THE LIFE STYLIST
A DIY idea that’ll inspire the reimagining of your backyard patio or deck. And, how to keep your skin supple while you savor the summer.
By David J. Witchell
It feels like a lifetime ago that I’d slather myself with baby oil then head outside, armed with my foil reflector, and bake under the summer sun for hours at a time. I don’t know what I was thinking. Even not knowing what we know now, I’m a blonde, fair-skinned guy.
I love the outdoors. That hasn’t changed. But I’m much smarter now about how I spend my time in it. The reflector’s long gone, and the baby oil’s been replaced by sunscreen. That was just common sense coupled with maturity. And a skin-cancer scare. Harder to come by was an outdoor space where my family could enjoy all the best parts of a sun-drenched afternoon without being sapped and baked in the process.
Our backyard patio is especially narrow and long, so finding an appropriately sized dinner table wasn’t any trouble. Finding one, however, with an accompanying umbrella that safely reached everyone around the table was impossible. An umbrella that size would have been too large anyway. And then it hit me. I ordered a few small sails online, erected some tall cedar trees that had toppled over in the yard and strung up the sails between the trunks and the rear of the house to create a taut, overlapping canvas roof. Total coverage, and it’s a conversation piece.
David J. Witchell is the co-owner of David J. Witchell Salon & Spa, in Newtown and Lahaska,and The Boutiques at 25 South, in Newtown.
Photos by David J. Witchell
These days, I suppress the pale and pasty with Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads, applied weekly. For more comprehensive coverage at the salon, we turn to Jane Iredale, who created her makeup and skincare collection with the singular aim of nourishing the skin with every application. If she can work that kind of magic with makeup, the sun’s a nonstarter. Here, she offers a routine that’ll enable you to savor and survive the summer. —DJW
Wear at least SPF 15 on your face, neck and ears every day. I use PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, which also has concealer, powder and broad-spectrum sun protection (SPF 20). If I’m going to be severely exposed, I’ll apply the Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 15) first and then the foundation. I’ve never burned with that combination.
Hand in hand
Don’t neglect your hands. The HandDrink Hand Cream (SPF 15) protects and hydrates. It’s also gorgeously fragrant. I pop it in my purse and reapply throughout the day.
Be diligent. The sun is responsible for 80 percent of the signs of aging. Reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours, and even more often than that if you’ve been sweating or swimming. And don’t assume that a mineral makeup will protect you. Look for the SPF rating on its label.