The Summer Grooming Guide
How to smarten yourself up from head to toe for the big reveal
Ah, the sweet relief of summer. It was a long hibernation this year, so, after being cocooned in Moncler for months, are you ready for the big beach reveal? Hopefully, you’ve been dedicated at the gym. Summer bodies, as they say, are made in winter and not with two weeks to go before take-off. Caught some winter sun? Congratulations, you’re ahead in the tanning game with a solid base. But there are inevitably some neglected body parts soon to be on public display, and if that’s an intimidating proposition, fear not. With a little planning, the right products and expert know-how you can prepare to bare (almost) all with confidence and breeze through those revealing summer months in perfectly groomed style.
Instagram those Gucci sandals by all means, but leave the Frodo feet out of the picture. No amount of filter can remove hard calluses or snarled nails like a podiatrist, especially an internationally acclaimed one. Mr Bastien Gonzalez’s signature pedicure, available at some of the most luxurious resorts in the world, is the reset button you’ve been looking for: an intensive treatment that will return even the gnarliest feet to their baby-soft best.
“Always prepare the nails and smooth the heels with a professional treatment at the start of the summer and before a holiday,” says Mr Gonzalez. “Cracked heels, ingrown nails and athlete’s foot can cause infections, especially if the skin is exposed.” In between professional appointments, “use a foot scrub once a week and apply a foot cream to the skin every night”, says Mr Gonzalez, to maintain the skin condition. His top tip? Sprinkle “a little talcum powder on your feet before a long day” for extra comfort. That’s fresh feet, done.
The seasonal scent switch-up
It’s a strange phenomenon: a musky oriental fragrance can go from comforting to cloying at the onset of a heatwave. It’s time to review the seasonal scent selection, and classic cologne is the obvious choice. Its cooling, citrus-laden composition is the perfect antidote to intense heat. That said, those zingy notes are also volatile and short-lived. Oud is prevalent in the Middle East precisely because it has staying power in the face of sweat and soaring mercury, so don’t rule out heavier scents.
Ms Azzi Glasser, perfumer, concurs. “Sometimes fresher notes can be appealing, but it’s always best to go with fragrances that have fresh top notes with strong base notes, so the fragrance can live on the skin for longer and withstand high temperatures,” she says. “People tend to use more fragrance in the summer because heat burns through the notes more quickly.” Get your frequent top-ups from a travel atomiser, such as Maison Francis Kurdjian’s pleasingly tactile (and refillable) Globe Trotter Travel Spray, and you won’t have to part with it at security.
On the beds of a Balearic beach club, the day can slip easily into night. But how to look good when there’s no time to shower before going out? “Keep hair wet and slicked back, so have a good dip in the sea before heading to the bar,” says hair stylist Mr Oliver J Woods. You don’t have to shear your hair off to keep cool if you prefer to wear it long either. “Just make sure it’s tied back and smooth,” he says. “At the beach, keep your beard nourished with an oil, apply a leave-in conditioner to the hair and wash it out at the end of the day to protect it from the drying effects of sun, sea and sand. Styling wise, avoid wax. It will melt and look greasy in the sun, whereas an oil actually works with the heat and nourishes the scalp.” Moreover, a natural oil such as Dr Jackson’s Organic Coconut Melt will have less impact on sensitive marine ecosystems.
Despite making us feel better, a tan is not a sign of healthy skin. But for the vitamin-D starved inhabitants of the northern hemisphere it’s hard to resist soaking up every second of sun. The right protection, therefore, is key. Some of the labelling associated with suncare can be confusing.“The term SPF is misleading as it only refers to UVB rays, which cause burning, and not UVA rays, which can penetrate glass and are an important factor in premature ageing and cancer,” says Dr Barbara Sturm. “Broad-spectrum sun protection is what is required.”
She recommends mixing her dedicated Sun Drops directly with your preferred moisturiser. “Sun protection should always be added to a product separately,” says Dr Sturm. “If the chemical filters sit in a product, the sun-protection ingredients can degrade other active ingredients in the product and vice versa.” Just 15 minutes’ sun exposure is enough to burn, so always apply before going out.
When it comes to bodycare, a weekly scrub will extend the life of your tan by sloughing off dead cells and prepping skin to absorb after sun. Once you’ve had enough rays for the day, Sisley – Paris’ Sunleÿa Age-Minimizing After-Sun Care will help soothe your skin and prolong your tan for your holiday and beyond.
Smart travellers pack light, but there’s no need to give up all home comforts when on the move. The Foreo Issa toothbrush has a battery that lasts up to six months, so the charger won’t add any weight to your carry-on. And consider the benefits of a feather-light silk pillowcase. “Silk provides a cooler, smoother surface than cotton and less sweating equals clearer pores,” says Dr Sturm. “It creates less friction and therefore doesn’t cause sleep lines and it also has a natural resistance to dust mites, mould, fungus and other allergens” – a bonus if you are venturing off the beaten track. Likewise, a silk eye mask is superior to the synthetic ones handed out in business class and will ensure better sleep – both en route and throughout the trip – for those disturbed by lighter mornings.
The Bastien Gonzalez Pedicure is now available at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London.