I just returned from a week-long trip to Italy, my absolute favorite country—land of chewy pasta that somehow doesn’t make me gain weight, buttery olives the size of lemons, and delightful Aperol spritzers, accompanied by extensive, exotic snacks at every cocktail hour.
But enough about food. I’m back to Starbucks and sushi.
What really struck me was the beauty scene. The Italian women are so gorgeous. I wanted to learn their rituals and secrets. But the one, glaring aesthetic that struck me the most was the Italian culture of tan. Women take their tans very seriously. They must be tan at all costs. Whether the tan is by bottle, bed or beach, it is the highest beauty priority. I, of palest pale and mightiest SPF, was almost taken aback by the spectrum of brown and bronzed skin. My friend H. who’s lived in Milan for 15 years now, confirmed the local tanning obsession. Italian women go to extreme lengths to get color. At dinner one night, a very tan friend of H.’s. even showed me some “vitamins” she takes to “help her skin develop melanin.” I was seriously shocked by all this. Don’t the Italians think about the hazards of being so tan? The women laughed gently and shook their heads. “No.”
Amazingly enough, Italians have a lower skin cancer rate than Americans. I checked. Maybe it has something to with the chewy pasta.
On a more personal beauty note, I could not live without my Palmer’s Heel Repair stick, Benefit concealer and was amazed at how my Tom Ford eyebrow pencil withstood the sweltering heat. Also, I used my Suntegrity sunscreen daily and am happy to report I returned to New York City as pale as I left.