How to not look like a trashbag at the races
Helen Razer writes
Spring Racing Carnival is a glorious month of Group One competition, snappy daywear and shelving. This is a sunny time when lubricant is applied to the rectal portions of humans and horses alike as a city goes MAD for amphetamines, gambling and animal cruelty. Oh. Spring.
You couldn't pay me to go the effing Melbourne Cup again. I covered it for the radio for years and frankly, sitting in a marquee watching hunklets from Home and Away grow more Streisand with each passing Moet loses its appeal pretty quickly. But, I do understand that Flemington is a sort of Hajj-slash-Sex-Shopping-Mall for many empty young Australians and it doesn't matter how many times I tell you that the best you can expect from your day is (a) a glimpse of Richard Wilkins and (b) not to leave your dacks in the rose garden, you'll probably go anyhow.
As such, here are some instructions on how not to look like a dick.
First, this is a race course and not a night club called Cruisers. I don't give a shit about your post-feminist rationale for looking like a stripper called Krug Bubbles; this is the time to look like a fucking lady. If you are going to respect the perverse tradition of frocking up to watch small men whip horseflesh, respect it properly. And that doesn't mean just plonking a fascinator on top of a bit of tinsel and gyno-pink lip gloss.
Look. Just cover your shoulders, your mons veneris and your head. If you've forgotten how to dress without recalling a pap-test, get a grown-up to help and listen to me when it comes to your beauté, innit.
If you are yet to book your tan with a reputable provider in Melbourne, forget it. Everywhere decent is booked until Stakes Day. And, don't do it yourself unless you're going for a novelty Halloween look, you big orange gourd. You could try Bondi Sands which is a local brand that actually smells decent and legitimately tropical rather than a crisper full of old carrots. Or you could focus your tanxiety on refreshing your skin instead.
I had a moment of panic myself when I read the news that L'OCCITANE had commenced testing on animals. These body products, especially Huile de Douche d'Amande (Almond Bath Oil) applied with an exfoliating glove, are the tits. I know L'OCCITANE is every bit as Hip and Now as a crown lamb roast, but the scrubs and oils truly do work. Anyhow, the deal with so many formerly cruelty-free beauty companies is that if they want to sell in China, they are required to consent to animal testing. This knowledge may change your purchasing decision. Then again, you are attending an event based around savage cruelty so perhaps all regular bets (that are not on horses) are off.
Other body choices include the Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm from REN and my FAVOURITE that I CAN NO LONGER FIND because there is a conspiracy against my happiness, Savon Noir Beldi from Cinq Mondes. Oh my stars, it smells like a freshly laundered belly-dancer on the first night of spring.
Also, I recently discovered that Bio-Oil is an effective body moisturiser. (I purchased some to get wax out of my pubes. You can buy that stuffeverywhere.)
Exfoliate and moisturise the bod in the days before exposure and do try to remember sunscreen on the day. Banana Boat has just launched a Clear Spray range which contains zinc oxide; the old-school and safer sun-protection option.
Just as you work to prepare your limbs and décolleté, do the same for your face. It is good skin and not good makeup that will buoy you best through a day at the races.
Don't panic and book a Daily Deal on dermabrasion, FFS. Unless you are a veteran spa-whore who knows her esthetician very well, don't even THINK about having a facial the day before your event. Also, don't go at exfoliation hammer-and-tongs, either. No one should ever exfoliate more than once a week. I'm about to sound like a Glossy Posse Gollum made of clay and vanity, but here goes: one of the best things you can do to prepare your face for an event is drink water. See also: lay off the fags, sugar, caffeine and the temptation of products.
Now is NOT The time to experiment with new regimens. Most of the time, the best thing you can do for your face is to leave the poor fucker alone. Don't reach for that eye-cream which will probably set you back eighty bucks and give you a nasty rash. (Save that for the after-party AMIRITE?) Basically, just cleanse, moisturise and try to behave before schtupping the drunkard of your dreams against the bin outside the Members Stand.
If you're a Fashions on the Field filly, you've probably already booked a makeup artist. Honestly, this isn't a bad idea. There are few of us who have the skill of cosmetic application equal to the light of the sun and it is terribly easy to come off looking like Luna Park. Remember, Sharon, less is more.
So long as you have a great concealer, you can get away without a foundation and choose something like Dermalogica Sheer Tint SPF 20. Team it with a primer; ModelCo Face Base or SkinPerfect from Dermalogica or Illamasqua Satin.
Throughout the day, keep your look, which should be as modest as possible, intact with a mist or a fix like Kosmea's Hydrating Rosewater or newish Skindinavia. Or, you can actually just use atomisedwater (shhh). If you crave a fuller coverage, perhaps Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay in Place is the thing. This grand old house makes great slap but you're going to have to consider the animal testing question as Estee is one of the many companies who sells in China.
Don't wear lip liner; it'll almost certainly be visible. Of course, if you'd like to look as though Pamela Anderson and Courtney Stodden had a baby from parthenogenesis and drew on it in texta, go for it. Otherwise, Nars Lip Gloss or the near-indelible Benetint from Benefit which is a stain that call also be used on cheeks. And I don't give a fuck about This Season's Shimmering Palate for Today's Girl On The Go. Anyone who wears that vulva-candy pink that is, apparently "hot" is a tool. Keep it simple.
Thwack some beige highlighter on your eyelids. Wear some mascara; perhaps Mirenesse Secret Weapon Mascara, Super Long in Brown.
Finally, try to remember to brush your brows and if you do end up fiddling with someone's freckle, try to hide behind the Cécile Brunner climbing rose.
All images via Daily Life.