THE TIMES
6 AUGUST 2016

LOOK LIKE A BEACH BUM FOR £2000!

Christa D’Souza’s beach bohemian look: yours for £2,000! The writer reports from Mykonos on the real cost of looking footloose and fancy-free.

Hooray, hooray, here come the summer holidays, and I can truly unleash my inner bohemian. Honestly, I live for this time of year, when shoes and hairbrushes are optional and one can really let go on the beauty front. Yeah, casual windswept beach girl, that’s me. Except, of course, that is not me at ALL.

 

When you’re in your mid-fifties and everything is falling southward, and your roots need doing the day after you’ve been to the hairdresser (or so it seems), there is nothing casual about getting your inner bohemian look on for summer. It takes tons of money, enormous amounts of forward planning and perhaps most important of all, the latest in modern technology.

 

So, then, where to start when it comes to the real cost of looking so footloose and fancy-free? Well let’s begin with the body. To carry off the whimsical, one-of-a-kind bikini you picked up in some bazaar ages ago (the clever illusion of which we’ll come to soon) it’s got to be tight as a drum. But forget dieting or exercise — that’s so old school. Instead take the advice of Gwyneth Paltrow, or indeed a fortysomething friend of mine who, though just having had twins, now has a tummy as taut as a teenager’s.

 

How? Via CoolSculpting, of course, the hot (I mean cool) new non-invasive body treatment invented by a couple of Harvard Medical School doctors that involves having your fat cells frozen off via a pair of surgical clamps and then peeing them out. Does it work? Hell, yeah, I’ll attest to that. And it didn’t even hurt that much either. (Well not for me, anyway. Another friend who had it done said she felt as though a truck had run over her.) But it took about six weeks for me to notice a difference (they say two months before it properly kicks in.)

 

Meanwhile, I’ll assume you’ve had your neck and pebbly jawline area Botoxed (who gets it done for their forehead any more?) Next year it may be time for the full-on lower facelift, but for this year Botox tightens my jawline just enough to notice.

 

Obviously you’ve already had all your body hair lasered off, but what about unsightly veins? Supposedly a course of “foam” injections works well for these, the latest form of vein elimination that involves painlessly injecting a toothpaste-like substance into both ends of the offending vein, causing it to spasm and eventually shrink down.

 

Not very bohemian any of this, I’ll grant you, but how else to slink into your itsy-bitsy £240 Kiini bikini — the perfect metaphor, in a way, for the whole faux-bo phenomenon? Although crocheted round the edges, it still looks as though the actual meat of it has more high-tech lifting and shaping properties to it than Spanx. No wonder it costs so much and no wonder everyone here in Mykonos seems to have one. That clever Ipek Irgit. She really is the queen of faux-bodom, no?

 

Moving swiftly on to hair. If I were Tina Green (who is here in Mykonos en famille as I write this) I might bring Roi, my hairdresser from the George Northwood salon, on holiday next summer. But in his absence there is always the digital perm from “hair texturiser” to the stars, Zoltan, who — by using his specially customised perm technique — creates that beach boho kink for you permanently. My waves will last until my treated hair grows out. Just think, no tongs, no blowdryer and yet not a hint of frizz, being able to step out of the sea with a quick ruffle and look as good as you do when you step out of the hairdressers.

 

Last but not least come feet, or more specifically, toenails. True beach bohos don’t wear polish on their toenails, leaving them to get buffed to baby perfection by the elements. To simulate that look, it’s best to go to Jack at Margaret Dabbs for a medical pedicure. If your toenails remind you a little of cornflakes, as mine do after being unattended all winter, you may need a couple of sessions.

 

All set, then, time to go out and be bohemian. I just heard that Kim Kardashian is throwing a party at Alemagou, the hip windsurfer’s beach “shack” here in Mykonos, where iced rosé is generally served by the jeroboam.

 

Got my Kiini bikini top and my bandana pareo (Yves Saint Laurent, £500). Ready to roll.
 

© Christa D'Souza 1989-2020