Having lived in sunny Sydney for 7 years, I'd almost forgotten how much fun it is to dress in bright colours while soaking up sun & beach. (Tuchuzy in Bondi was a great source of beach fashion inspiration!) The pics above & below from Vogue May 2010 by by Max Doyle perfectly showcase the whole Bondi Beach Babe look, with Abbey Lee Kershaw rocking bold make up & turquoise Essie polish on her nails.
In Raro, local & expat women wearing vibrant floral prints and pareus (the local sarongs, tie dyed or printed), saturated, paint-box coloured lipsticks wearing a hibiscus in their hair. Bright nail polished toes and Swarovski encrusted sandals, handfuls of bracelets, big Wilma Flinstone style beads & necklaces - beachwear is not what it used to be! The beach has gone glam! Here's my Raro inspired Beach Babe Beauty Blog!
I love Victoria's Secret. Surprisingly reasonable and a great array of swimwear & beachwear. I bought this cute bikini - love it. And this bikini top. If only the bodies came with! AND you can chop & change sizes of tops & bottoms, plus the style - low cut/moderate coverage, boy-leg - it's easy and a great wide range! I also like Comme de Glas aka House of G aka Glassons for bikinis - good prices and surprisingly cool styles.
I also stole my Mum's fantastic chiffony jade green VS Kaftan, encrusted with purple & pink sequins & rhinestones for beachwear - (please ignore dodgy pink visor). Was trailing pink sequins all over the beach. I highly recommend short kaftans, so cool, comfortable and easy to throw on top of a bikini. Also am a recent convert of maxi-dresses for beachwear - soooo cool and comfortable!
Love this green number on one of my FAVE models, the gorgeous Isabeli Fontana in the June/July Vogue Paris shot by Mikael Jansson. Beach glam!
The same issue features a smokin Kate Moss beach editorial by one of my fave photogs, Mario Sorrenti. Super cute gingham bikini on Kate!
Love this shoot of Kate by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott in 'Castaway' for Vogue UK, June 2002. Beachy, bronzed brilliance!
I didn't go in for bright statement jewellery but love basic white coral jewellery available - looks great with beachwear - and a tan! I picked up a cute necklace & bracelet in Raro, plus several for friends.
My ultimate beach footwear - apart from barefoot - are Havianas. I wore them to death in Sydney, where footwear was pretty much sky-scraper heels OR Havis, & not much in between! I am slightly embarrassed to count them all, but suffice it to say - I have quite a few pairs! They are just comfortable, affordable and have a great range of colours & styles. Love the little stick on studs too! For something more glam, pick up some sandals from Number One Shoes, where they have a huge range of bright colours & sparkly flats which are great for tropical holidays.
Vitamin D is important for not only the skin, but your well-being, as Gwyneth Paltrow just pointed on on her latest posting on her Blog, Goop, Lack of exposure to the sun can even lead to SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder.
"For the last 30 years or so, doctors (dermatologists in particular), health officials, beauty experts and many product companies have been demonizing the sun. They’ve told us to avoid it because without sunscreen, exposure to the sun’s rays will damage skin and cause cancer. But this oversimplification distorts the facts. In the past few years, numerous studies have shown that optimizing your Vitamin D levels may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers."
The above article advocates a small amount of time in the sun, sun-block free! I'd be careful about this exposure. It's a fallacy that you cannot tan when using sun-block. I smother myself in it, especially my face & the delicate decolletage area which goes wrinkly & crepey so easily - and I always get brown. I start to burn after about 30mins so have to re-apply. Always use SPF30! SPF simply eradicates UVA and UVB rays. I don't understand how in this day & age women go & bake themselves - then wonder why they end up with leather skin looking like Donatella Versace. Not to mention skin cancer. I am a big fan of spray tans & fake tan and found these Model Co mitts fantastic! Plus St Tropez are always good.
For maintaining an apres sun glow i have two faves - the more exie, Nars Multiple. More affordable - the delightfully coconut scented Chic Chi 'Solarium in a Bottle' bronzing lotion, which seems to last for ever!
Skin gets really dry post-tanning so a good body moisturiser is a must. I love anything with coconut oil so stock up from The Perfume Factory in Rarotonga, and their coconut soap is divine! I'm also a sucker for The Body Shop Body Butters. I love Brazil Nut and Coconut.
A good tinted moisturiser is the go for hot claims - paired with a bright, fab lippie & nail polish! My fave tinted moisturiser continues to be Laura Mercier.
For lippies I love pinks from MAC. And my latest toe polish for Raro was 'Met on the Internet' by OPI - an amazingly rich shade that goes from hot pink to rich coral, depending on which way you come at it.
I must say it's interesting seeing the buzz on coconut water in the media - the next big think in drinks! I have long loved Nu, as it is called in Raro, a great rehydrater - nothing is better for your skin than water! But I have to force myself to drink it, so in Raro I load up on fresh coconuts which are husked, and the top chopped off with a machete to get to the Nu. My skin always glows in Raro, I think this is a mixture of sun & vitamin D, and drinking so much water & Nu. Yum! Here's me looking really pasty on my first day in Raro, savoring my first Nu at the markets!
I like putting coconut oil in my hair to rehydrate the ends, Raro-style. I also amp up the conditioner or use leave-in for the ends. Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Mositure Mist is a divine rehydrator.
If you want to continue the beach-hair look a la Kate when back from travels, try a product such as TIGI's 'Totally Beachin' - coconut & mango scented, mmmm.
For info on Raro, check this website.