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Art Basel Miami Beach, which draws to a close on Sunday, will leave many stories: of great art (more than 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate); great parties, from collector and developer Aby Rosen and his wife Samantha Boardman’s dinner to the cocktail party for Elton John’s Aids foundation hosted by artist/Givenchy muse Marina Abramovic); and, given the location, great beauty challenges.
Miami has a tropical climate that sends smooth locks into a frizzy spin, and intense south Florida sunlight that can be unforgiving on midwinter pallor. Little wonder that attendees have begun to share best-practice intelligence.
Boardman, a psychiatrist, says preparation is key. She starts in New York with natural-looking, sun-kissed highlights (Mauricio Bermudez at Ion studio) and a pale manicure/pedicure in anticipation of sandals. A week before departure, she gets a micro-current facial at Aida Bicaj on 75th street. “Your skin looks great, dewy and Miami-ready even though it’s the middle of December,” she says, also recommending La Mer self-tanner (£52).
In Miami, Boardman has Aileen Quintana, a rainbow-haired stylist, come to her hotel to do hair and make-up before parties – Quintana factors in her dress, earrings and shoes to create the right look. “They do everything in 35 minutes and you are ready to go,” says Boardman, who nevertheless takes along Estée Lauder’s Aerin kabuki brush (£38) and bronzer (“it gives you a nice glow”) and customised lip colour by Quintana.
Ricardo Rojas, a New York stylist who jets to Miami to style clients’ tresses, swears by high-quality, human hair clip-ins as the fail-safe accessory for plumping up limp ponytails, and adding volume at the crown for anyone whose hair wilts in humidity. “It’s an efficient way to make your hair suddenly look voluminous and put-together,” he says, suggesting clip-ins during the day, then adding curls at night. Rojas also recommends Leonor Greyl palm oil (£38) to slick back hair and give it shine. “It’s a beautiful look in Miami. It’s 1980s Armani, and now it’s back.”
Designer Cynthia Rowley favours Redken Water Wax (£9.20) to get slicked-back surfer hair and make a virtue out of otherwise lank locks. Tim Rogers, a stylist at Sally Hershberger, agrees that clip-ins save time. But, he warns, never check in hair pieces with the rest of your luggage when flying, in case of an airline mishap. “I had a client who was in Palm Beach for the weekend and left their hair for a big party. She had to have the hair flown up.” Eva Scrivo, another New York stylist, recommends a clip-in with a natural wave to blend with your own hair, otherwise real hair could frizz around it in the heat.
Chelsea Leyland, a British-born, New York-based DJ, always takes along rosewater spray, Eve Lom cleanser (£85), liquid vitamin B12, Liver Rescue tablets and plenty of sunglasses. She also says hotter regions demand a “good red lip”; she likes Dragon Girl by Nars (£17.50).
Kimberly Light, owner of art advisory and collection management company LightBox in New York has this unusual tip: Purell hand sanitiser on her cheeks, under her nose, mouth and chin “because you kiss about a thousand people a day”. Light opts for lipgloss by day and breaks out red lipstick (Tom Ford or Nars) at night.
Margaret Liu Clinton, gallery director at the Koenig & Clinton gallery in New York, swears by a bag large enough for heels, flat shoes for late-night switches, long-wear matt lip pencils and Caudalie Divine Oil (for hair, skin and nails, £18).
Of course, there’s always the less-is-more approach. Shamim Momin, director and curator at the Los Angeles Nomadic Division, a non-profit art organisation, has been to Miami Basel every year for 11 years and no longer swaps her flats for heels. Instead, she simply gets her cowboy boots resoled before arrival, has her nails done, and spritzes on rosewater/glycerine to refresh during the day.