Beauty and the sun (or not as the case usually is)

As you can probably imagine - seeing as I like my wardrobe to work hard for me - I expect the same from my beauty products. 

So when it comes to holiday, I don't tend to invest in a whole load of new products.  I am that person who just empties their bathroom cabinet into their toiletry bag.  That's not to say,  I don't have that obligatory trip to Boots where I end up spending oodles on nothing remotely fun (toothpaste, deodorant, mossie spray, paracetamol, new toothbrushes plus blah blah blah) - none of which you're going to be vaguely interested in as it's beyond yawnarama and akin to a trip to Ikea and Costco where you may as well burn £100 and do a U turn in the carpark.

However what else did I take with me and what am I currently loving?  

Ta dah!!

First up - there's a reason I don't do many flat lays.  As they're really freaking difficult.  I resorted to doing a "semi standing up/leaning lay" as it looked like I literally had emptied my stuff out, as opposed to when other people do it, and it looks elegantly laid out. 


Today, I'm going to go through the body necessities and in the next day or two, I'll look at the beauty/make up must haves that got me through - as you can see, they're all here, this is all I took bar the toothpaste and deodorant, so I really don't take that much at all (this is according to me and NOT the husband..!).  

Starting with the face and the cleanser.  No surprise here.. my ultimate favourite.  One of the best things about a hotel?  Clean flannel every night that you haven't had to wash (it's the small things...).

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleaner 100g £39 from Feel Unique (lots of discount offers as well online) 

Serum wise, the one that made it into the bag was the Superskin Face Serum from Liz Earle £39.50 (as you can, I've been using it a lot - no lid and lived in looking bottle!).

And for in the evening and during the day - spray on repeat.  This is also ideal at home in a dry, central heating fuelled environment.  From Look Fantastic - 15% off your order with the code BEAUTY.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist £21  Also had this on the plane.  If nothing else, it smells divine.

And onto the hair.  Easy.  Because I wash my hair a lot on hols and like to use a heavier conditioner, a lighter shampoo that I also use on the children, is ideal.

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumising Shampoo £19.50

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment £29.50  This is pure heaven on holiday.  I used it home as well and have done for years.  It's not the only mask I use - I do rotate them but there aren't loads that I truly rate or use - but this is one of them.

For finishing - this is what I used.  I simply cannot be bothered to blow dry my hair when I'm away, so this product is genius in a bottle.  I used it the day that I went in the morning and I'd be lying if I said it was as good as a blow dry BUT I could just leave my hair and then a quick tong over made it more than passable.  Which is something I could never usually do...

Redken No Blow Dry Bossy £10.23 (34% off all Redken at Look Fantastic - you can see why I always order from here or Feel Unique - they usually always work out cheaper than elsewhere).

Body care - all year (whenever there was sun, that is!) I've been using this after being given my first tube when I went to Ibiza way back in May.  It really is the best sun cream I've ever used.  I started off with Factor 30 and then went down to Factor 15. 

Guerlain Terracotta Summer Sun Protect Cream £32

Moisturiser wise - well, there was only one option.  Ditto the perfume I took.  We last went to Mauritius 14yrs ago for our honeymoon, when I took the exact same options - Orange Blossom by Jo Malone.  And the body creme is my perfect after sun option.  So thick and luxurious with THE most amazing, long lasting fragrance.  My engagement perfume (yes I was that sad to actually have one.... please tell me I'm not the only one?!) was Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin (I used to work on Brook Street opposite their store so it was a no  brainer really).  Best place to purchase now is obviously duty free but otherwise, ordering from their website is always a really special delivery experience (as is shopping instore).

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne 30ml £45

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Creme £52

Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin Cologne 30ml £45

And then for those white bits in inconvenient places - my ultimate all year round product.  This is the best bar none.  Currently on offer at John Lewis. 

Vita Liberata Body Blur £19.65  I would always go for at least the Medium.  The light is very pale (even for me who, on a good day, you can usually see from space).

