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Published on July 14th, 2015 | by Tatei Montejo


Beauty and the Beach: The Ultimate Pre-holiday Treatments

Holidays are my favourite thing in the world.  Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my next break or check my countdown app on my phone. But the moment the flights are booked, the pressure is on. We all want to look perfect from top to toe and just getting a mani-pedi is no longer good enough to achieve Victoria’s Secret level of hotness. So here are my top treatments for a gorgeous holiday – starting with your eyes, then your summer hair, and not forgetting booty beauty.

Nouveau Lashes at iBrows etc

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They say eyes are the windows to the soul and although all eyes are beautiful in their own way it always surprises me how much of a difference lashes can make. Long, thick lashes can open up the dullest of eyes and equally, a short and fair set can fail to frame and highlight gorgeous peepers. Every week a new mascara comes out but eyelashes are very hard to fake; having tried every option out there I know too well that no amount of coats or fancy brushes can give me the dark, long and thick set I’ve always longed for. Having ‘subtle’ lashes becomes even more inconvenient on holiday, when you want to look perfect from day to night and don’t want to waste time putting a whole face of makeup on or fussing around with mascara that will soon end up on your cheeks after a dip in the pool. That’s why lash extensions may be the perfect treatment for you this summer…

It’s key that you choose an expert, specialised place that you can trust as you don’t want to put your eyes at risk of an infection so I recommend iBrows etc. in Marble Arch, and so do countless beauty insiders and the likes of Tulisa, Little Mix and The Saturdays. The owner Sandra is a true wizard with lashes and did a fantastic job with transforming my shy fair lashes into a glamourous sexy set. Nouveau Lashes is one of the most well-known brands nationwide and they are not only beautiful but also long-lasting, staying on for up to six weeks. The treatment consists of individual lashes being applied to each of your own and a full set takes an hour and a half. My eyes are super sensitive so I can’t say I find it pleasant but I’m a true believer that beauty hurts.

However, lots of others find it relaxing and even manage to sleep through it. Using different length lashes to enhance your own, you can achieve a natural or more doll-like look, but you’re sure to be wowed by your new super glamourous luscious lashes that will no doubt help you look extra beautiful on your sunny escape. If you find it hard to completely ditch your eye beauty routine while away I recommend the new CID® i-proof, waterproof eyeliner for smudge-proof eyes, in daring Jade Aqua or classic back (£15.50), teamed with the best-selling new CID® i-flutter mascara (£18.50), to take you from beach to bar with confidence.


A full set of Nouveau Lashes costs £120 and the treatment time is 90 minutes.

iBrows etc, 16 Seymour Place, W1H 7NG

Organic Hair Colour at Karine Jackson

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We all want to have shiny gorgeous locks on holiday so why should we choose between freshly coloured or healthy looking hair? With organic dyes, that’s a thing of the past, you can get vibrant glossy colours without compromising on healthy nourished hair. The natural formulas are gentle and nourishing, don’t contain ammonia, and are very ethical. I knew all the theory but couldn’t wait to try it for myself — amazing results are what’s ultimately going to determine our choice of dyes and my previously bleached long hair is always a challenge…What I loved about Karine Jackson, aside from its super central location, was that they spent a long while discussing my hair and assessing its current state, which made me feel reassured that they would be able to deliver great results. They then did a ‘stretch test’ to determine what sections of the hair fibres were missing protein or moisture and a colour palette test to see what tones flatter my complexion.Unlike with most dyes, the colour is then applied onto washed wet hair as the heat opens the cuticles and helps the pigments penetrate. 30 minutes later I was anxious to see the result and I was pleasantly surprised with the deep chocolatey brunette shade achieved. I’ve since got many compliments on it and many surprised reactions when revealing it was an organic dye. Great results with fewer chemicals, definitely a winner in my eyes! To keep my colour vibrant I use KC Color Mask, an intensive treatment that maintains and deepens the shade of coloured hair while repairing it.


A full head of colour costs between £62 and £95 depending on the stylist

Karine Jackson, 24 Litchfield St, London WC2H 9NJ

Brazilian Blowdry at Joshua Altback

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I wanted to try the Brazilian Blowdry (also known as straightening, blowout, keratin treatment, etc.) since it first came to the UK, mostly because of its clever name. I don’t have particularly curly, coarse or frizzy hair but who doesn’t want the smooth, super shiny locks of Brazil’s one and only Gisele? And although it’s now a mainstream treatment, offered in many London hairdressers, I was keen to visit Joshua Altback as it was the first salon in the country to specialise in this discipline and it now offers 7 different treatments, tailor made to suit your hair and the results you want to achieve. Located on the lovely St John’s Wood High Street, it’s also the perfect excuse for a nice wander, away from bustling Central.

