While packing your special holiday clothes, swimsuits and sandals for the perfect summer vacation, it’s easy to forget the beauty products until the last minute. Here are Beauty Beat’s five holiday essentials that will keep your routine simple — without adding bulk to your luggage.


No matter the type of holiday — busy city tours or lazy beach days — cleansing before bedtime is something not to go without.

If you’re an avid make-up wearer, pack a solid cleansing balm that will get the heaviest of foundations off with no effort. A good balm will also double as a regular cleanser for no-make-up days. Emma Hardie Skincare’s popular Moringa Cleansing Balm comes in an adorable travel size along with a face cream (Dh77 on Cult Beauty), which is perfect for a short holiday.

For those with simpler needs, a gentle gel cleanser will be more than enough. The Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser (Dh121 on Cult Beauty) is a joy to use during summer as it smells of crushed berries (it’s all natural though, no artificial fragrance) and doesn’t make the skin feel dry or stripped.

If you aren’t as obsessed with skincare as me to take full-size products on holiday, decant cleansers into travel-size containers from discount stores like Daiso.


What we should have time for is a protective coat of sunscreen. I don’t mean a dab, or a smidgen, or a smear. I mean the whole recommended half teaspoon for the face and neck, and more on other exposed parts of the body. For the face, use a product with at least SPF 30. There are lots of reliable and affordable ones at the supermarkets — Neutrogena is a classic — but one that I’ve been enjoying recently is Aesop’s Protective Facial Lotion (Dh195 at Bloomingdale’s). It’s light on the skin, contains antioxidants and since it’s a chemical sunscreen it doesn’t leave a white cast. There is a slight sheen after application, but it dissipates quickly. It also comes in a handy pump dispenser, which makes it safe to carry around in your handbag for reapplication during the day.

Leave-in hair conditioner

Is there such a thing as a good hotel shampoo and conditioner? I don’t think so. Will most of us make the effort to carry our own shampoo and conditioner? I don’t think so either. The next best thing is to travel with a do-it-all leave-in conditioner that will hopefully offset all the damage. The Ouai Smooth Spray (which has been renamed Leave-In Conditioner) really does it all; it de-frizzes, smooths, conditions, adds shine and leaves the hair soft and not feeling heavy at all (Dh90 on Cult Beauty). It enhances the natural wave of my hair and gives it a lived-in look that requires minimal to no styling. A locally available alternative is Davines’ Oi All In One Milk (Dh120 at various Dubai salons).

Easy make-up

For the face, think pencils, sticks and cream products in muted shades that can be applied with the fingers. Everything from Nudestix was made for this very purpose, with my favourite product being the Nudies All Over Face Color Matte in the shade In The Nude (Dh136 at Sephora). It’s a muted, peachy tone that gives a natural flush to the cheeks, is not too bright and is super easy to blend. The stick does come with a tiny brush at one end if you need it. It can also be used on the lips and eyes, but we have better plans for those steps.

Vibrant colours

For the lips go for juicy glosses in pinks and reds, such as the Red Carpet Starlet gloss from Essence (Dh6 on Noon). They’re cheap but work as well as expensive glosses and you can get multiples shades and not feel guilty about it. For eyes, the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset (Dh168 on Sephora) makes for an excellent travel buddy. Not only do the colours scream beach holiday, the products can be used as blushes and highlighters.