ashling’s #fashionbeautybooks holiday essentials

Holidays are everything to me. I love what I do, but there has to be a reward somewhere along the line. In the freelance world or even with parenting, you rarely get a pat on the back; a congratulatory ‘good job’. So packing up and leaving the desk behind is my own ‘yay, I’ve earned this’. Bring on that airport G’n’T.

And while I’m pretty up on the art of packing, I’ll still be stressing at midnight because a certain t-shirt is stuck in the wash, I can’t find the adapters and have forgotten to charge both camera and toothbrushes. Why? Because I’ve got caught up in pre-vacation excitement: planning and booking. I’ll inevitably be ticking off my to-do list five minutes before departure.

However, there are essentials I always rely on that keep me from falling into suitcase hell. As long as I’ve got the must-haves, I’ll be fine. Plus, have you noticed how good airport shopping is these days?


Sun-filled trips call for simplicity. I need sunglasses as my eyes are crazy sensitive to bright light, but also because they conceal both the mum-related and the gin-related lack of sleep. Dresses are multi-functional: think daytime throw-on, beach cover-up and dinner glam. The rest of my suitcase is a selection of tees, shorts and flip flops – always Havaianas. And finally, a hairband to accessorise my beachy, unkempt locks.

& Other Stories round sunglasses, £25 – BUY! 

Anthropolgie Evadine striped hairband, £28 – BUY! 

New Look blue gingham puff sleeve Bardot dress, £24.99 – BUY! 


Make-up is minimal. I don’t want foundation, so Wonderglow is ideal for a subtle glow. And truthfully, I wouldn’t be without Nars concealer and Benefit mascara. However, it’s my skincare that weighs me down. Having spent much of my youth with my face to the sun, my skin has taken a beating. Now I’m all about a good SPF and some serious hydration.

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow, £38.50 – BUY! 

Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream High Protection UVB30, £21 – BUY!

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR, £20 – BUY!


With social media, my reading often takes a back seat. Not so on holiday. This is my time to escape. Historical fiction is my favourite, taking me on a whirlwind trip with the likes of Hemingway or possibly the cocktail-swilling jet set of the ’50s. But I’ll devour a page-turning thriller, too.

The Riviera Set by Mary S.Lovell, £8.99 – BUY!

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, £6.99 – BUY! 

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant, £6.49 – BUY! 

Ashling McCloy


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