Finishing with a not hugely exciting but hugely necessary extra to take away if you're as hirsute as I am.  I have used many razors.  A gorilla with boxing gloves wouldn't be able to nick themselves with this.  Superb.  As well as being neat and handy in its own case.  Tis a random inclusion but everyone I've told about this has always said thank you.  Go figure (you can thank me later..!!).

Gillette Venus Snap Razor £9.99 on 3 for 2 at Boots now

And now on to the far more exciting part - more details on the last part of our holiday in the second hotel - Shangri-La's Le Touessrok.  As I mentioned last time - I was asked to collaborate with Destinology Holidays and the two hotels.  I have reviewed the hotels for them and in return for this and use of my pictures, we were given a small discount.  I would LOVE to be able to say it was a completely free holiday - in my dreams...

I will bring you a compare and contrast of each of the hotels in another blog, as I've been asked by so many people which we preferred and what the main differences between the hotels were.  For now though, I'm just going to bring you the glorious showdown of the last four days.

The key words to describe Shangri-La's Le Touessrok are unadulterated luxury.   From the minute you step out of the taxi.  Tiny details which make all the difference – they take you straight to your room to check you in, so no filling in forms in reception whilst your 11yr old tries to swim with the fish in the ornamental pool (just mine?!).

Architecturally it has a traditional Mauritian feel - culture combined with art, fused with luxury - it really is the most perfectly peaceful place (which even my rather rowdy children respected.  Yes, miracles truly do happen).


All the rooms at Le Touessrok have sea views but the key differentiator for us in the ones we had were suites straight on to the beach.  We had two rooms again, interconnecting.  Two large double beds for the children were perfect (super king for us – thank you very much).  According to the 11yr old, it was an epic room “because there were loads of plugs”.  Priorities and all that.  I rather preferred the view, the ridiculously comfortable bed, the space and the bathroom the size of my kitchen.

This is the beach that the rooms open directly onto.  Rubbish or what?(!).  These are my two small boys discussing if they're able to swim to the island.  Yes, genuinely.  The one on the right - older, sassier (we're hoping this will make him a millionaire and not earn him an ASBO), with a penchant for thrill seeking was far more ambitious about his swimming talents than the sensible, younger brother on the left who pointed out there it was probably further away than it looked (it was) and that there may be sharks (there weren't, but it turns out that letting them watch Jaws a while ago, wasn't a parenting high). 


In the end, they settled for kayaking and paddleboarding to the island - just right out of shot on this beach there are non motorised watersports which, once you've signed them up for - the children can partake in as they wish (so long as they wear a life jacket).  Whilst we sit on the beach, sunbathing.  What is not to love about that?  

And speaking of things to love - let's talk about the kids club.  Windsurfing, hobbie cat sailing, air hockey, mini Olympics, water skiing AND they give them lunch, if they'd like.  Not to mention having 150 yr old giant land turtles for company.  A number of times, I tried to collect the children for lunch and they said they'd rather stay.  Result!

Which meant that we could have some time on our own, which was just bliss.  Here I am, saying goodbye to the 9yr old in what looks like a tender embrace as I will miss him so much - alternatively I could be whoop whooping inside?  You decide... This was at the jetty as they went off on an introduction to sailing, over on the private island.   And I was on my way for a swim in the deliciously peaceful, adult only pool.


Speaking of private island - you can also hire private cabanas on the island for the day.  Which is genuinely as close to pure paradise, as I have ever come.  Rose wine, truffle pizza (I kid you not) and your own section of beach.  Although the 13yr old did join us after she'd been water skiing with the Teen's club, which I have to say was lovely.  It's such a tricky age - she did love the teen's club but she really does want to hang out with grown ups.  So this was a perfect compromise.


Especially as she sat in the cabana as she really doesn't like sitting in the sun (how she's related to me, I don't know) and the husband and I lay on the sunbeds on the shore.  Can I just point out, that's NOT her wine!


And the view.


Another totally unique activity I have to mention was the cookery lesson we had with Chef Ramesh from Safran restaurant.  First up was a tour of the Chef's Garden.  Yes - they grow all their own herbs and salads.  Puts my trotting off to Lidl or Waitrose to shame.


