How to look great and stay safe in the sun this summer

Nearly 20 years ago, the amazing Ali Hewson organised a charity fashion show with Brown Thomas to raise money for The Chernobyl Children’s Project and the ISPCC.

Her supermodel pals like Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Heidi Klum and Yasmin Le Bon jetted into Dublin to strut the catwalk. As a newbie model, I remember feeling absolutely out of my depth standing beside these goddesses. I thought that all my imperfections and lumps and bumps would stand out like a sore thumb beside their gleaming perfection.

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However, as we all dressed backstage and got to see these perfect creatures up close, I realised something so important: there isn’t a woman that walks this land that does not have cellulite, stretch marks and their own lumps and bumps – even the seemingly flawless ones.

I say this, hand on heart, not to be in any way nasty, but merely to point out that body perfection is a total illusion that can have us chasing something false all our lives. This summer, as I hear lots of women talking about their sun holidays, I also sadly hear a lot of them mentioning how nervous they are to peel off beach-side.

One trick that every model I know has used to appear smoother and leaner, is simply apply a layer of self-tan and use a glossy, gleaming suntan oil rather than a chalky option. This trick and the beauty picks that follow will give you a boost of self-confidence so you’re free to enjoy every second of your holidays.


Skincare has gone high-tech with the launch of La Roche-Posay’s My Skin Track UV. The world’s first miniature wearable electronic skin sensor measures your exposure to UV, pollution, humidity and even pollen. Just synch with an app on your smartphone. Available from, €64.95.

Six of the best: Holiday heroes

Head master

What’s the best way to protect your hair and scalp from the sun? Wear a hat! If you’re not keen on headgear, protect your hair, scalp and colour with this divine smelling, lightweight, water-resistant UV defense mist that forms an invisible screen to help protect hair from sun exposure and minimise damage. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, €28, from Debenhams, Arnotts, Brown Thomas, House of Fraser and salons nationwide.


Jennifer Rock – aka The Skin Nerd – is one of my favourite skincare experts. She is totally authentic in her passion for bringing great skin to everyone and I was chuffed to see her launch her first skincare line Skingredients a few months ago. Her ingredients and formulations are top notch – and her SPF is a stand-out. It ticks all the boxes for me: mineral-based, super high factor 50++ and skin-hydrating ingredients. Plus it comes in a peachy, dewy colour, so no chalky white residue. Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50++, €42 from pharmacies, Arnotts, Brown Thomas, selected skin salons nationwide and

Sun-kissed mist

I have to be honest with you: I am a total sun-worshipper and have yet to pass a sun lounger I haven’t wanted to loll on for days! But hand on heart, I can say that I’ve always protected my face and neck with a high SPF. It can look a bit odd having a snowy white face atop a tanned body, so to combat that I pack a face tanner. My new discovery is St Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Face Mist. This is a totally transparent tan that you just mist over your face, neck and décolletage and it gives such a gorgeous, natural, streak-free glow. St Tropez Purity Face Mist, €29.99 from department stores and pharmacies nationwide.

Insider’s secret

After 15 years modelling, I can tell you that there are some very easy tricks to add the illusion of “perfection” to your skin and body. I used them all many times! When you add an oil-based or super illuminating sun cream that bounces light off your skin, it creates an optical illusion (similar to contouring) that makes you look more streamlined and smoother skinned. This gem is water resistant, non-greasy and enriched with shea butter. Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Protect Sun Oil SPF 30, €9.99 from pharmacies and retail stores nationwide

One-pot wonder

For a hard-working, family-friendly, water-resistant skin salve that will deal with holiday sunburn, insect bites, hives, pimples, cuts and scratches, chuck Sudocrem’s new pocket-size travel tub into your luggage. Sudocrem Life’s Little Emergencies Tub, €2 from pharmacies, Penneys, Dunnes Stores, and Applegreen garage forecourts nationwide.

Clean sweep

I’m not a fan of wet wipes to be honest – but when travelling and on holidays I always slip a pack in my luggage. They’re my go-to for mopping up spillages and cleaning my face when I can’t be bothered with my longer skincare routine. The only ones I use are by WaterWipes – they’re made with a whopping 99.9pc water, with the remainder being fruit extracts and dead sea minerals. The purest family wet wipe on the market, by far. WaterWipes, €4.30 from retail stores and pharmacies nationwide.

Take 3: beach-proof make-up

Bye bye, panda eyes

The one item of makeup the majority of women won’t go without is mascara – even poolside! For nary a panda eye in sight on your hols, try this waterproof gem with clever movable wand. It’ll see you from pool to party for the duration of your holiday.

DETAILS: L’Oreal Unlimited Waterproof Mascara, €14.99, from pharmacies and retail stores nationwide.

Good to glow

Cheat your way to a summer glow with this gorgeous lip and cheek tint (can be used on eyelids too). Just dab the Beach Stick on your lips and cheeks for a pop of dewy, youthful colour in one stroke! Available in five shades – all inspired by the golden sands of Charlotte’s hometown of Ibiza. I love Las Salinas! DETAILS: Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick Lip to Cheek Dewy Colour Pop, €40, from Brown Thomas, BT2, Arnotts and

Cover all bases

Going totally bare-faced on the beach is a step too far for some women – so if you’re looking to banish dark circles and blemishes on your holiday, this budget concealer palette will help create an even base. It’s also a very handy holiday helper, as the tones go from light to very tan.

DETAILS: Carter Beauty Out of Sight Concealer Palette, €7.95, from pharmacies nationwide and

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