A beauty editor's guide to prolonging your holiday glow


You're back from your holiday and determined not to lose that spring in your step or sparkle in your eyes. We asked Kathleen Baird-Murray, a beauty columnist for the Financial Times, and former beauty director of Porter, Vogue and Tatler magazines to share her tips on preserving that just-stepped-off-the-beach glow.

Where do you love to visit?

I have been fortunate to live and work in so many interesting cities around the world, from Sydney to Tokyo. This summer we went to the Greek mainland – I like knowing I won’t bump into anyone I know and I don’t think I’d cope well in places like Ibiza or Mykonos. I’d like to explore America beyond New York or Los Angeles (both of which I love) and do the classic Pacific Coast road trip, and visit some of the incredible national parks. I’m currently planning what will be my third trip to Myanmar (Burma) where my late mother was born. It’s a vast country, with incredible white sand beaches, unspoilt forests and lakes, and beautiful people.

Image: Myanmar in Burma

How do you prolong that holiday feeling?

I like to take a creative project with me on holiday that I haven’t had time to finish at home – I'm currently working on my latest beauty book. I wake up early while I’m away because I hate missing out on one single moment of the day and put a couple of hours in before anyone in my family wakes up. Away from the usual distractions, I achieve so much more, “work” becomes enjoyable again, and I find it really fulfilling so that when I do go back home, I have the aftermath of that project to look forward to, and to be excited about. Also, as soon as I get home I immediately start planning my next treat. There are so many daily setbacks and minor problems in life, that having treats to look forward to means you never get ground down by the bad stuff – if you’re lucky you don’t even notice it.

Image: Sam Hendel

How do you give your hair an at-home beach feel?

I check in with Nicola Clarke at John Frieda who colours the mid-lengths of my hair blonde-y brown, and maintains my brunette roots by making sure there’s still more brown than grey. I don’t cut it all summer, taking advantage of the damaged ends and the extra length to make it look more disheveled and windswept.

After shampooing, I add plenty of Christophe Robin’s Regnerating Mask with Prickly Pear Seed Oil, which is an excellent conditioner, and then I leave it to dry naturally, twisting it into a bun when it’s nearly dry to accentuate the wave.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed oil, £51, Christophe Robin (available at Fenwick Bond Street)

What would you advise for preserving radiant skin?

I avoid anything that exfoliates or strips the skin while I’m away, but as soon as I get back I hit the cleansing cloths or exfoliants with a vengeance. I love Radical’s Age-Defying Exfoliating pads, and also enjoy Omorovicza’s Copper Peel – both are excellent for removing any dry skin without causing irritation.

Image: Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads, £65, Radical Skincare (available at Fenwick Bond Street and Brent Cross)

What about ways to cheat that holiday glow?

I love Nars Dual Intensity Blush in Panic as the pink and peachy-beige shades work well with a tan and the subsequent transitional period as it fades. I exfoliate my shins in particular as they are the first to start looking grey, using a dry brush, and then moisturise with an oil like Kahina’s Fez Body Serum, which is rich in vitamin E and scented with patchouli, sandalwood and ylang ylang. Sometimes I’ll use a tan maximiser by Guerlain (Terracotta Sun Serum Tan Booster Complex). I try and avoid wearing black clothes in summer, and enjoy the new range of colours –oranges, pinks, lime-greens - that being tanned allows me to wear.

Dual Intensity blusher in panic, £30, Nars (available at Fenwick Bond Street and Kingston)

Is there a fragrance that says holiday to you?

I always carry a nugget of Le Labo’s Santal 33, as it seems to work with anything and in any place and the waxy balm or oil can be applied to your skin without risking any sun damage. This summer I also took the travel-sized version of Shay & Blue’s Blood Oranges. There’s something about the smell of pomelo and clementine which makes me happy – probably because it reminds me of my favourite summer cocktail, Campari with Pink Grapefruit.

Image: Blood Oranges Natural Spray Fragrance, £55, Shay & Blue (available at Fenwick Bond Street)

What do you love to wear colour-wise?

Summer is the best time to experiment with using a different shade of eyeliner, and I love anything with a little metallic running through it – Chanel always have something great. I also love M.A.C’s Giambattista Valli lipstick in Eugenie – it’s a dark burgundy shade that blots down to make a beautiful lip-stain for when pink is too pretty and you want a touch of summer drama.

Matte lipstick, £17, Giambattista Valli for M.A.C (available at Fenwick Bond Street)

And do you have any tips for nails?

When I’m on holiday I let my nails go naked – I get a really great pedicure that buffs the nails and leaves them looking so healthy and glowing that I can’t bear to paint on polish afterwards. If I’m away for more than a few days, I won’t apply polish to my fingernails as it saves me packing nail polish remover. I know gels would last the length of my holiday, but I have never really liked the feel of them or the fact that you can’t remove them on a whim, but have to book in to a salon. If you can’t feel spontaneous on holiday, when can you?

Miracle Buffer, £6, Nails Inc (available at Fenwick Bond Street, CanterburyKingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, WindsorYork)

By Claire Brayford