Time to Bare

Think of Summer and you might conjure up various images of beaches, picnics in the parks, Bank Holiday weekends and a lighter atmosphere.  For the fashion-minded among us, these images might focus on colourful accessories, shortening hemlines, and the need for long, tanned and smooth limbs.  And it’s this last one that gets me worried every year.

The paranoia starts towards the end of March.  That freakishly warm day where everyone decides it’s time to put on shorts has me running for my duvet, willing the sun to go away so I can go back to wearing jeans.  Because let’s face it, Summer is high maintenance.  All of the extra flesh on display requires a monstrous effort in terms of tanning, toning, scrubbing and smoothing.  Sometimes I’m willing to go that extra mile (or hundred) and make the transformation from hairy caterpillar to beautiful butterfly, but quite often the expectation to keep this up just seems a bit too much.

When the ad campaigns start appearing in magazines shortly after January, complete with Allessandra or Cara or Lara and their miles of perfectly hair-free, honeyed skin, I just want to curl up into a furry little ball until Autumn.  Is there a term for hibernation during Summer?  I’m all for a bit of personal maintenance, and I would never go out sporting the ‘European look’ (furry armpit friend, anyone?).  It’s just the fact that during Summer there are no handy chunky jumpers and thick leggings to hide under if you haven’t recently wielded a razor or gone to the gym.

My Winter beauty regime is very simple: lots of moisturiser, shave legs every week or two, keep up the monthly waxes, done.  And that is truly enough for a time of year where the most amount of flesh exposed is my face and arms.  Summer brings in a whole different ball game.  The war on cellulite starts somewhere mid-February (after Valentine’s day and pity eating have been and gone); the transformation of skin tone from milk bottle to something less offensive might start in the second week of March; feet that have spent months happily snuggled in socks and boots must be wrenched out of their cosy caves and given a thorough service.

It’s a fact: Summer beauty trends are harder work and more expensive.  Even getting that perfectly tousled look with my hair takes ten times longer than a glossy blow-dry.  And yet, as much as I might moan and gripe about it, I still do it.  I find myself getting out of bed half an hour earlier in order to stage the next battle on whatever body hair might have appeared overnight.  Evenings are spent applying self-tanning moisturiser and perfecting the home pedicure.  Each year I persuade myself that I’m one step closer to coaxing my dead-straight hair that refuses to be styled into something resembling a boho beach look.

And so, reluctantly, I admit it: the effort is worth it.  After hours (and sometimes days) of waxing, plucking, shaping, painting and grooming, I genuinely feel amazing.  Hello Summer, I’m ready for you.

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About Charlotte Rottenburg

In 2010, Charlotte Rottenburg launched her fashion blog and from starting with writing about what she thought about the new season’s trends, her writing has now expanded to a wider range of topics that goes beyond just fashion. Charlotte joined the City Connect team in September 2011 and whether it’s fashion, film, music, or popular culture, Charlotte enjoys writing about things that her generation can relate to, and in a style that is both engaging and honest. Her main interests, other than the ones already mentioned, are travel, skiing, languages and cooking. Charlotte’s motto for life is “Be interested and interesting”. Follow Charlotte on Twitter @charlotte_r24
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