Safe in the knowledge that I'm obsessed with what every other woman carries in her summer beauty bag, here follows the contents of mine.
And if you're too serious – nay, deep – for such gratuitous ephemera... Stop reading now.
Year in, year out, Sisley suncare, the most eye-wateringly expensive and best on the market, is an investment buy that protects even the most die-hard sun worshipper – that'll be a dumb one, like me. Shop there too for Hydra-Flash Formule Intensive (pictured), a moisturising mask recommended for use in-flight and after sun exposure, for a plump and hydrated face and décolletage. Within reason.
Space NK, the one-stop emporium for all things independent, is where to buy Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. A multifaceted dry oil par excellence, this is good for face, body and hair. Moisturising and discreetly fragrant, it leaves a subtle sheen on the skin. You can even use it in the bath, so as a space-saving exercise it's unrivalled. There's a gold-flecked one too, incidentally, which Helena Christensen (of the lovely tousled locks, and the rest's not to be sniffed at either) swears by, apparently. She looks sun-kissed. I look like an Oscar, so prefer the clear one. Also a classic, and with good reason, is Kiehl's Crème de Corps. It smells like, well, like nothing, but works. Kiehl's Lip Balm is equally no-frills effective, as is Eve Lom's Kiss which is a touch pearly-queen and pleasingly cooling.
Make-up in the summer season is not high up on my agenda. In fact, neither is make-up the rest of the year. Perfume, though, is another matter. If, when it's cold, Serge Lutyens Rose de Nuit is my favourite scent, from spring onwards this is traded in for the more unashamedly sweet and floral rose cologne from the Farmacia Santa Maria Novella. The London store is in Walton Street and is, perhaps sadly, stroppy-monk-free. Anyone who has visited the Florentine original will have experienced being served by quite the most bad-tempered cassock-clad assistants imaginable – which, strangely, only adds to the experience.
Finally to nails. Dr Haushka Neem Nail Oil is my treatment of choice. As far as colour is concerned (only for toes here), Chanel Riviera is more reminiscent of blousy, Victorian cottage-garden flowers – pink ones – than anything more chic-European-resort in flavour, and is very pretty indeed. Sugar, spice and all things nice, then. It is summer after all.