Beauty and the bubbly
Perhaps some would say it's a little premature to be thinking about things French and bubbly so early on a Monday, but I say it would be almost irresponsible not to. It is, after all, the biggest race day of the year tomorrow and I'm simply getting my glamour ready. Because, really, what's trackside beauty all about if not preparation?
Indeed, like any of the biggies on the beauty calendar, Melbourne Cup Day is an endurance event. And a girl needs to have done a little training...
Not to mention tanning. If your world is anything like mine, your chances of getting a last-minute spray tan now aren't worth betting on, so it's all about the DIY. I've been cultivating my colour for a few days now, just a top up and I'm golden, but if you're after super-quick tan, St Tropez Auto Bronzant Lotion (from $39.95) can get you there in three hours flat. It's fabulous.
Of more concern is how to keep my face slipping into the lap of my Leona before the gates even open. I've actually been priming for the occasion for days, rigorously testing bases and blotters against the worst weather that spring could throw at me. The frontrunners so far? Clinique Pore Minimizer Shine Control lotion ($37) if you're oily or Elizabeth Arden's complexion-perfecting Good Morning Skin Serum ($58) if you're not. Both give make-up a smooth, even canvas to cling to, but if you're in the high risk of shine category, a pack of oil-absorbing papers is the ultimate insurance – and at least a little less hassle than having to add another layer of powder every hour on the hour.
But it's not all high maintenance. After an experiment or two, I actually think hat hair is going to be much less of an issue than how to negotiate grass in high heels. Thanks be to Fudge Membrane Gas ($17.95), a clever little can that controls hair when you want it to, then bends or brushes out residue-free so you can rework your 'do without washing. I've even found it works wonders on fascinator-flattened roots. Revelation!
But perhaps the most enlightening (and definitely the most fun) part of my race day prep has been flute-of-French-proofing my lips. I've discovered this: of all the longwears out there, Maybelline's thrifty little Superstay Lipcolour ($17.95!) is one of the best (and you really can't beat an authentically French bottle), though there is a trick to it: you should only apply the colour layer once – overdo it and the ultra-adhesive pigments seem to cake up.
I suggest doing a few pre-Cup sip tests yourself. Let them call it premature, and maybe even a little inappropriate, if they like, but we'll all know it's research. And we are nothing if not thorough…