*** This post was made in generous partnership with: NEUTROGENA® Canada, Gap and Bare Minerals. All thoughts and opinions are exclusively my own.
There’s a lot about the holidays that I love… the cold definitely isn’t one of those things haha Don’t get me wrong, when I’m bundled up at home with the view of snow falling outside, I’m all good… but other than that, I could skip out on the cold.
For this year’s #MDVPHoliday18 editorial (the annual holiday I do with my fellow blogger besties, and truly my best friends – Dave, Victoria, and Peter), we decided to escape the cold for half of it and jetted off to Belize to spend the first half of the holiday season. I’m so excited to be switching things up. I’ll be showing you guys some holiday must haves (in a bit more of a tropical backdrop) and how to do the holidays away from the “brrrrrr”. If you’re looking for some extra warmth, or are looking for some winter holiday/vacation inspiration, look no further. I’m rounding up all the winter-escape holiday must haves here and sharing a bit of our favourite moments from beautiful Belize.
1FINDING THE RIGHT GETAWAY
Finding the right destination for the holidays is sometimes a tricky one. Before deciding on a destination, I always ask myself a few things:
- What sort of vacation am I looking for?
- Am I looking for adventure? Relaxing?
- How much am I willing to pay?
- Do I have to be well connected (wifi?)
These sorts of questions will help you to make the right decision about the destination and type of vacation you book for your holiday getaway.
And unlike any other vacation, you want to make sure you get this one right from the get-go. Whether we like to admit it or not, there’s a lot of pressure riding on getting away for the holidays.
We ended up choosing Belize, because we wanted to discover somewhere new and somewhere less chartered by the likes of Instagram. We wanted to shine a new light on a new destination, and let me tell you, it was worth the trek!
This beautiful Caribbean island country is a stunning one. The mainland is well known for jungle adventures and the islands are for slower living. We ended up staying on San Pedro (Belize’s largest island) and we were not disappointed. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure that we were looking for.
The Mayan ruins were absolutely breathtaking. We had the entire site all to ourselves and it was both eery and epic all at the same time.
Because let’s face it, if you’re choosing a tropical vacation for the holiday, chances are you’re going to spending as much time as you can on the beach. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get some twinkly and light-adorned palm trees. And if not, the sparkle of the sunset will be just as magical as Santa’s sleigh. And since you’ll be on the beach all day (we definitely were), your bikini is essentially your everyday outfit.
I found some really cute ones (above) to bring with me from Cupshe (I have a full review on Cupshe bikinis here as well).
Being half naked outside all day sounds like fun and games (and it definitely is), but as I become a responsible adult, I’ve learned how important sun care is, especially when I travel. I’ve been using these Neutrogena sunscreens recently and have been LOVING them. I used them everyday while I was in Belize and am super proud to announce that not one sunburn was had! Woot woot! Here are my fav products from their lines and why I loved each of them.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50
This was and remains my go-to for facial sunscreen. It has hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E in it, so it’s amazing for skin that is begging for some hydration. The kicker for this one is that it’s a water gel formula that’s so light, it leaves your face feeling clean and non-greasy. It leaves no residue, and the best part is that it doesn’t clog my pores (I have always struggled to find a sunscreen for my face that doesn’t make me break out). It’s also sweat and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Lotion
I use this baby all over my body. It has this thing called “dry-touch” technology, which leaves your skin feeling really light without a shiny finish. I also found that it absorbs super quickly so I never feel oily or greasy. Like all the other Neutrogena sunscreens, I love that it also doesn’t have the really strong sunscreen-y smell. This one is also sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes – so you don’t have to worry when you’re off swimming!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 50+
This is my favourite product to bring with me when I’m on-the-go. It has that same “dry-touch” technology I mentioned above and is hands-free and mess-free. This makes the perfect beach bag sidekick when you’re at the beach and your hands are full of sand. The stick can be used on your face and body, and I use it mostly for re-applying! Remember to apply every two hours!
If you’re headed to a tropical destination (or honestly, even if you’re off on a skiing adventure – I’ve gotten a bad sunburn from the slopes and snow reflections before), these are amazing to keep handy and are probably the real MVP for this round up. Trust me, a sunburn for the holidays is no fun!
4GLOWING MAKE UP
If you’re headed to the sun for the holidays, trade in the vampy, smokey eye, glam look for a no-make up make up look that has you and your beautiful face glowing. I tried to go super light on my make up while I was in Belize and basically lived off these holiday sets from Bare Minerals. I love that Bare Minerals products are also mineral-based and so good for your skin. With the sweat, adventuring, and swimming, they was the perfect sidekicks to keep my make up glowing but not fussy at all. These also make for amazing products to add to your at-home make up routine. Their holiday kits are on fire!
Here are some of my favourite products from the line (so many of them are ON SALE right now too):
I love this Moonlit Magic Deluxe Original Foundation ($45) for that lightweight coverage look. You dust it over and it gives you that more even complexion without having to cake on the foundation. I’ve struggled with acne before, so my skin is still a bit bumpy, but this foundation evens out all my skin tones and makes it feel like I’m not wearing anything at all.
My absolute favourite of the entire collection has got to be the highlighters though. This creamy highlighter ($27) is the perfect palette for you to build your glow, as bright as you want it to go. The shades are warm and make your skin look like your skin but better. If I could, I think I would rub this all over my face haha
And of course, no holidays are the holidays without a cute new pair of PJS. I had to leave our matching flannel PJs at home (although keep an eye out for those soon in our “Stay” Holiday Guide), but these warm-weather holiday PJS from Gap could not be more perfect for your holiday season away in the tropics. I had such a tough time finding cute holiday pjs (that weren’t fleece), but this set from Gap was perfect! How cute is this t-shirt?!
Vic, Peter, and Dave also found some adorable holiday PJs for our trip that I feel like are so versatile and wearble even past the holiday season. No lie, since we all basically live in our PJs, having PJs that look like regular clothes definitely helps as well. And like all of my favourite Gap pieces, this set was the most comfortable thing ever! If you’re looking for some cute holiday PJS to keep or give, definitely check out the selection at Gap.
And that wraps the “Away” portion of our holiday editorial this year. It’s our 3rd time celebrating the holidays together, all 4 of us, and we can’t wait to share our “Stay” portion with you soon.
I hope that, whether you’re getting away for the holidays, or just planning your next vacation, that this helped inspired a bit of sparkle in your traveling day dreams. Cheers to the spirit of the holidays, wherever you may, and whatever you may celebrating!
*** This post was made in generous partnership with: Neutrogena Canada, Gap, and Bare Minerals. All thoughts and opinions are exclusively my own.
Would you pick up any of these products if you were going somewhere tropical for the holidays?