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Going South: The exhausting art of poolside chic

June 13th 2014 / Imogen Edwards-Jones

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If you're going to hang out at Shoreditch House, you need to make sure not everything is hanging out - as Imogen Edwards-Jones quickly discovered...

Anyone who’s a fan of the wonderful Sex and The City series, based on the novels and columns of the brilliantly talented Candace Bushnell, will remember the pool terrace scene shot on the roof of Soho House in New York; where Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha fight for their sunbed spot right next to the pool.

Well, fast-forward some ten years later (yes that long!) and in the less salubrious confines of Shoreditch, in London’s terminally groovy East End, the scene remains pretty much the same. Come Sunday and a promised parting of the clouds; the crowds start to gather outside the building before 7.30am in the morning. Such is the premium of a poolside spot on the maroon and white striped towels that clubbers forgo any shut eye and join the harassed, been-up-since-6am, breeders in the queue.

So it was at 8.30am one morning a few weeks ago I found myself, poolside, a little dazed and confused at such an early exhumation, staring into a strong cup of coffee, while the blond curls of my four-year-old son bobbed happily around in the water. I have to say I was a little smugly satisfied with my spot, in the sun, with a pool view, and the possibility, with one eye on the child, of perusing the Sunday Times Style section. Pure bliss!

But then I stood up. The antennes de cafard (cockroach antenna: the gentile french way of saying pubes) popped out of my bikini, the woolly sheen of the my shins caught the light, my dry skin puffed a little white cloud and my chipped toe nails splashed into a puddle. I looked like a horrific Egyptian God nightmare, a woman’s head, with legs of an elk and clawed bird toes. A hush went out around the pool. A hundred pairs of Tom Ford shades spun in my direction. I immediately sat down again.

Two weeks later, the forecast was good, sun’s up and the Shoreditch House option was looming again. Now I may be a lazy old slut; but I am not a stupid lazy old slut and I was not going to make the same mistake twice. I had a quick wax – shin 'n' minge (just the corners, I’m a feminist after all!) and then I launched in to some serious poolside prep.

Hair

Wow, Pop & Lock, Crystallite Shellac, £14 – gob a blob on the hair and prepare for those shinny silky fronds that you see off off the telly. Seriously it was good, and prevents dry frizz.

Or

Structure, Beach, texture spray, £8.95 – for that just out of the sea sunbed head giving you the full Pammy Anderson flicky-haired Baywatch look.

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Face

Lanolips, lip ointment with colour and SPF 15, £9.18 – stops the peeling, the cracking and the burning while giving you a bit of a more of a bee stung look.

Clarins Double Fix Mascara, £20 - a waterproof sealing to keep those ginger brows in the line.

Kiko Sportproof Mascara, £8.90 – thick n lush and no more looking like you’ve ten rounds with Tyson after you've swum a length in the pool.

Dior DiorSkin Nude Tan Matte, £35 – the perfect way to get some colour into your cheeks without bothering with the huff, puffing, sweating and the cancer.

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Body

ColbertMD – illumio body oil, £90 – ambrosia in a bottle, it goes on, disappears and leaves you with soft, supple skin. Don’t just save it for the pool, use it every day! I really LOVED this.

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Roger & Gallet Crème Sublime: perfumed body cream golden shimmer, £15 – Bond Girl in a bottle cream. Smells divine and goes on gold – what’s not to love?

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Ultrasun Glimmer, £17.88 – for the paler girl as the glimmer is more sliver than gold but for budding Nicole Kidmans who want to glow in the shade.

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Lancome Soleil Bronzer, £24 – quite possibly the most glamorous suntan lotion I have seen, even the bottle is sexy. I am NOT sharing this EVER around the pool.

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Feet

Leighton Denny – I love Juicy, £11 – a pretty coral for the toes?

Ciate – Red Hot Chilli, £9 – something a little more fiery for the feet?

Clinique – Hi Sweetie, £12 – my personal favourite, a gorgeous candy pink for the nails.

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So in the end, I turned up at 10.15am, fashionably late, I thought. Only to find not a single sodding bed available. But did I care? No! Instead of cowering in the corner in fear of releasing wildlife from my knickers, I popped on a one piece, embraced my inner Samantha and cougared it around the pool. A couple of Tom Ford shades looked over their LOVE magazines, no one’s jaws slackened and someone actually (a real actor off off the telly) offered me a sunbed! A result if ever there was one!

Life lesson 2234: at the age of 105 I have finally learnt it pays to prep.



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