man with a face mask on

From Tinting To Tanning: 7-day Beauty Schedule To Get You Vacation Ready

Published: 02/07/2021

Tanning mitts at the ready, everyone… Operation: Cosmetics is a go! Yes, with summer holidays just a pumice stone’s throw away, there’s never been a better time to start prepping your beauty provisions, and we’d love to tell you why! 

Here at OnBuy, we know that everyone wants to look and feel gorgeous on vacation: fact! But how can we truly enhance our appearance before the big day arrives? Manicures and salon therapies aside, there are a plethora of domestic DIY treatments you can trial in the lead-up to annual leave so, whether you’re jetting off to warmer climates this sunny season (Covid-permitting, of course), or are simply set to enjoy The Great British Beach Staycation, now is the perfect time to start sorting that schedule. We rest our (suit)case!

One week before

woman putting cream on

Last-minute money exchange expeditions, finding a suitable cat sitter, checking your passport is in date (at least one hundred times)… they’re all annual tasks that immediately signify a sojourn. But what about personal prep and the beauty essentials that’ll take your aesthetic from drab to fab this summer? Well, sometimes it can literally be as simple as daily moisturising, or the ‘little things’ that we often forget to accomplish across the rest of the year. To make your pre-trip tremendous, allocate yourself an hour or two of totally undisturbed treat time each night, light some scented candles, and let the pampering commence! We promise it’ll be worth it. 

One week before the main event is probably a good time to start preening, and first on the beauty treatment list is hair colour. If you’re already in the habit of regularly tinting your tresses, it’s really important that you time your shading session well in advance of your trip. Sun can fade and lighten your locks, particularly when you’ve recently had it dyed, so a last-minute DIY job could end up being an annoying waste of cash. If this is a concern, you could even consider going a shade darker than usual and then, if needed, simply touch up your roots before you leave. 

Brands like Schwarzkopf offer a fantastic range of box dyes in a variety of eye-catching colours and permanencies. So, whether you’re thinking of braving the blonde or embracing a rich and radiant red, there truly is something for everyone. If you’re super keen to express yourself, without the pressure of a long-lasting change, a semi-permanent solution is probably the best option for you. With moderate to low use of shampoo, as well as limited to exposure to swimming pool chemicals like chlorine, these tints should last for around six weeks, or the equivalent of eight washes. It’s also certainly worth investing in an intensive moisturising serum at this stage to protect your hair from any potential dryness or dehydration when catching those summertime rays.

Six days before

cleaning make up brushes

The six-day step is crucial, and includes some of the most important holiday products on our list. To avoid a last-minute dash when stocking up on all the seasonal essentials, it’s a great idea to plan ahead, reflecting on which items you’re likely to need. If you’re heading to the beach or are prepping for a warm city break, don’t be tempted to rely on that half-used bottle of sunscreen from last year… lotions can actually lose potency and effectiveness over time, so be sure to invest in a new box of SPF30 or above. If you’re likely to wear a full face of makeup regularly too, ensure your vanity case is fully stocked with all the palettes, lipstick, foundation, and brushes your heart could ever desire. 

Speaking of brushes, it’s probably time to give them a good clean! If you can’t remember the last time this recommended-weekly-ritual took place, or indeed have never taken to soaping your sponges or sweepers (heaven forbid!), day six is the stage to do it. Specially-formulated solutions are an absolute must when it comes to overall hygiene (especially if you’re a fan of thicker, heavier makeup), successfully banishing bacteria with their ultimate germ-fighting technology. Silicone-padded mats, like these suction-cupped models, are super convenient and useful throughout the year, as they restore the box-fresh quality of your accessories without ever damaging the fragile individual bristles inside. Simply fix the mat to a flat surface, wet your brushes with warm water, apply a hypoallergenic cleanser, and scrub away in several motions across the varying grooves.

Five days before

woman doing self facial care

Now it’s time for eyebrow care! Our personal favourite, this enhancement can truly make all the difference when embracing your minimalist, product-free face on holiday, and certainly doesn’t have to cost the earth, either! We’re not talking Cara Delevigne-inspired bushy brows here - often, it’s actually the subtlest looks that are the most beautiful, charmingly shaping your features in an understated yet noticeable way. Well-defined brows can give your whole appearance a lift, so consider tinting them at around the five-day mark. 

Domestic kits are available in their hundreds from OnBuy’s extensive shelves, all of which include a set of instructions and guidance on how to achieve the feathered aesthetic, but here’s a few extra tips worth thinking about before the colouring commences. First, prep your skin by making sure that all the surrounding makeup is removed. Apply a moisture barrier around the brows, using any conventional lip balm or day cream, as this will prevent any staining or slip ups underneath the all-important arch. Next, using a small spooley, gather the prepared substance onto the brush and comb it through your hairs, ensuring that each strand is coated and shaped exactly how you want it. Wait for up to ten minutes, depending on your desired depth of colour, then simply wipe off any excess product with a wet cotton pad – it really is that easy!

If this is totally your bag, why not also experiment with professional lash tinting too? We all know that even waterproof mascara can result in the dreaded panda eyes after a morning dip in the pool and, let’s face it, who really wants to look like a horror film character at the lunch table?! These treatments allow you to enjoy darker, more natural eyelashes for up to four weeks post-application, so are definitely worth considering if smudging is an everyday occurrence. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!

Four days before

woman applying hair treatment

Next up, it’s time for tresses and treatments. If you’ve often found yourself trying to navigate the never-ending aisles of hair care products and simply don’t know where to start, then this is the section for you! We understand that general lock shopping can seem like an absolute minefield, especially when there are so many tempting treatments on offer but, with OnBuy’s helping hand, you’ll never have to worry about hair hesitation again! 

