There was a time when I used to take a tonne of cosmetics on holiday. Really, loads.. My “regular” make-up, additional bronzer, fake tan and the like in amongst my vanity case full of shower and hair paraphernalia and inevitably some special “summer” treats hidden amongst James’s luggage as well (I run out of room in my own suitcase weight allocation you see.)

I saw romantic getaways as an opportunity to do a “smoky eye”, try out bits a pieces I don’t have time to normally and go all-out glamourama. What a crock. I ALWAYS end up wearing less on my mug than I do at home, and I get too excited about seeing the sights to want to spend hours faffing with my face.

I was super proud of myself last year when I managed to take only one medium-sized (!) bag of tricks. And I didn’t wear half of those either. Today I thought I’d share my five favourite holiday products (mostly aimed at warmer climes, although I do wear them on and off all year round so they are certainly not a frivolous purchase) AND we’re giving them all away to one lucky reader! I know, we’re good to you. All you need to do is sign up to our newsletter with a chance to be the proud owner of everything you see in this feature. Closing is Midnight on Thursday the 3rd July.

Mary-Lou Manizer £16.00

Not many people have heard of The Balm, it’s a quirky brand from San Francisco that make some really wonderful products. Mary-Lou Manizer is the absolute greatest, I’ve used it for a few years now and never found anything that beats it in terms of highlighter. It’s finely milled, silky soft and the perfect champagne gold, I use it as eyeshadow (pressed on with my fingers) a smidgen under my brows, on the top of cheekbones and even on collar bones/shoulders for a bit of a sexy sheen.

A pot lasts forever and it really is multi-functional which is ace for travelling light. You can buy Mary-Lou Manizer from

MAC Lipstick in Flamingo £15.00

I am SO EXCITED to recommend and review this. It’s true, I am officially a lipstick geek BUT flamingo is one of my top five most loved in the whole world ever. MAC, renowned for beautiful limited edition items that sell out in a nano second released this last year, I was lucky enough to secure two and scoured the internet for back-ups thereafter. Yes, it really is that amazing. I heard recently that they made it permanent – hooray! no more ebay for me.

It’s a gorgeous peachy pink coral that is quite statement but the sheer “lustre” formulation means you can dab a wee bit on for day (subtly shiny) and blot and layer it up for evening. I rarely wear anything else once the sun puts his hat on.

You can buy Flamingo at Debenhams.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder £22.00

I don’t really “do” foundation, there are a few tinted moisturisers I like but to be honest I find that even they can go a bit melty in the heat. For natural mattifying (without drying) light coverage this mineral powder is brilliant. And yes, I’ve tried a fair few.

Elizabeth Arden isn’t a range you hear much about really, unsure why, they do harbour a few gems including this lovely . The puff that comes with it is next to useless so I use a Kabuki brush to buff on a thin layer – doesn’t take long at all. It also contains SPF 20 – bonus.

For evening you could add more for extra coverage, it doesn’t clog or accumulate in creases/fine lines and doesn’t emphasise pores like I’ve experienced some mineral powders do. I use shade 2 (I’m fair with yellow undertones, NC20 in MAC for reference) and I order it from

Essie Nail Lacquer in Sunday Funday £7.99

If you receive our newsletter then you would have seen me recommend this polish already, they describe it as a “tangerine” coral but I’d say it pulls more pink. It’s one of those shades that you can get away with a quick one coat for sheer juicy colour or two for a more opaque finish. Looks great with a {fake} tan or without and goes super well with the Flamingo lipstick I mentioned earlier!

It’s shot with delicate silver shimmer which means it’s all pretty and sparkly in the sunlight and stuff.

Essie is available at Boots.

Bare Minerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen £21.95

After years of trying to find a suitable sunscreen for my sensitive skin this came as a complete surprise, I was sceptical to say the least, could such a teeny amount of powder protect my pale complexion from the sun?

Oh yes it does. And it feels like you’ve got nothing on at all, unlike those thick gunky creams that can leave you looking like a greasy chip by Midday. This is the best thing I have discovered in a long time, if they ever discontinue it I will march along to the Bare Minerals HQ and throw a massive foot-stomping wobbler. Yes, it really is that amazing.

You can wear it on it’s own or over make-up and you can buy it from whilst adding to your basket the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish and the Mary-Lou Manizer… (can you tell I love that website?!)

Do tell me about any other summer spectacular-ness I need to take a peek at in the comments section below and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to be in with a chance of winning all these goodies for yourself (If you are already signed up then you will automatically be in with a chance of winning – Yay!)