I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t change your style purely for an occasion’s sake- not even for the Spring Racing Carnival. Elevate it? Absolutely. Change it entirely? Who has the time? My style is usually pretty relaxed and minimal, and while I love injecting elements of tradition into my racewear styling, I try not to stray far from my usual ethos. It may sound contradictory, but the key to a fuss-free race day is putting in the ground work. If your skin is prepped and glowing a day or two prior to race day, then the hard work is already done. Here are my top 3 tips for getting Birdcage beautiful without any beauty blunders or last minute tantrums in sight.

Tip 1. De-fuzz

This step seems pretty self explanatory, but not paying it the attention it deserves can lead to additional race day stress. Say, for example, you have your heart set on wearing a classic, structured suit on Derby Day, meaning your legs will be completely covered. You think “how easy is this, I don’t even need a wax!” It’s now Saturday morning, one of the buttons is about 5 minutes away from popping off your blazer and it’s giving you wardrobe-choice-anxiety. Your only other suitable option? Your favourite little black dress you just got back from the dry cleaners. It’s perfect- but now you have all of 5 minutes to de-fuzz from head to toe, tidy up the inevitable mess that follows when you have no time on your side and a dry razor, and run out the door. Don’t let race day drama hold you captive. Book a wax a week in advance to ensure you’re prepped and primed for any last minute sartorial disasters.

Tip 2. Faux glow

We’ve made it to the warmer end of Spring, but it’s important to note that the Spring Racing Carnival takes place in Melbourne- a place where the weather patterns can only be described as deeply mysterious. Chances are, your pins haven’t seen the light of day since late February. In the same vein as my first tip, I’d suggest getting a full body spray tan a couple of days before your race meet of choice to ensure you’ll be covered (pardon the pun) no matter what ensemble you slip into. I always feel more confident when I wake up with a tan, so if I’m already feeling like the best version of myself before I’ve even started working through my hair and makeup, chances are the process of getting ready will run a lot smoother.

Tip 3. Stick to your (styling) guns

While intuition certainly hasn’t won me any bets at the races, sticking to my guns when getting ready has ensured I have the best day possible. As a racing rookie, I chose outfits, hairstyles and beauty looks that, while beautiful, didn’t truly reflect my personal style. The result were days spent feeling self conscious and uncomfortable. If you love bold lipstick, wear your favourite red to the cup. Hate wearing a dress? Find a tailored suit instead. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy yourself if you’re not committed to your look, so opt for something classic instead of a throwaway trend and you’ll feel a million bucks- which is probably how much money I’ll lose at the TAB this year so at least I’ll look good doing it.

This blog was contributed by Gemma Watts. To see more visit her website or Instagram.