The Seasonal Concerns

I adore summer; ‘tis my favourite season of the year (most would agree as our fair isle gets flooded with more light* than usual) As the light increases my pallid skin starts to crawl slightly. I’m not built for this weather. I was created in a Gollum style mode; meant for damp and darkness. I tan EVER so slightly (after 6 months!) and the required effort often doesn’t feel worth it. I freckle in the heat of a log fire, the sun catalyses this process waaay too much. From a distance, I may look tanned; up close, the freckle feast is revealed.  I am also not a porcelain-skinned beauty. My paleness unfortunately equates to sickliness. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked recently if I am, “feeling 100%?” Please do not extol the virtues of fake tan to me. I have tried and failed with many brands. I refuse, point blank to remove all clothing and be sprayed like a Cuprinol-ed fence by someone I probably babysat for 15 years ago! Instead, I mask my pallor with bright clothing and prints. Unfortunately some days I may leave the house looking like a Magic Eye construction, but this confusion on the retina seems to work for me.

A second thing that summer brings is a proliferation of hair growth. I have fine, light hair but Jesús Cristo does the sunlight speed up growth. I wax my underarms and legs but summer regrowth occurs approximately 3 days later! Regrowth for me brings with it a beautiful heat rash and ingrowing bewilderment. I saw someone questioning on Twitter why anyone would wear opaque tights or leggings in June? My excuse – I am averting the eye from my wax nightmare! Garance Doré offered a very honest post that included her appreciation of laser hair removal. I would LOVE to offer this gift to my underarms but I still cannot justify the expense (I think each leg would cost £2000  too – I am quite tall!)

To balance out this post, I must convince you that I do love summer in some way!

1. I adore eating outside. Even if it is just a sandwich in the garden, the meal seems infinitely more tasty and exciting al fresco.

2. The beach makes me smile. A winter beach conjures up morose images of melancholic days; the summer beach, makes me smile even from a distance. The waft of saline air must release huge amounts of serotonin in my little brain; as I find my cheeks hurt through all the happiness.

3. I love the freckles. I secretly moan about them but they make me, well, me! I once played join the dots with them and made an awesome giraffe on my arm.

4. BIKES. I love my bike and the summer means he gets a good airing. I do have a bike obsession though. I am going to purchase a beach cruiser from my cousin but have spent several hours redesigning this beauty from Urban Outfitters. Bikes appeal to me a lot more than shoes. Luckily their price curbs my ownership to one pair!

If you have any advice to ease my very trivial summer woes, I would greatly appreciate it. Is there a light self-tanner that doesn’t make you vomit? A hair removal idea that has worked for you? I am sitting with my pad and pen ready to make summer that little bit better.

(*light does not always equal sunshine!)
Beach hut image from Paul Mannix on Flickr. Illustration (left) Garance Doré

11 Responses to “The Seasonal Concerns” — Comments (RSS Feed)

  1. libertylondongirl Says...

    TOTALLY agree with you re: bikes! My London one is at my dad’s, and I twitch for it in this glorious English summer, but as have strength of a flippin’ baby right now it’s prob not a gd idea :( LLGxx

    ps Looks like I am in the UK for a bit, so do let me know when you are next up.

    pps Mercedes confirmed for SS11, which will be fun! x

  2. Style Remains Says...

    Oh dear – was it me who made the black tights comment on Twitter? :) I have pasty legs at the moment too, but seeing girls in BLACK tights (all other colours are still fab!) just felt a bit wrong when the sun is shining like it is today – although not wearing tights has suddenly massively limited my wardrobe as I’m not prepared to get these pins out yet!

    Welcome back to blogging x

    Style Remains

  3. Random Fashion Coolness Says...

    Yeah for Mercedes! Sorry & glad that you have an enforced London stay. Will be in touch next time I’m up. R x

  4. Random Fashion Coolness Says...

    No! It wasn’t you!!! Emailing as I type…

  5. Louise Says...

    I am the guru of the fake tan. My suffer the same skin issues, not doll like or bronzed goddess and have always had the same ‘are you feeling ok?’ comments ;) Being an ambassador for cancer research and skin cancer I prob. should not even use the fake stuff, but its a damn site better than the damage the sun does :)
    I have been trying ‘Famous Daves’, as its paraben free, which is good, but I do look ‘Tangoed!’ ;) I do prefer orange to white, but I think its a step to far for most people with some sense of style. I have always been a fan of St.tropez, the whipped mouse is great for a light tan and for self-tanning virgins. Some of my friends like using the body moisturisers with a hint of tan, like Johnsons holiday skin, but its too gradual for me. Have not tried Xen tan, but its next on my list & will keep you informed…
    The best for pale skin and ease of use is Elemis (so I have been informed by another pale freckled friend), she said its light and easy to use, you can build it up as you like. x

  6. Kiki Says...

    What I love about summer is the unavoidable way it forces you to make a choice; dive right into it, hairy legs, bloated tummy, old bikini or be a party pooper and stay out of it because you haven’t found the time to do all that. I say, dive in!x

  7. Milly Says...

    Oh dear :(
    I feel your pain! Although I really don’t care if I have pasty legs…when the sun comes out the shorts come out. I am the ultimate sun baby, I need it in my life!
    Although. . . I would suggest daily tanners. The Johnsons one I’ve unfortunately found often streaks but I’ve found the Nivea one to be GREAT. Without streaks and builds up a tan [but natural one] much more quickly. Make sure you moisturise first!
    Could you wear maxi dresses? That would solve the leg issue! aha.
    Hair removal is the bane of my life though. . .shave and it comes back quickly and wipes your tan. You have to wait AGES to wax…and then you look like a hairy monster. Epilator hurts [I’m probably a wuss!]. The best option I’ve found is removal creams as it doesn’t matter how long the hair is and lasts much longer than shaving. It’s a bit messy but go for it! x

  8. Carol Says...

    your collages are always so fun, it’s the first time i visit ur blog and it’s already in my fave’s!
    here in brazil the whole hair removal with laser is pretty expensive as well but i’m trying to save up… although it takes about a year for the treatment to finish and u’re not supposed to tan during that whole year :O bummer…

  9. Camila F. Says...

    I love this post and your blog! Sooooo good!

  10. Mono_S. Says...

    Summer is a many headed beast I say.. a sort of effortlessly inviting Hydra.

    Thankfully, being a guy, I have less of your concerns to bother me. Although I do find my desire to spend every day in the park or on the balcony increases both my wine intake tenfold, and reduces my bank balance and productivity doubly so!

    Oh well, it’ll probably be raining here again soon so best make the most of it!

  11. Madeleine Says...

    Pardon for the slighterishly* late post reply!…like you I’ve been shying away from the rays (not that it’s too hard in this country). I live in opaques whatever the weather! My problem has always been the fact that when I do pick up some glow, my feet go, my knees upwards go, yet my calves remain chicken! Not a hot look.

    Hope you are getting enough vitamin D to keep you going, will be a tad more pro-active in the blog commenting ;D Hit some pretty beaches for me, grab some ginger beer, hell, make like the famous five & picnic!


    (*Okay ridiculously

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