I got a call yesterday from Summer, letting me know it was on its way and would be on my doorstep within the week.
This kind of call is one I take quite seriously, given I’ve got fair skin and a have a tendency to go straight from “pasty” to “scorch”, speed-walking past “tan” and sprinting past “burn” in my rush to get there.
SLIP! on a shirt,
SLOP! on sunscreen, and
SLAP! on a hat
So far it’s worked quite well, even bundled- and greased-up on 35 degree, 97% humidity Hong Kong summer days. Not my best look, but at least I didn’t get a burn.
When I heard the siren call of Summer yesterday, I knew action had to be taken and this time, I plan on looking vaguely fashionable and (fakely) golden.
Armed with my copy of yesterday’s Sunday Times ‘2014 Style Beauty Awards‘, I stocked up on a few essentials.
Made in the shades
First up? New sunglasses.
Ray Bans this year. Before you think I buy a new pair every year, I don’t. I find that the more brutal I am with my glasses, the longer they survive, and I’ve had my Celine sunnies for at least 7 years. I like them, but they’re pretty battered. It’s time to freshen the look and abuse a new pair.
You know what I like about them, best of all? The bloody case they come in isn’t the size of a small badger. I can’t stand over-sized sunglass cases. They take up way too much room.
Who’s up for some sun-kissed radiance?
Next on my list: Guerlain’s Terracotta Joli Teint. The blurb in the beauty column seduced me but when I went in to Selfridges to see it for myself, I was convinced.
This is a three-pronged beauty treatment, equal parts “foundation, skincare and sun-kissed radiance”.
Who am I to turn down sun-kissed radiance? This product promises to make me look like I’ve had a weekend in the sun, a thrilling prospect for someone who tends more toward boiled lobster than golden apricot. It’s got SPF as well, so all bases are well and truly covered here.
I also stocked up on their bronzing powder, called Terracotta 4 Seasons.
This is a compact powder that is divided into 4 sections, enabling you to match your tan to the changing seasons. Clever, right?
It takes into consideration that most people are pale at the beginning of the year and darker towards the end. We’re encouraged to customize the powder to suit the colour on our faces, which the clever clogs at Guerlain realize changes as the year goes by. Oh, they’re so smart.
Everyone needs a slap now and then
After getting my fill at the beauty counter, off I went in search of a hat to see me through the summer.
So far, I can slip and slop, but I couldn’t slap and oh, how I need a slap.
To find the perfect hat, I went to Fenwick’s, a store known to cater to women in search of the perfect look for Ascot and other royal events of the summer season. I took a quick look in the women’s section and realized two things:
1. A frou-frou hat will not help keep the sun off my delicate brow.
2. No-name brand hats are either teensy-weensy and won’t sit on my largish head, or they’re so lacking in style and substance, I may as well perch a crocheted tea cosy on my head and call it a day.
Feeling incredibly clever and subversive, I sought out the men’s department. I found some hats sitting on a shelf, minding their own business. A saleswoman came up to me and after I confessed to my embarrassing head size, she nodded sagely and informed me that I wasn’t the first woman down there today. Whew!
She and I had a great time trying on men’s hats—what a pleasure to find some that actually fit. I was so thrilled, I ended up buying two; one for strutting down the street on a Sunday, the other for lounging on my rooftop with my kittens.
And did I mention slop?
I bought the 30 for Lars, while my delicate, sensitive, allergic skin shall stick to the 50.
So, there you have it.
Shopping done. Skin safe for yet another season. Hopefully, by Autumn, I’ll be just as pale and pasty as I was this past winter.
By the way, none of this skin protection comes cheap.
But when you weigh it against the cost of having moles removed and pre-cancerous lesions frozen off by your friendly neighbourhood dermatologist, they’re cheap at twice the price.