So I haven't been away on a fortnight in Dubai, nor have I jetted off to a resort in Lanzarote for a week of lazing by the pool. Where I have been holidaying this year is good old Norfolk – and boy, was it hot. So much so, that the few days I spent sitting on the beach there gave me the perfect base colour to top up throughout the rest of summer.
I love having a tan – it always makes me feel like a more groomed version of me, requiring less fuss and a load less make up. But, the worst bit of the holiday is the tan fading and leaving you with nothing more than a hefty credit card bill and dry, peeling skin.
So this month I have been looking at ways of extending that summer glow with products that will give your skin, hair and make up that extra sun-kissed look – without setting foot anywhere near an airport.
Here is my five-step holiday glow-extender kit:
1: Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
So apparently, if you have dry, scaly skin your tan fades much quicker than if you keep it moisturised and hydrated. Makes sense, right? So I've been swapping my usual day cream for Olay Essentials Glow Perfectors range. The Everyday Sunshine Moisturising Cream (in light) comes with an in-built SPF 15, plus the teensiest amount of sunless tanner keeping your tan topped up without any hint of orange streaks or worse, that awful biscuit smell. I used this after washing my face first thing in the morning and loved the fresh smell and the fact it absorbs so quickly – just remember to wash your hands after use because it does have fake tan in it (and I forgot!). After a couple of days I definitely looked browner, because the colour gradually builds up. It's a really simple, effective way to look and feel glowing and sunkissed.
2: Picking the perfect base
You just don't need heavy foundation when you have a tan – your skin already looks good so why cover it up? I tried mixing two of the foundations in bronze and natural tones for a light, glowing base with a hint of depth for my tan. The foundation gave great coverage and left my face looking dewy while covering up those (many) skin imperfections. I reckon I ended up using a 60-40 ratio of the bronze to the natural and you could always go heavier on the bronze shade if you're straight off the aeroplane. I also used an ivory concealer on my dark circles, which gave more of an illuminating shimmer than full-on coverage, which I much prefer in the summer months. And to give my cheeks a bit of a contour – in Kim Kardashian style – I stroked a sweep of highlighter across my cheekbones.
3: Keeping the eyes sun kissed
Coppers, bronzes and brown shades are – as discussed previously – always my staple colour combo for my eyes. But with a tan, they just help make eyes pop. I think it's the hint of shimmer and glitter flecks that bring out the best in sunkissed skin, so I layered up with eyeshadow in a lovely rich chocolatey copper that added some depth to my suntan.
It was easy to blend and I loved the liquid effect eye pencil that I added to my lid line. It was SO easy to use – with a smudging stick on the other end, it made life so much easier, even if you make a mess of the line. I added two coats of volumising mascara, with a smaller comb-style brush, but with care you can really build up the colour intensity as well as separate your lashes. Finally I used a hazel eyebrow pencil for defined, Delevingne-esque brows that framed my tanned face. Honestly, I totally recommend getting your eyebrows threaded into a great shape and then emphasise them with this pencil – it makes you feel completely groomed and pulled together! Top up the base colour with a cream blush in soft copper, which gives a lovely shimmery sunny faced look.
4: Lessening the hair sun damage
Even with just a couple of days sitting in the British sunshine, my hair feels noticeably dryer and frizzier, no matter the amount of oil, wax or cream I use. So I tried the Pantene Pro-V Breakage Defence range – trialling the shampoo, Strengthening Intensive Conditioner Breakage Defence 2-minute treatment and the Hair Strength Tonic Breakage Defence. As soon as I washed my hair, I could glide my hands through it rather than struggling to comb afterwards as per usual. I also loved the fact the conditioning treatment was just two minutes rather than the more normal 15-20 – I mean, who has 15 minutes to sit and wait for a hair treatment? The Hair Strength Tonic was quite particular about using 15 pumps along the hairline and then massaging in and it definitely felt like a special treatment you'd have at the hairdressers. After a few uses, my hair felt softer and smoother and less susceptible to showing off those holiday split ends.
5: Scrubbing away those dead skin cells
You should use an exfoliator at the end of your holiday to get rid of the dead skin cell build up. I'd normally be terrified of scrubbing away my tan, but this is apparently not the case. Using a face wash like the Olay Essentials Smoothing Face Scrub apparently whips off dead skin cells and reduces dullness. I used it every day and can confirm it didn't get rid of my tan, but did leave my skin super clear. Now, pass me the tanning moisturiser!