Ibiza 1Having recently returned from a glorious fortnight in Ibiza (take me back, take me back), the beginning of September feels not-a-million miles from the first-day-of-term - except I don't have a snazzy new pencil case. Where has August GONE? If anyone has it, please return at your earliest convenience - I'm kind of missing it. A. LOT.

So, I've got a pretty bad case of post-holiday blues and the only thing softening the blow, is the fact that I'm tanned. As in, actually quite tanned - thanks to the baking Balearic sunshine (32 freakin' degrees) and Institut Esthederm's ADAPTASUN wizardry. Fact is, I look down at my legs and see golden skin where there's usually a sad expanse of blue, goose-pimpled, semi-see-through flesh and I am therefore channeling all my energies into maintaining this miracle of sunshine.

Body Brush 2Tan maintenance requires serious commitment and starts before you even go away. Skin must be smooth and hydrated which is why I began body brushing {try the Elemis Body Brush} with a vengeance about three weeks before departure, as well as using a nourishing, in-shower scrub 2 - 3 times a week, to eliminate scales and increase moisture levels. The {Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub} is one of my favourites - it has big and little grains to make light work of even gnarly feet and elbows - and, like all things Aesop, it smells hu-mazing.

Invigorate LotionNext step is to moisturise top-to-toe daily - a process I find mind-numbing-ly dull - which is why it's essential to be armed with the right tools, and some kind of motivational song to make it seem less like hard work {Salt 'n' Pepa works a treat}. I HATE feeling greasy, so something lightweight is a must - {COMO Shambhala's Invigorate Lotion} is silky and quickly-absorbed, while the blend of essential oils helps to kick-start my brain function...

Three weeks of this drudgery dedication and your skin should be suitably soft and luminous, so now all you need is the optimal holiday sunscreen. I swore allegiance to Institut Esthederm several years ago, when it went with me on a 2-week trip to Provence. It 'coaches' your skin to protect itself, by stimulating the production of melanin (the skin pigment that creates a tan), while a physical sun filter helps prevent damage. I used the {Normal Skin Extreme Sun} version in Ibiza - I'm fair skinned but do tan - and not only did I not burn once, but quickly developed a golden bronze. RESULT!

Ibiza 4Religious after-sun application {Institut Esthederm's Tan Enhancing Lotion} together with my first EVER foray into self-tanners {thank actual GOD for Vita Liberata's Deep Untinted Tanning Gel} means that a gloomy, week-and-a-half later, I'm still convincingly olive.

Now all I need is the weather to turn, so my glow is resigned to a life in the shadow of layers of knitwear and 90 denier. #sigh

P.S. My little seven-year-old pal (niece) in this picture, has the identical dress to that which I'm sporting. Not sure what that says about me...