Woman sitting on a pile of suitacases

You can never have enough SPF....

We get it. Having spent 99.9% of the year swathed in boots/thermals/cagoules (well we like a cagoule anyway) the thought of unveiling our (almost naked) half-baked bods for all to see, is at best, traumatic. So a rigorous regime of blitzing, buffing, de-fuzzing and bronzing is a pre-holiday given. BUT, according to a study by Debenhams this is costing us up to £400 before we even step foot in the airport. Fine if you have the bank-balance of a WAG, not so fine if you actually want to be able to afford a Pina Colada by the pool when you’re there!

So what are we spending it on? The study found that two thirds of the women surveyed had booked an appointment with their hairdresser, 46% had booked a wax and 56% had booked the obligatory (day-glo-minimising) spray tan. “We see demand for treatments soar in the weeks before the summer holidays,” says Christine Morgan, Beauty Club Spokesperson at Debenhams. “It’s about not compromising on doing whatever it takes to make them feel at their most body-confident.”

And the splurging doesn’t stop at treatments either. Having got their hair/bodies/nails into a pool-ready state, they then went on to spend a further £86 on make-up, suncream and other holiday necessities to keep them looking hot-to-trot throughout their break.

Even more scary? A study by Gala Bingo found that 19% of men visiting Marbella spent an equal amount (£400) on pre-holiday preening. Yikes!

Our advice? Save some pennies by going DIY with at least some of your pre-holiday pampering. Here are our favourites...

St Tropez

If you’re a fake-tan novice you need to go fool-proof and St Tropez’s In-Shower Tanning Lotion, £14.50, is as goofproof as they come. Simply apply to wet skin, wait three minutes and wash off for perfectly streak-free colour that may not give you the look of two weeks in the Bahamans but it will take the edge off. Couple with a tan-boosting SPF such as Lancaster’s Sun Beauty Satin Sheen Oil Fast Tan Optimizer SPF 30, £24, which contains a ‘Tan Activator Complex’ for a faster, deeper tan.

Veet Spa Wax

Waxing seems to be our favoured method of pre-holiday hair removal as it means we can forget about razors for the couple of weeks we’re away. The next best thing to going pro? Try Veet’s Spa Wax, £39.99, which we’ve been reliably informed by our tester is far more effective than wax strips even if it takes a little more skill to carry off. Alternatively, invest in an epilator such as Braun Silk-épil 9, £179.99, which has a 40% wider head to ensure even more hairs are captured and removed in one stroke whilst the revolutionary Micro Grip Tweezer Technology removes even the teeniest of hairs for up to four weeks.

Ciate Geltox Kit

Gel nails are now a holiday requisite and we love that Ciate’s at-home ‘Geltox’ kit, £99, transforms any of your favourite nail polish into a gel mani (for two whole weeks) thanks to a special top-coat and a pre-timed LED lamp. Ok, so strictly speaking it’s a tad more expensive than a salon mani/pedi but if you consider cost per wear (even if you only use it during holiday times) and it’s a no-brainer.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Stencils

The art of looking selfie-ready sans make-up is all about whipping your brows (‘the coathangers’ of your face) into shape. We love brow maestro Anastasia’s Beverly Hills Eyebrow Stencils, £16, which features five brow designs to suit any face shape. Once you have the shape right, apply Eylure’s Brow Ink, £8.45, which temporarily dyes the skin for budge-proof colour.

Clairol Nice 'N Easy Root Touch-up

Skip the salon (it’s never a good idea to get your colour done pre sun and chlorine anyway) and go for an at home touch-up with Clairol Root Touch-Up By Nice 'N Easy, £4.28, which contains a precision brush for quick, easy coverage.

Colorsport 30 Day Mascara

Ok, so it won’t have quite the same 'wow' factor as lash extensions, but dying your lashes with Coloursport’s 30 Day Mascara, £8.25, will ensure they stay looking defined (and mascara-free) for up to 30 days.

WATCH: How to get an even tan...