And we learnt how to cook Tandoori Salmon (if anyone would like the recipe - let me know - genuinely, if I can do it, anyone can).  This was the result.  The actual result they cooked in less than 20 minutes (although you would want to ideally marinate it longer). 


We had eaten at the restaurant a couple of nights before hand and it was possibly the best Indian I've ever had.  In fact, every meal in the hotel was a complete and utter treat.  From rare rib of beef at the Republik Restaurant, to dim sum for breakfast at Le Bazaar and bbq'd lobster at the amazing Halloween party we went to on the Saturday night - it was all out of this world. 

Whilst there were lots of activities to do for children or adults (one of the best golf courses in the world if you fancy it?), there were still loads of things to do as a family.  A whole other island to explore for water sports of the motorised variety (funnily enough, I wasn't tempted to try it again, ditto the banana boat inflatable that the husband bravely endured - taking one for the team as I went for a facial!) and an infinity pool which was for families.


And lots of families there are.  In fact, this photo in the infinity pool was taken after I'd heard the two boys playing in the pool with friends they'd made.  The smallest one always makes friends and the older one will play with absolutely anyone and everyone (the joys of ASD, if he wants to play football, he'll happily play football with monkeys - it's about the ball and not the company for him).  But I heard one boy ask him if they could keep in touch and swap details.  This never happens in our world.  So yes, I was sat there on the lounger with tears running down my face (thank the lord for massive sunnies) - it was such a break through. 

That's the joy of holidays - spending time as a family and experiencing things together - for those brief moments that it's so hard to capture when you're at home and living the rat race of every day life with work and school. 

Having said all of that - I may have been converted into a spa person.  Before this holiday, a spa person I was not.  The last massage I had was on my honeymoon, in Mauritius, 14yrs ago.  The Chi-Spa at Le Touessrok is sublime.  In fact, the massage was so amazing, I went back for a Carita facial as well.  Bliss.  

Not feeling "entirely" so bliss this afternoon, on returning home to be greeted by single digit temperatures.  Although it was sunny and not raining - still in the holiday mood so grateful for small mercies. 


Jumper - FWP by Rae
Faux leather wide leg cropped trousers - Topshop
Coat - M&S
Trainers - Ted Baker
Half Moon Bag - APC
Sunglasses - Walter & Herbert

Tomorrow, I will be back with something A/W related.  If I can get my head around it... I think the frost on the car might sort that out for me pretty smartish?

Hope everyone has had an amazing half term - are we fully fledged members of the Autumn wardrobe now?  What are we all loving and what are we all looking for?  I've only been away for 10 days but it feels like I've missed months!

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11 comentarios:

  1. Your holiday looks absolutely sublime!

  2. Your holiday looks amazing and such a gorgeous family. I swear you are starting to rub off on me! Today I managed to bag the same M&S coat in my local store after a weeks online stalking with no luck and almost identical Ted Baker trainers! There are going to be loads of Kat clones running around soon. Also a massive fan of Liz Earle super skin products, especially the serum.

    1. How amazing is that M&S coat?? For £69 is it? I remember thinking it must be loads more but no... And I am completely in love with those style of trainers. Not to mention the black ones... I might have to do a whole blog on them. Love Liz Earle (and if you watch QVC - the absolutely gorgeous Caroline who does most of their presenting is a friend of mine! And yes, she is as lovely as you think she would be!)

  3. Just look at the boy's eyebrows - aren't they gorgeous! :)

    1. They certainly do have a personality of their own!!!

  4. Fab post as usual. Looks like a fantastic holiday was had by all.
    Would love that salmon recipe, thanks xx

    1. I'm putting that recipe together - we just need to try it first to get the quantities right as it was just a throw in one... which could be good or could go horribly wrong!! I've recorded him making it so can hopefully get an idea of proportions!

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  6. Just catching up on your posts as I was off for mid-term. Holiday looks sublime. DEFO want the recipe, I was thinking that you could do a little food section on your blog too.. you've had some tasty recipes up over the years.. nice salads etc. & cooking for a gang/party!! Just an idea!! More work for you though.. sorry!! Great post.. love the beauty info too. Audrey x

  7. I'm using Guerlain Terracotta Summer Sun Protect Cream. Good for me :D