Bianca Drakes, 40, is a stay-at-home mum from Epping, Essex. She lives with her partner Sebastian, 41, a photographer, and their two-year-old daughter Sadie. She says: “In a few days I’ll be stepping on to the hot Italian sand in my new designer bikini knowing I look amazing after a two-month makeover. It’s a far cry from my usual look – scraped-back hair, jeans and a T-shirt – but as soon as my week-long holiday with my boyfriend to Lake Garda was booked in May, I began my intensive pre-holiday regime of waxing, facials and a colonic.
My everyday life is a whirl of washing, ironing and cooking. As a mother to a two year old, I have to make a real effort to achieve my beach body as normally I just don’t have time. For that one week, I get a chance to be someone else, not just a mum.
I don’t want to be sitting on the beach with rolls of fat. So, as soon as our holiday’s booked, I step up my twice-weekly gym routine to four times a week, making sure I do body pump and combat classes to tone up. Plus I go on a drastic diet, banning carbs and chocolate so I lose at least 7lb from my 5ft 8in, 9st 7lb frame.
Then about a month before our departure date, I begin my beauty regime with a visit to a cosmetic surgery clinic in Kent for £200-a-go Botox on my crow’s feet and forehead and get my thin lips filled a little with collagen for another £200. I have just enough to look fresh-faced. My partner earns a good salary, so it doesn’t dent our income too badly.
I like to give my hair a makeover too. Last year I got blonde extensions for our holiday in the Algarve, which cost me over £200. But this year I’ve had it dyed chocolate brown.
A fortnight before we fly, I have a £50 dermabrasion facial at a local beauty clinic to sand away fine lines and imperfections. I need to have it done a bit before we go as it can leave my skin red and raw.
Then a week later I go for a £30 leg and bikini wax, and have a couple of spray tans so I‘m not the classic pasty Brit on the beach. To top off my ‘hot mama’ look, I have £30 eyelash extensions, £20 gel nail extensions and a £28 pedicure.
Finally, to make sure I’ve lost as much weight as possible, I have a colonic irrigation a few days before we go, which costs around £60.
On top of this, I’ll spend at least £400 on my holiday wardrobe – if I’ve put so much work into making my body look hot, I want to show it off!
Sebastian tells me I look gorgeous whatever, but I know that when we go poolside together he’s proud to be seen with me. For that one week every year, I’m willing to spend thousands to go from a mummy to a super-hot babe!”
Chloe Arrowsmith, 22, is a model and actress from London. She lives at home with her parents. She says: “Looking good on holiday is vitally important to me – and as a result I consider the £10,000-plus a year I spend on myself a good investment.
I’m lucky enough to have about five holidays a year and I definitely spend more time (and money) getting ready for them than I spend abroad.
As a model my work is flexible, so it’s easy for me to pop back and forth to Marbella with friends, or squeeze in a long weekend to Ibiza or the French Riviera.
They’re all places where it’s essential to look fantastic in a bikini, so I start my pre-holiday regime around a month in advance. I jog for an hour every morning, and do 200 sit-ups throughout the day, making sure I’m a size 6-8 for the beach.
Then I start on the sunbeds, usually going once a week depending on how pale I am, and I use Xen-Tan Dark Lotion Weekly Self-Tan to get a nice glow. Although I don’t earn megabucks, as I live at home I’m able to spend nearly all of the money I earn – roughly £27,000 a year – on myself, my social life and my holidays.
At least £10,000 of my salary goes on getting ready for holidays. Some people might think I’m selfish, but I’m young and I want to enjoy myself.
I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to hairdressers, so I go to an expensive salon in Mayfair where the manager cuts it herself. A full head of highlights, cut and blow-dry comes to £180, plus £60 for reusable clip-in extensions.
I’m also particular about swimwear, and adore Victoria’s Secret – I spend up to £100 on each bikini and I never wear them more than once per holiday. I don’t want to look the same in all the Facebook photos!
Some people think I’m ridiculous going to extremes for seven days in the sun, but I know I’m not alone. Where I holiday, I’m surrounded by gorgeous, groomed girls – it’s just part of the look we like.
As a single girl, I meet guys at pool parties, bars and clubs, or when I’m working, and I often end up dating very generous men. I don’t actively seek out rich guys, but a lot of them are sportsmen and they end up whisking me off somewhere sunny. It’s brilliant if they sort out the flights and hotels, because then I can spend all my cash on making myself look hot.
I love going to a pool party dressed up to the nines – the ones in Marbella are the best, and they usually take place at private beach clubs. I buy a few new outfits for each holiday. I always wear heels or wedges to make my legs look longer, even if I’m on the beach.
I spend £70 on a manicure and pedicure a week before my holiday, £20 on eyebrow shaping at Selfridges three days before, and I stock up on high-end cosmetics like foundation from Youngblood, which costs £40 a bottle – Cheryl Cole uses it.
Since last year I’ve also been having Duoderm lip fillers to give myself more of a pout. Each treatment costs £300 and lasts six months. I have them a week before I go so any swelling will have gone down by the time I fly. This year, I’m also going to have tooth bonding – it’s a quicker and cheaper form of veneers.
As well as boyfriends, I also love holidaying with my friends. Once in Marbella, we passed a yacht party one evening and the hosts invited us on board. Things like that only happen when you’re looking scorching and, as we sipped champagne and watched the sun set, all that prep felt worth it.”