I’m the first person to admit that I fulfil most British stereotypes, not least the inability to control my love of a good moan. This is especially the case when it comes to weather. I hate being cold, get very cold and spend the majority of the winter months somewhere on the spectrum of mild-to-hopping-mad rage, railing against my purple extremities and goose pimples to anyone who’ll listen. Then when summer finally arrives and we’re treated to a heatwave I can’t cope with that either and start getting stroppy about being sweaty in the city. Even last week in glorious Sotogrande when all I had to do was lounge by a pool and the horrors of the Piccadilly Line were far, far away I still managed to fit in a whinge or two about the heat between insagramming shots of my pedicure and inspecting my tan lines. One particularly iffy issue when it’s hot, hot, hot is how to keep yourself looking polished when you feel like you’re melting. Whether you’re in the city, trying to look presentable while navigating scorching pavements and possibly even public transport or on your hols, hoping to look like a poolside glamazon, keeping groomed in the height of summer can be tricky. With the mercury set to continue to rise and August being prime holiday time, I thought now might be a good moment to share some of the luscious L’Occitane En Provence products I’ve been using to stop myself looking like a bedraggled mess (I hope) both in London and on the beach.
Beating the heat with Frisson de Verveine
Frisson de Verveine Eau de Toilette, £42, click here to buy
Frisson de Verveine Body Care Duo, reduced from £34 to £28, click here to buy
While I remain highly dubious about body spray in general – anyone else remember the impulse scented air of teenage discos? – everything else about L’Occitane En Provence’s Frisson de Verveine collection is excellent. The scent is utterly delicious and so freaking fresh I quite want to drink it every time I put it on. Also when it’s seriously hot, more traditional perfumes can be a bit heavy, even really lovely ones. The same goes for the shower gel and body lotion. The ice gel for hands and feet was a bit of a surprise as the idea of putting gel on your body when you’re hot and sweaty isn’t so nice in theory but in practice, it does the job and doesn’t leave you with your toes stuck together. It’s also enabled me to continue cramming my feet into footwear that could double as torture instruments as it reduces heat swelling. For the past few weeks I’ve been using the lot when I get back from a morning run and, in my mind at least, the whole routine transports me from red faced, panting mess to a state of laid back, lemon scented loveliness. I did give the body mist a go and it was actually rather nice, but I still kind of object to it on principle.
Pre Holiday Preparations
I’ve never read a beauty feature that didn’t advise lots and lots of pre holiday exfoliation. No guide to prepping your beach body will ever advocate anything other than scouring away those dead skin cells and vanquishing all signs of cellulite with a good, grainy scrub. This is of course because it’s true. Back in the day I used to be the most religious skin scrubber of them all, devoting vast amounts of time to my extensive exfoliation-followed-by-moisturisation routine but now I’m rather too busy to spend hours in my bathroom merrily buffing my bod. That, my friends, is where this particular potion is rather handy. It’s a moisturiser/exfoliator hybrid in the form of a blended almond butter and oil paste that you just apply all over, as you would a regular lotion in the weeks leading up to your hols. It won’t of course transform you into a Victoria’s Secret angel (always a bummer) but it does make your skin soft, fresh and ready to get it’s tan on. Smell nice too, obvs. I’ve also been slapping on a bit of the almond tonic body oil whenever I remember to. It’s made from a combination of 5 essential oils – immortelle, palmarosa, mint, carrot, cypress and pink pepper – and meant to give skin a “refined and toned appearance.” I think a big misconception, or in some cases outright lie, with products like this is that it’s tempting to think that they will help tone your limbs in a more muscular sense, like some sort of magical gym in a bottle which obviously would be awesome if it existed. What the almond tonic body oil is designed to do is tone and smooth the skin itself, not what’s underneath it. For that purpose, L’Occitane’s oil works well and leaves you feeling all silky and fragrant with less blotches and bumps.
While I’m categorising these under the “use while on holiday” section of this post it’s also totally advisable to use them when back home during the summer, especially the face cream with factor 40 UV protection. I’m sure you guys are all much better about this than me but I always forget to wear UV protective face cream, sometimes even when actually on holiday which is terrible. I’m usually worried that wearing such creams on my face day to day is going to clog my pores, mess with my skin, cause makeup coagulation and generally feel a bit icky. I decided this summer to be less of an idiot about protecting my pasty face from the sun’s rays and gave this a whirl, then continued using it as it didn’t cause any of the aforementioned horrors. Full disclosure, I don’t use it everyday as I’m addicted to Kiehls classic 3 step skincare products but when I was in Sotogrande or if it’s particularly sunny here in blighty I swap it for L’Occitane’s Angelica UV shield. When I was away it was a huge relief to know that even if I fell asleep or got to engrossed in The Wrong Knickers (SUCH a funny book, definitely recommended reading) and didn’t reapply my suncream enough, my face at least was still protected. As a result I’m burnt in multiple other places but at least my nose doesn’t look like a tomato. I’m very, very hesitant to ever use any products at all on my hair as it’s super fine and the slightest smidge of mousse leaves me looking like Gollum. That said, sun, sea and chlorine gives my usually limp barnet the ability, or at least the desire, to transform itself into a very tangled ‘fro so I experimented with this spray when I was on holiday and I’d definitely recommend it.
Happy holidays everyone!
Love Ella. X