My alter ego and "other" gig is that of a music publicist.
It is obviously a cool job and I love it. I love being the connective tissue between the bands I work with and the various arms of the media, which requires lots of chasing, pitching, baby-sitting, backstage chaos, and more. But while it is an exciting career and perceived as a sexy job to those who don't do it – I swear one of my exes dated me just because he thought it was cool that I accompanied Slipknot, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Killswitch Engage, and other rock bands on their interviews at press and radio, which I set up — it is still a job.
I have bosses. I have deadlines. I have expectations put on me and goals I want to achieve and media placements I am expected to deliver. I have rules and standards to adhere to and follow. It's not bedlam. So when I have to spend a blistering Friday in mid-July at the Vans Warped Tour, all day long, from noon to a million o'clock for work purposes, and then (willingly) partake in additional schmoozes and hang sessions after the event ends and the fans clear out, it is a bit daunting for me. I have to look and feel my best, despite the heat and humidity, since I'm meeting clients, talking to my bands, photographers, journalists, and more.
I spent Friday, July 11 at the Philly/Camden edition of Warped Tour since I had a few bands on the bill and managers to meet up with. Plus, my nephew, who is 15, wanted to go. I know it was way cool for him to hang backstage, take pictures, and Instagram them for his friends to see. It is why I am the favorite aunt.
But I have to adjust my beauty regimen and routine for these types of long, hot days. You can't avoid the heat and sweating, but I do have a few tricks to combat the messy hair, the thick, sticky air that clings to my skin like latex, and the lack of freshness. Since I am a professional and this is part of the job, I have extra steps to take. Here's how I survived.
1. Shades And Lip Gloss
As you can see in the photo above, a pair of large, dark shades is key. Those are hard-to-find House of Harlow Chelsea sunnies and they are my faves. They block out the sun so I am not constantly squinting when having conversations. A swipe of light pink lip gloss adds some glam and protection, without overdoing it. Sara Happ The Lip Slip is my go-to. I usually prefer the pot, but on show days, I use the tube. ($18, bluemercury.com)
2. Dry Shampoo
I spritz my hair with dry shampoo after blow drying and before I park my car. Batiste's Fruity & Cheeky Cherry smells amaze, like those Strawberry Shortcake Dolls I played with when I was a little tyke. The dry shampoo adds texture, a little thickness, and the illusion of freshness, but perhaps more importantly, every time someone hugged me, they commented, "Mmm! Your hair smells great." That's called leaving an impression on people you work with. I don't weigh my bag down by carrying this; I use it before I get on site. ($7.99, Ulta.com)
3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF 100 Sunscreen
Do we really need to talk about this? I am wearing a rock tee, custom-cut, thanks to a pair of fabric scissors I nabbed at Target years ago, exposing some cleavage and my arms. Of course I am going to be wearing lots of sunblock with the highest concentration of SPF. I am fair, despite being Italian, and I believe in protecting my skin from the sun's damage. I don't want cancer or wrinkles, in that order. The added bonus is the fresh smell. ($12.89, amazon.com)
4. Braids, Braids, Braids
I had to dump my hair into braids as the heat of the day increased. My neck was sticky, my hair was getting wretched, and I needed to keep it neat and cool off, so out came the braids. I have written before about my hair being my shield and security blanket, but I make the exception when my hair gets damp from sweating at an outdoor festival or event. A colleague called me "Pippy Moshstocking," since there was a lot of crowd surfing going on around us. Pippy or not, it was a relief. A slight relief, but a relief nonetheless.
I also keep a fresh bottle of Bath & Body Works PocketBac in my bag, since I am in the middle of lots of handshaking and having to give band members things to sign, since fans saw me talking to the band and use me as a conduit. So yeah, there are lots of germs being transmitted and this keeps my hands clean and smelling fresh, crisp and lemon-y. (5 for $5, bathandbodyworks.com)
Images: Amy Sciarretto