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Bikini. Obviously. A bikini is essential to a beach break. Choose one that is supportive, well-fitting and makes you feel amazing. Nothing worse than spilling out of one. New Look, Next and Asos do the most affordable and well-fitted styles I’ve seen, but look in any high street store and you’ll find a decent array of two pieces.
CC cream or BB cream. JARGON BUSTER: BB is blemish balm or beauty balm and is multifunctional in the sense that it can smooth, tone, colour correct, smooth out blemishes, age-defying, etc. etc. This one is pretty much an all-round moisturiser with added coverage. CC stands for colour correcting – this is the cream that I use as I have an uneven skin tone (I get red blotches around my nose and cheeks). Basically BB cream but focuses more on evening out skin tone. These are necessities for your holiday as you can use it both day and night and leave your pale, Lancastrian pallor foundation at home. It has SPF and has a light consistency, so your skin is protected, and doesn’t feel sticky. You can use it on a night and apply with a foundation brush to achieve a higher coverage; just pop some concealer on any heinous blemishes (I have under eye issues).
Kaftans. The perfect day to night go-to. They look amazing on their own during the day as a cover up. Then drape over a little bralet and denim shorts, or a strappy bodycon dress for the evening.
Nick Mulvey’s new album releasing in May called First Mind. You may have already heard ‘Cucurucu’ – Fearne Cotton was all over it last month – but if that track is in any way a preface to the rest of his album then it’s an ultimate beach playlist. I appreciate we all have different music tastes, but when you just want to chill out, I think we can all empathise with Nick. Amazing tinkling strings, great summery textures, catchy and super sweet lyrics – so so good!
I hate to sound like your mother here and I’m trying to be cool by saving you time in the hopes you will judge me less. Mosquito bites are the worst, so I’ve heard, as I have been fortunate enough never to have had one. I accredit this to Soltan’s aftersun with added mosquito repellent. I’m sorry that’s not cool at all. But neither is chapped, sunburnt skin in Ibiza; getting more attention because of your undulating, inflamed skin, than your beach body you have grafted four months for. So moisturise, hydrate, and repel! All in one! Yes Soltan!
Eyewear. Ermagerd I love sunglasses. Boys and Girls! Don your aviators, your wayfarers, your cats eyes, your mirrored frames, your blue lenses, your tortoiseshells! Unite!
Boys this is for you. I now feel your pain. After my boyfriend uttered the words that have since caused me much pain – ‘Chels, will you just pick out my holiday clothes? I always look s**t.’ I have then been forced to venture into this neck of the woods. Daytime is easy, vintage Levi shorts right? But it’s so hard for you to look good on a night, unless you compromise on ventilation and general welfare. BUT, I think I cracked it. Now don’t get me wrong, I hate chinos, but the chino-style shorts are actually very decent. You can get them in loads of colours – Jack Wills do amazing ones, so do Ralph Lauren (if you go to outlets they are considerably cheaper, like Cheshire Oaks) Topman obviously have them covered. If you just stick to plain on top and go for either lo tops, if you simply cannot justify wearing sandals, or just some plain leather sandals get my approval. Winner. TIP (more like an insistence): Make sure you roll them up just above your knee.
Manipedi. It’s the only time of year I make a concerted effort to dress up my nails. According to ELLE and their 40 colours for summer (not really narrowing it down, just giving us the colour spectrum there ELLE) you have pretty much any shade to choose from. Yellows and golds for when you have built up your tan. Pastels for on your way out.
Finally the pinnacles; your friends, your family, sangria, Peroni, sea, sand, water sports, tan, parties, stars, surf: the most important things you will have already there with you.