The first thing my talented stylist Andreea did when I got to JA, was spend a good five minutes analysing my hair and talking to me about previous treatments and colouring to ensure we picked the right version of the blowdry. She then decided to go for Ybera Fashion Candy, which contains special oils rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9, and is perfect for coloured hair like mine as it restores the lipid layer lost during chemical processes. A benefit of this option is that it doesn’t involve the dreaded fumes, typical of some of the more straightening versions, and I preferred to keep my natural wave anyway.

The process involves quite a few steps – washing, keratin product application, rinsing, mask, protein spray, blowdry and straightening – and takes around three hours, but it’s a nice relaxing way to spend a morning. My hair feels the softest it’s ever been, it lasts for up to three months, and the best thing is it’s not damaging at all, it’s actually very good for it! Stronger, shinier and more manageable locks — what else would you want before a holiday? Check!


Brazilian Keratin treatments at Joshua Altback start from £220 and can take up to 3 hours

Joshua Altback, 82 St John’s Wood High St, London NW8 7SH

The Derrière Facial by ARK

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If you know any French at all, you will have guessed by now that this is a facial with a difference. It’s not actually for your face, but for your bum. In today’s culture, a voluptuous derrière is one of the most desirable assets for women — from belfies to padded knickers; it’s fair to say that we live in a booty-obsessed world. Even Vogue, which has championed a size 0 beauty ideal for decades, recently declared it’s “the Era of the Big Booty.” The pressure is on to achieve a J-Lo bum and swimwear is only getting skimpier so if you need that bit of extra courage before a holiday to wear your new Brazilian bikini, this unique treatment’s for you. Everyone I’ve spoken to seemed super curious about what this treatment actually involved so here are the steps.

First, body brushing of the back of your legs and bum to boost circulation and reduce cellulite. A moisturising cleanser is then worked into the skin, followed by ARK Invigorating Body Scrub, which helps lift away dead skin cells and unblock pores. Just like in a normal facial, this is followed by steaming and blackheads extraction if you need it —luckily I didn’t as it’s never the most pleasant bit. The treatment ends with a firming bum and legs massage, while the feet are pampered with aromatherapy oils, and the application of the skin smoothing Nourishing Body Lotion.

As it can be tailored to specific skin concerns such as spots, uneven skin tone or cellulite, I’d recommend this innovative treatment to anyone who’s a bit self-conscious about their backside and wants to feel fab on holiday. But even if you’re already content, it’s a cost-effective option to make your bum look especially plump and radiant for total body confidence. My skin felt baby soft after, now take me to a beach!

And although this unique facial is a lovely treat, I’d be lying if I said a toned and firm figure can be achieved in just one day. I prep for beach ready skin all year round and I have a list of essentials to suit all budgets that I trust with my holiday skin. Palmer’s is such a classic and one of my favourite brands, its Firming Butter (£4.99) tightens skin even after pregnancy or weight lost and the Coconut Rapid Moisture Spray (£4.99) is also a great alternative for when you’re short of time.

A more indulgent option when you want to treat yourself is Murad’s Youth Body Builder range, the renowned doctor’s first anti-ageing body care regime – I love the Firming Peptide Body Treatment (£36), which boosts collagen production, and its amazing lemongrass smell. If your problem area is your arms the new Transformulas ArmLift (£36.95) is for you, it targets every arm issue you could think of so you can say goodbye to bingo wings. And the last step before hitting the beach is a gorgeous tan, which instantly takes off inches – I’m addicted to Dark Diva (£19.99) to give me a deep and dark tan while helping reduce cellulite thanks to its coenzyme Q10, wakame, and caffeine extracts.


The ARK Derrière Facial costs £49 for 45 minutes 

ARK Skincare, 329-339 Putney Bridge Rd, London SW15 2PG

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About the Author

Spanish by origin, Londoner by choice, Tatei has lived and worked in the City for the past four years. Lover of all things beauty she's partial to an indulgent spa treatment in the morning followed by a Real Madrid game in the afternoon and a Bellini in the evening

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