Let’s start with shampoo and conditioner. Indulging in a good-quality set of these two essentials is certainly a good idea in the lead-up to your vacation. For many people, choosing the correct combination is difficult, and we’re often left just opting for the cheapest model or, failing that, the one claiming to be ‘best for every hair type’. We promise though, your perfect match is out there… you just need to know where to look! 

If you tend to lean more towards the sensitive side, it’s good practice to look for shampoos and conditioners that don’t contain any sulphates, formaldehyde, parabens, or phthalates, as these common ingredients can irritate the skin and penetrate bodily tissues. Instead, search for natural models with organic or plant-based elements, like this Maria Nila Structure Repair Set. A gentle formula designed for dry and damaged locks, its algae extract and 100% vegan composition moisturises the strands’ shape, helping hair to regain its natural strength, smoothness, and shine. 

Should you require an extra shot of hydration, even as late as the morning that you’re leaving, try applying a hair mask for an intensely nourishing, deep conditioning treatment. Preventing any unwanted frizz on the journey, this step will lead to silkier, softer hair, and a thoroughly soothed scalp… it’s the perfect way to start your summer holiday!

Three days before

woman applying foot cream

Though we often forget to care for them properly, our feet deserve just as much attention as anywhere else on the body. Investing in a first-rate file is a great place to start, as this can make calloused heels and dry, cracked regions of your skin look instantly more attractive and youthful. 

Scrubs are probably the safest option here, as there’s no risk of friction-related injuries, but ceramic (or pumice) stones, scrapers, exfoliators, and shavers work just as effectively too. Before you begin any treatments, why not consider submerging your tootsies in a basin, bath, or soaker filled with warm oil-, soap-, or salt-infused water? This will help to soften any harder areas of skin, making them easier to remove later down the line.

To maintain the soft texture beyond mere corn and callous elimination, it’s super important that you also moisturise your feet regularly with a thick hydrating cream or oil. Massaging is very good for newly exposed skin, as it increases blood circulation, relaxes the muscles, and relieves any tension. To finish off your look with an extra splash of pizzazz, you could even perform your own pedicure, with base coats, nail polish, art stickers, and pens to firmly sweeten the deal. Who needs salons, anyway?! We’ve got everything you need right here!

Two days and counting

applying face mask

If you prefer smoother legs, save the shave until as close to your departure as possible. Minimising the need to perform this laborious action again while on holiday, waxing is probably the most efficient option. Here at OnBuy, we say, ‘ignore the urban myth’! Hair removal truly doesn’t have to be as painful as everyone makes out, especially if you use all the correct pre-treatments and post-serums, to successfully soothe your skin. 

For your pins, it’s best to start with the ankles and work your way upwards, in small sections, or strips, as you go. For Brazilians and your bikini line, invest in a numbing lotion or pain reliever, like Aspirin, to minimise the immediate discomfort. Or, if this has only served to scare you off, removal cream works just as well!

The two-day mark is also the perfect time to complete any other last-minute treatments, like manicures, face masks, exfoliation, and pore strips. If you’re planning on applying some fake tan in the morning, be sure to carry out a patch test up to 24 hours before the process begins.

One more sleep!

woman applying spray

One night before take-off? It’s time for a tan! Depending on the brand and formula you choose, there are a range of self-tan products that all require varying levels of commitment and time throughout the day. If you’re opting for a three-hour leave-on mousse, for example, make sure you leave enough time to wash it off before going to bed. Alternatively, if you’re thinking of choosing an overnight solution, be certain to prep and exfoliate enough in advance. 

Industry-leading names like St. Tropez, Skinny Tan, and Bondi Sands all showcase a variety of lotions and potions, from lightweight purity serums to gradual alternatives and even watermelon-infused creams. No matter what your preference though, the most important thing to remember is patience. 

First and foremost, the tan you apply with a mitt will, at least initially, only be the tone of a ‘guide colour’, meaning it will become darker over time. To avoid any potential mishaps or *gasp* streaks (cue high-pitched screams!), give the product enough time to dry (at least 15 minutes) before getting dressed and, perhaps most crucially, select a lighter shade if you’re a tanning trainee. Any mistakes will therefore be far less obvious and much easier to rectify in the morning. Elbows, knees, ankles, and hands have a tendency to appear much darker and patchier if extra care isn’t taken too, so apply a small amount of moisturiser to any dry areas pre-tinting, to prevent excess product showing through. 

To help maintain your tan all holiday long, it’s worth nourishing your skin every day with a good-quality cream, keeping it hydrated and, thus, less likely to crack or flake in the heat. Be aware that the more you swim and shower, the quicker your colour will start to fade, so carefully pat the skin with a towel, instead of rubbing, after any water-based activity. Remember that fake tan doesn’t preclude your skin from UV damage, and shouldn’t be used as a replacement sunscreen or SPF protectant.

It’s time for some vitamin sea!

woman standing by the sea

Congratulations – you’ve made it to your holiday! We hope you’ve enjoyed our seven-day beauty schedule ideas, and now feel better equipped to plan your own prep this summer. As is the case with so many products within the cosmetics industry, everything is completely down to personal preference. So, if you’re keen to swap out tanning for tinting treatments… go for it! Use our guidelines as a basis for your own tailored timetable, and create the checklist of your dreams in no time. After all, as Sophia Loren once said, ‘beauty is how you feel inside’. 

Should you require more assistance though, or are simply in need of some extra information and tips on how to take advantage of your cosmetics collection, look no further than our blog and buyer’s guide resources. Stuffed to the brim with support and advice on everything from natural hair dyes to current beauty trends and nail art, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice when it comes to aesthetic accessories. All that’s left to say is… what are you waiting for?! A week of indulgence awaits!