ali’s #fashionbeautybooks holiday essentials

ali wears: Urban Outfiiters gingham dress

Anyone else a sucker for pre-holiday panic shopping?  This year, I’ve restricted myself to a few choice items (3, obviously) to wear, apply and read and I’m hoping they’ll make for a light suitcase and a LOT of use…’til next summer anyway!


Forget carefully curated, colour co-ordinated ‘separates’ that can be mixed and matched, my packing style is stuffing 17 dresses in my suitcase for a 7 night break. This year we are going to a campsite near Ile de Ré in France (eco lodge, not a tent!) so I’m packing floaty, casual numbers that will be suitable whether cycling through the French countryside or chasing the kids on the beach. No heels needed – just a big beach bag and a pair of espadrilles.

Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Picnic Gingham Midi Dress, £52 – BUY!

Bohemia Mexicana tassel beach bag, £38 – BUY!

J Crew Baja Satin Espadrilles, were £128, now £90 – BUY!


I think I’m pretty low maintenance on holiday (though my husband may disagree). I’m not one for hair products, my skincare regime is basic (as Robyn will attest!) and fake tan and I are not friends. But, like my suitcase, my make up bag is always bulging. This year, I’m not taking seven lipsticks as per, just one nude, plus I’m switching my faithful Laura Mercier electric poppy red for a more summery, glossy ‘Palm Beach’ coral. Taking one do-it-all palette is a brilliant way of reducing number of bulky compacts and I’m LOVING that Space NK have launched a collection of travel sized mini’s. Here’s hoping my make-up bag will be half the size!

Becca Lit from Within Kit, £20 – BUY!

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Palm Beach, £22 – BUY!Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette – Beauty Glow, £49 – BUY!


Reading on holiday is a treat and book choices need careful thought. I don’t like to risk disappointment, so I mostly revisit authors I’ve loved before and then throw one new into the mix. One of my favourite books of last summer was Black Rabbit Hall so I’m excited to read Eve Chase’s next release. I was also a big fan of When God Was A Rabbit so Sarah Winman’s third novel is a must-pack.  I’ve been wanting to read Conversations With Friends for ages, but decided to save it for holiday. Now my only dilemma is deciding which one to read first!

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, £11.99 – BUY!

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, £12.99 – BUY!

Tinman by Sarah Winman, £9.99 -BUY!


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