If ‘three’s a trend’, then the Duchess of Sussex has well and truly set the bateau neckline sailing- from her wedding dress to the custom Dior she wore to celebrate 100 years of the RAF and her Roland Mouret choice during this week’s the royal visit to Ireland, the boat neck has made many an appearance, prompting a 52 per cent surge in online searches for ‘boat neck’ necklines in the past two months according to fashion brand Lyst . Pinterest saves also reflect this rise in popularity of the elegant but still kind of sexy styling, with saves for ‘bateau necklines’ increasing by 104 per cent since 2017. Her gleamy shoulders poking out of a bespoke Carolina Herrera dress during this year’s Trooping the Colour supposedly broke with traditional royal protocol, but given that this isn’t the Victorian era, we think that there’s nothing amiss with letting your collarbones shine when you so please. As such, here’s the cold shoulder beauty edit…
It’s the Duchess of Sussex’s favourite neckline, and searches for ‘boat necks’ have soared in the last few months. Here’s how to show off shoulders, décolletage and collarbones à la Markle
Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator, £23 for 200ml
And not because it rhymes with Markle, but because this fine grained body polish buffs skin to a soft finish without irritating or leaving skin red. It’s no newbie- I remember sneaking squirts of this from my mum’s bathroom cabinet when I was a teen, but it remains a very effective skin slougher. It’s also particularly cooling and you don’t need much to achieve clean, smooth limbs, which is just as well if you’re nicking it from your mother…
The bacne banisher
Paula’s Choice Clear 2% BHA Body Spray, £24 for 118ml
During the sweatier seasons in particular, just like Brits, zits have a tendency to travel far and wide, resulting in blemishes cropping up on bums, backs and boobs. Stop the spread by treating body acne as you would breakouts on your face, with the first line of treatment after cleansing being a BHA exfoliating acid to clear blocked pores and reduce inflammation. This refreshing spritz on BHA couldn’t be easier to apply post shower, and I can testify that it’s shrunk my ‘boobne’ to an impressive degree. TMI, but it’s just the thing when I know I’m going to be showing a bit of summer skin.
The budget body lotion
Nivea Q10 Firming Body Lotion, £4.19 for 400ml
Meghan Markle’s self-declared favourite body lotion , this chemist basic is the business where supple moisture is concerned, and going on how smooth Meghan’s skin is, we’re sold on every level. According to the Duchess, she loves it because “it’s so affordable and it makes my skin look and feel amazing”, proving that the royal seal of approval needn’t come alongside a hefty price tag. Although some things are possibly worth shelling out for as the next skincare pick proves...
The tech neck antidote
Sarah Chapman Chin and Jaw Lift Mask, £43 for six
One of the Duchess’ go-to London facialists, Sarah Chapman’s treatments are renowned for their instantly depuffing and literal and figurative uplifting effects (you’ll feel like you’re floating on a cloud after a Sarah Chapman facial). The next best thing to a much coveted appointment slot is a take home treatment, and this one is chock full of moisture binding hyaluronic acid , brightening vitamin C and antioxidant plant and algae extracts to encourage optimum skin elasticity and repair. It’s certainly not a facelift in a packet, but leave it on for 15 minutes and skin will feel firmer and far more silky on removal.
The all-over serum
Mio Skin Tight Body Serum, £29.50 for 100ml
If the thought of taking your precious pricey skin serum down over shoulders and décolletage (as is recommended by dermatologists and skin experts everywhere) makes you recoil in horror, a separate generously packaged body option that’s more economical in terms of pounds per ml may be a good compromise. This lightly exfoliating body serum gives dull dead skin cells the heave-ho while speeding up collagen production and improving moisture retention by way of an antioxidant, hyaluronic acid and cooling aloe vera rich formula. It’s thin textured and easily absorbed, although give it a few minutes to dry off before dressing to avoid sticking to your clothes.
The bumpy arm fix
Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion with a Hint of Colour, £19.50 for 125ml
Sure, it’s not the cheapest body unction and it smells more clinical than couture, but if you’re prone to keratosis pilaris (that annoying bumpy ‘chicken skin’ that typically appears on the back of the arms), this AHA based lotion can be quite the saviour. It acts to break down the keratin ‘plugs’ in skin that cause the lumps and bumps, revealing smoother skin over time, and this tinted take on the original offers a veil of seamless, see-through bronze that adds a bit of lustre to all skin tones.
The collar bone highlighter
Sol de Janeiro Sunset Glow Oil, £35 for 75ml
Onto something far more glamorous, this Brazilian inspired body illuminator smells like a sunset on a far flung beach (conjure up coconuts, caramel and piña coladas and you’re halfway there) and gives skin a golden gleam that catches the light in a good, not glittery, way. There are two shades to choose from, so there’s a ‘lit’ finish for all, and it moisturises as it brings the disco to your décolletage. Apply sparingly for a healthy sheen and dab on cheekbones and eyelids to make the glow go further.
The shoulder shimmer
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Royal Glow, £30
Designed to mark this year’s royal wedding , and no doubt in honour of the Duchess of Sussex’s preference for luminous yet barely there makeup, this gold flecked powder highlighter combines multi-toned pigments for a ‘real skin’ effect that never comes off too spangly, and it melts into skin beautifully without looking stark. Dust lightly over the top of your shoulders and clavicle for a sunkissed effect.
The two-in-one tan
Vita Liberata Body Blur Sunless Glow, £32.50 for 100ml
Part blurring primer, part instant bronzer and part self-tan, this clever body makeup helps to conceal blotchiness and uneven skin texture immediately on application, developing into a hydrating tan after about four hours, although leave it longer if you’re after a deeper colour. Apply with a mitt to buff evenly into skin and avoid the dreaded oompa loompa hands, and the long lasting glow will last you through at least a week’s worth of summer outings, so it’s less faff in the long run, although there is a Blur that’s free of tanning agents if you’d prefer to skip the DHA.