ELISE BREWERTON: It’s function over fashion so the bikini’s gone

Not the most ideal garb for a cross-Solent swim...
Not the most ideal garb for a cross-Solent swim...

Inspiring Tim shows you can reach for the stars

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I finally invested in a ‘proper’ swimming costume for my big swim to the Isle of Wight for Samaritans.

My two-piece outfit didn’t cut the mustard with my fellow swimmers. They were aghast that after weeks of training I still wasn’t in a practical all-in-one.

I know it’s bonkers and a charity swim isn’t a fashion show but at least with a flattering 1950s-style bikini you can pull things in and push things out where you need to. They are cut to cover up the worst of the dimply bits on bulging thighs too.

In my swimsuit I feel like a giant turquoise blob with a bright pink head (my neon swimming cap).

Even if I’m going for a jog I’ll slap on lipstick and blusher.

I remember meeting a friend for a run once who exclaimed: ‘Are you wearing makeup?’ She was incredulous, but it wouldn’t enter my head to leave the house without it no matter what I was doing.

For the Great South Run I had my eyelashes done. And for a long time I refused to wear a sports bra because I didn’t like the shape it gave me.

Thank God I got over that one. Otherwise certain bits of me would have been heading south long ago.

I’ve spoken to many women who feel the same and get their nails and eyebrows done so they look good in their marathon-finishing photos. It’s not vanity, quite the opposite.

Makeup and clothes are masks, I suppose. They give me confidence and make me feel better about myself.

Pulling on running kit or a swimming costume leaves you feeling exposed so what’s the harm in having a bit of lippy in your armoury if it makes you feel better? At least you’re not vegging on the sofa eating chips.

I know nothing can save me from looking like a creature from the deep on the swim though – unless Lancôme invents heavy duty waterproof foundation and mascara before October 1.

•Elise is deputy features editor at The News. she is swimming to the Isle of Wight for Samaritans in October. To sponsor her go to bit.ly.2vL5AhZ.