Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ebony and Ivory. By Alicia Pyke.

Hello toes! Yes, it’s officially sandal season and with it comes a whole new range of vivid nail polishes to test-drive. Bright sports-car red one day, a delicious pinky coral that reeks of decadent holidays in the sun the next. Ah, how I love seeing those gleaming discs of pristine colour whenever I glance down. 

No, this is not a column about overhauling your feet for spring since I believe in perennial pedicures and truly practise what I preach on that score. Rather, it’s about that stage most of us go through in which the weather forces us to get reacquainted with particular parts of the body that seem to go MIA during winter. 

As one of the palest women on the planet – is it any wonder I adore Dita Von Teese? – warm spring days mean adjusting to the sight of my ultra milky flesh peeking out from my mostly black clothing. Cardigan, schmardigan. When the sun shines and the wind drops I want to shrug of those outer layers and feel the balmy air on my skin just like the olive-skinned among us. Hence the ebony (my frock du jour) and ivory (my skin) look I’m currently rocking. 

Sure, I could hit the Holiday Skin, Dove Summer Glow or one of the other “gradual tanners” cluttering my bathroom shelves. Or even renew the standing weekly appointment with a spray tanning guru like I had a few summers ago while living in Brisbane. But there’s something about the early days of spring that makes it acceptable to venture forth with a moontan. Something that doesn’t happen in the middle of a blazing summer. 

My milky natural hue is not something I’m especially proud of, but hey, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. And what I’ve got is a complexion that screams pure Melbourne in a crowd of Sydney perma-tans. By my estimation I’ve also got a window of about two weeks before this look gets real old, real fast. 

Not that I’ll be ready to show off my pale pins then. I still haven’t given up my tights but on the days I go for footless versions, those happy colours on my toes remind me long, luscious summer days are nearly here. 

And that’s when I’ll hit the tanning bottle. One step at a time please.
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