Monday, 13 June 2011

Summer Essentials - Fit for Queens

Being very fair, in recent years I have tended to avoid the sun like the plague, odd as when I was younger I tanned easily. However, seeing the sun damage etched on my face and currently on a cocktail of meds that make me quite sensitive to the sun, avoidance seemed the best strategy. Sometimes there are times when sun exposure is inescapable though and for me, last Tuesday was one of them.

I headed to Queens Club in London for their annual ATP Tour tennis tournament, the first on grass of the season, as my favourite player (the Argentinian Del Potro) was entered. You can almost guarantee that the moment the grass season starts in England, down comes the rain. Luckily, Tuesday was the only day without rain, but that did mean over 8 hours sat in the sun. Here are the products that managed to get me through the day with no sun burn, itchiness or discomfort, quite an achievement!

Left to right: Elemis Tan Accelerator, Alpha-H Essential Moisturiser with SPF 50+, Ultrasun SPF 30
Even though I have little to no interest in tanning, I had heard from the hours I spend glued to QVC that tan accelerators can be great for skins that are very sensitive to the sun. They apparently prepare you skin for the sun, bringing pigment to the surface. To be honest, I don't care about the science as long as it works. I have been applying the Elemis 400ml Tan Accelerator twice a day for a month, simple enough as I use it instead of a body lotion. You still need to use sun protection with this product but since using it I can sit outside for more than 10 minutes without developing a rash. Result.

I have mentioned Alpha-H's Essential Moisturiser before but as I swear by this, I will bang on about it again. I use it every morning as a moisturiser and then can feel confident that my skin is protected. I tried their SPF30 cream last year and found it much to greasy but this is perfect. It doesn't leave a greasy film on the skin, gives a great base for makeup and has no ashy tone to it. I think I'm on my third bottle of this cream. Would not be without it.

My favourite tennis player - Juan Martin Del Potro
My final preparation for my jaunt to Queens was to apply Ultrasun SPF30 everywhere. I put it on before I get dressed to ensure I haven't missed anywhere. The beauty of Ultrasun is you only need one application once a day. My mum refused to be convinced on this and took an ordinary sun tan lotion with us, but by the end of the day I had won her over. No sun burn whatsoever despite 8 hours of sitting in direct sunlight (no shade). I love the sun and am overjoyed that I can finally enjoy it without the fear of repercussions that last longer than our summertime!

View from my seat
In case anyone is interested, the tennis was amazing. The photo above shows my view, front row, next to the players' boxes. Having previously watched matches at Wimbledon and the O2, Queens is incomparable. It is so small! Miraculously, having only decided to go up for the tennis the day before and with hardly any tickets available and no order of play, I managed to see Del Potro twice, singles and doubles. The doubles match was on No.1 court (centre is the one you always see on TV) and it is one of the smallest tennis courts I've ever seen. Points had to keep being stopped because of balls flying over from other courts!

Del Potro was playing with Stepanek against Nalbandian and Roddick, and as it was the last match of the day, spectators were starting to leave. The court was so small that Roddick could see individuals leaving and kept pleading with them not to, saying they were giving up on him! There was a very awkward moment when a couple of girls had got up to leave, looked at Andy and were clearly terrified that he would take it personally if they left! You don't get that at Wimbledon.

Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian and Juan Martin Del Potro playing doubles on No.1 court at Queens
I was rather worried about going to Queens, suspecting it would be full of the upper classes and more of a social occasion rather than a tennis tournament. Someone delightfully described it as 'for city boys and posh totty, with tennis in the background', and while there is some truth in this, the staff couldn't have been more helpful and I would definitely go again. Being able to get that close to the action is worth putting up with an audience consisting of the cast of Made in Chelsea!

For tennis fans, the value is also excellent. We missed out on Olympic tickets for the tennis at Wimbledon (did anyone get anything they wanted in the ballot?) so Queens made up for that disappointment. The World Tour Finals at the O2 are great, but incredibly expensive when you may only see an hour of tennis. At Queens, we paid less than O2 prices for front row and 6 matches!

Now to persuade my mother to take me to Wimbledon ..............


  1. I love tennis, I would sooo love to go watch but I always leave it till the last minute when it's harder (and expensive) to get tickets.

    The Alpha-H moisturiser sounds good, I will have to look into that one once I finish up some others.

  2. I'm glad you were able to attend! Great photos! x

  3. Just as a side note, my hubby is actually working for the company that is selling the Olympic tickets and is on that project. I just thought it was funny that you mentioned it. He was gearing up for the lotto on this end. Sorry you didn't get the tickets you wanted. Isn't there a second round as well? Great photos of the tennis match, tennis isn't my thing but I can appreciate others find it amusing. (Sorry for the rambling)... : )