Open Season

Rachel Eling

The summer’s social whirl is a make-up minefield. Rachel Eling has planned ahead.


Royal Ascot

17-21 June 2014


This week I got to dress up in a posh frock and pleasingly bonkers hat to place some bets and have a look at Prince Harry.

Of course Royal Ascot’s a very traditional affair, with hordes of proper poshos who call each other Pongo and Gaggy, so it did cross my mind that I ought to wear a cream two-piece suit and frosted peach lipstick. But like most sensible women, most days I find myself thinking, “What would The Queen do?”. And never more so than at Royal Ascot. Her Maj rarely changes her look, favouring tailoring in watery shades of blue and a sturdy clip-clasp handbag come hell or high water, so my advice for Ascot is to go as you, but with a hat. My usual pale skin and matte, red lip combo worked well with the ‘40s style of my titfer, and I even won 50 quid on the final race, so a good day was had.




23 June – 6 July 2014


For two weeks every summer, everyone pretends they’re, like, really into tennis, actually. For my money, Wimbledon is only worth bothering with when the sun shines. Unless you’re an out and out racquet nut, surely the whole point of it is strawberries, Cliff Richard and a jug of Pimm’s on Murray Mount? While necking boozy fruit

drinks in blazing sunshine is obviously brilliant, it pays to go prepared. Load up on a serious sunscreen, and keep reapplying. Most of the tennis groupies will have that just-back-from-St-Barths tan, which is quite hard to achieve when you’ve just spilled off the Mega Bus from Cardiff, so whack on a dollop of wash-off tan in the morning. And remember a mirror for make-up touch ups. The Wimbledon loos are dire, and the queues are long. Double fault.




25 – 29 June 2014


The first time I went to Glastonbury, I was just 17 and had little more with me than a packet of Silk Cut and a tenner stuffed in my Topshop bra. I came home more sunburnt than an England fan after three weeks (optimistic) in Rio. With great age comes great wisdom: if you’re facing several days in a field in Somerset, it pays to work with what you’ve got. If you’re rocking up in a Winnebago, feel free to go all out with fake lashes and Kardashian contouring. If, like me, you’ll be pitching up woefully short of tent-pegs, and asking for help from three hippies and their bong, you might want to think minimal. A tinted moisturiser and a multi-tasking cheek and lip colour can add a bit of oomph after a heavy night on the scrumpy, a well-timed lash tint and gel manicure just before you go will keep you smiling when you’re ankle deep in mud. The glorious thing about Glasto, though, is that more than any other weekend of the year, anything goes. But please remember your SPF.



Last Night Of The Proms

13 September 2014


Two words: WATERPROOF MASCARA. If you’re the type of woman who is in floods at the merest parp of a brass band, you’re going to need to bring out the big guns unless you want to go full-on Claudia Winkleman-in-a-thunderstorm. If you are not sure whether the Royal Albert Hall, filled with patriotic, flag-waving, old buffers bellowing Jerusalem and Rule Britannia will affect you or not, ask yourself these questions: 1.Does a male-voice choir make me howl? 2. Did the recent D-Day celebrations nearly end me? 3. Do I feel choked at the thought of a Chelsea Pensioner? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you need sob-proof mascara. You MUST have it. I can make no such pronouncement re: the Union Jack cheek transfers, but do what you must to get through it.

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