of shades. So to answer my own question - how vain should you be on holiday? On a scale of 1-10, I reckon a 5 should suffice.