Holidays are meant to be relaxing – some time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life so that you can take time out, get some perspective and focus on unwinding.
However, as a busy mum, the pre-holiday period can be far from relaxing. What with packing for the family often falling to you, along with all the laundry that needs to be done beforehand, it can be hard to squeeze in some time to get yourself prepared.
While the dream is to waft breezily onto the plane with immaculate hair and perfectly polished nails, the reality is often a panic of squeezing in packing and pedicures the day before you head to the airport. Avoid the anxiety by planning your prettifying in advance with our checklist.
One month before
1. Colour your hair
While it’s tempting to want a fresh ’do so that you look your best in all those Insta snaps of your trip, it’s not a good idea to leave dyeing your hair until the last minute.
Sun can fade and lighten your hair, particularly in the first few days after applying colour, so a last-minute dye job could end up being a waste of cash. Get it done in advance, and consider a shade darker than usual, given that it will lighten in the sun anyway.
2. Sort your products
Now is a good time to make sure you have everything you need for your trip. Sun protection is vital, so buy enough to protect the whole family, and stock up on after sun and insect repellant too.
Think about your post-holiday needs too. Sun-exposed skin can be drier than usual, so consider a face or body oil instead of your usual moisturiser. Tanned skin may only need a tinted moisturiser rather than full foundation, plus it looks great against bold colours, so why not treat yourself to some bright make-up for your eyes, lips and nails to wear on and after your trip?
Two weeks before
1. Tint your eyelashes
If you don’t like to go without mascara, then getting your eyelashes tinted can save a lot of faff – and the risk of panda eyes. No one needs to find out the hard way after a dip in the pool that their mascara isn’t quite as waterproof as it claims!
An eyelash tint only takes about 15 minutes to do, and allows you to enjoy product-free dark lashes for up to four weeks. And if you’re going hand luggage only, taking even one product less frees up valuable space in that plastic bag of liquids!
2. Start exfoliating
Skin that hasn’t seen the light of day can often look far from its best. Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells to leave skin looking smoother, fresher and prepared for poolside exposure. Moisturisers, serums and fake tan also work best on exfoliated skin.
Begin your exfoliating regime now so that skin is in tip-top condition by the time you reach the beach. You can either use an exfoliating brush or glove in the shower with your usual soap or body wash, or buy an exfoliating scrub. Aim to do it at least twice a week, or more if your skin isn’t sensitive.
One week before
1. Get a haircut
While it should be coloured in advance, hair should be cut closer to your trip, so that any split ends that are vulnerable to sun damage can be snipped off. Depending on how much sun, sea and chlorinated pool water it's exposed to, you might need another trim on your return too.
2. Get a mani/pedi
A pedicure will get your feet sandal ready, and bright nails look great with a tan. Polishing your nails at the last minute can be a pain though – and can often be ruined by packing. Opt for gel nails instead as it completely dries in minutes and the colour lasts right through your trip.
3. Sort your eyebrows
Avoid taking loads of brow products by having them threaded into shape and tinted before you go. Sun can bleach brows, so a tint can give you the colour you crave for a couple of weeks without carting products with you.
The day before
1. Time to de-fuzz
Save the shaving to as close to your departure as you can to maximise skin smoothness and minimise the need to shave again as soon as you’re on your travels.
For a safe, easy and pain-free way to a smooth bikini line, the Venus Precision Bikini Trimmer is ideal. The unique head gives you total visibility and manoeuvrability to get rid of every last unwanted hair. It’s small and battery powered too, so you can easily pack it if you want to top up your trim while you’re away.
2. Apply fake tan
If you don’t like being the palest one by the pool on the first day of your holiday, now is the time to apply fake tan. Do it after hair removal (and at least 24 hours after waxing) and avoid chlorinated pools on the first couple of days of your trip to ensure it lasts.
3. Use moisturising masks
Sun exposure can dry out both your skin and hair, so top up your moisture levels by using a nourishing face mask while packing – or, if you’re feeling brave, you can save it for the plane, but be prepared for your kids to be super embarrassed! A hair mask or deep conditioning treatment before you go will help keep your tresses in top condition too.
How far in advance do you prep for your hols? Let us know in the comments section below.