It's the harsh reality that during our iciest winter, our social media feeds are littered with the daiquiris, yacht decks and chunks of watermelon from the Euro summer that we're missing out on. As we dream of warmer weather just around the corner, we have donned our chicest swimsuit, spritzed sea salt spray in our hair and bronzed our limbs in our best attempt to mimic our Instagram's island life. From the overly garish and glam to the nautical and natural, we take a beauty sail boat through the Mediterranean and learn how to embrace island beauty like a European. Put the Rosé on ice, all aboard Beauticates.
1. Capri – Italy
La Dolce Vita. Life really is beautiful bathed under the Amalfi sun, amongst the citrus and bougainvillea with a shot of Limoncello in hand. Draped on brightly coloured deck-chairs the beautiful people laze about, lolloping on the rocks, even when the sun becomes that little too hot. The little Italian Isle is equally as charming as it is glamorous, keenly evoking the spirit of bygone Italian cinema; channel a little Loren and wear your brims big and your lips bold. Like a real-life D&G campaign, dabble in some Dolce-inspired living; bejewelled ears match bejewelled feet, handmade by little Italian ateliers on cobblestone pathways. One-pieces are the swimsuit du jour, ever-fabulous statement wear; be it striking and plunging like Eres, the famed zig-zag of Missoni in an iridescent rainbow of colour, or deeply romantic, botanical prints, that elicit the scent of both citrus and nostalgia. Hair is preened and primped, curls in favour of waves, buns instead of braids. Watch the sun drop with a punchy lip to match your aperol spritz. Salute!
2. Mykonos – Greece
Talcum-white sands flecked in straw umbrellas, colour and glitz, idyllic nooks of blue and green, so pristine and clear they are the stuff of postcards. More is more in Mykonos, glamorous overtones and high-octane beauty fuel this celebrity haven. A nod to heady nights, indulge in some glitter and be sure to bronze, bronze, bronze. Greek shipping heiress’ cavort and flounce between the beds at Nammos whilst overseas visitors indulge in a little of their own Greek tragedy (see: Cavo Paradiso). Coloured confections dot the coastline; bikinis are string and one-pieces are bling – only tagged with names of the designer ilk. Peep at your neighbours in the reflection of polarised lenses, a rainbow of reflective sunglasses swamp the shores. Women don done-up faces and hair is beachy, au natural (but actually took hours). Do as the Greeks do whilst on holidays: wake up late, brunch by the water’s edge (Freddo Cappuccino obligatory), bake and swim into the early evening, rejuvenate with a siesta, indulge in a late feast then paint the town red (or white and blue) and dance until the sun rises and your feet hurt. Plate smashing optional. White everything, mandatory. Opa.
3. Mallorca – Spain
Grown-up island life; a hop away from the heaving beats and glow sticks of Ibiza, a sophisticated take on the Balearic Isles. A genteel hotbed of Spanish royalty, celebrities, sports stars and accompanying WAGs, the translucent waters and luxuriant greenery draw the folk with all the class. Chic chignons and tailored bathing suits are in profusion, sandy jaunts are complete with oversized beach totes and pearls, darling. A mostly monochromatic and mature palette of black and white – no place for lair and flair here – it’s all about flashy in a non-neon way. Beauty is minimalist and refined; a swipe of mascara, bronzed cheekbones and frosted lips, golden accents which glint in the Spanish sun. Sip chilled Sangria as the sun melts away, tucking into Tapas by wooded cliff faces or indulging in some Paella in Palma (the capital). Wide-leg slacks and towering raffia wedges complement elegant swimsuits by night, and prove the smart choice down stone-laden paths. Now pass the Jamón and melon.
4. Hvar – Croatia
Ahoy sailor-ess. Floating around the island is a must, ducking in and out of crystal Croatian crevasses aboard a sailboat, with the gentle Adriatic breeze ruffling your feathers (or hair). Beach bohemia at its best; sail-away-with-me stripes accompany uncombed, beachy locks, salty hair and just-been-sun-kissed-skin is paramount. Loose braids aplenty and lots of loved-in denim. Espadrilles envelop tanned toes whilst kitsch sunglasses and ribbon-wrapped straw Boater hats both protect and style you in the sun. In keeping with Hvar Town’s marble-lined streets and red-roofed buildings, go natural and peachy keen; so happy cheeks will radiate rosy without brush after brush of Orgasm (but keep it close by just in case). Dab highlighter across cheekbones, nose and lips to accentuate glow and pair with antique florals and broderaie analgise-trimmed playsuits when feasting. Relaxed vibes quickly transcend into party beats; get lost between the palms and pools on dry-ish land, spectacular silhouettes will leave a lasting impression as the sun sets (or rises) on paradise. Don your daggiest sailor cap and get ready to do it all again. Cue tandem-jumping-off-boat photo (Filter: Toaster) Živjeli!
5. St Tropez – France
Whilst St Tropez isn’t quite an island, it is France’s answer to island life; exuding all sorts of island vibes. A juggling act between land and sea (of the superyacht variety) lunches are long, dancing is sexy and money is (well) spent. In between the Cristal showers and foie gras, arms are dripping in all things opulent; gold, jewels and candied bracelets, big, brazen watches wrap around wrists (Rolex and Cartier naturellment), footwear is stacked, corked wedges in favour of flats and shades are grandiose and often gaudy. Boho with a big botox jab; luxe crochet and dip-dyed, embellished silk cover scantily-clad derrieres and barely-there bosoms. St Tropez is a stiletto side-step away from effortless Parisian chic, labels are exposed and branding is blatant. Bare-faced beauty is few and far between, with most ladies channelling a more Marie-Antoinette air. Goyard graces every cabana and sun-couch – tote, trunk or handbag – the print is ubiquitous. Dance on table-tops avec a full flute of champagne and just the right amount of élan. Santé Mademoiselle.
Story and Edit by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis. Layout by Amanda Chan.