Summertime is right around the corner if you are above the mason dixon line, and the livin’ is easy, especially when you’re prepared to look your personal best come beach time. Although many women spend months getting in tip-top shape, it takes mere minutes to achieve a bikini-ready appearance.
With a little preparation, you can boost your confidence and unabashedly sport your sexy swimsuit, be it beachside or poolside. Here are a few quick tried-and-true tricks to make your skin, hair and body look like you’re ready for the tropics in a matter of moments.
Exfoliate for Soft and Supple Skin
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, leaving your complexion with a fresher appearance. The process gives you a good base with which to shave, wax, moisturize and tan. Exfoliating is a must if you like to use a self-tanner – the color stays on longer and looks more even when it’s applied on fresh skin.
Exfoliating scrubs are available at the drugstore or you can whip up your own, using sugar or salt. For a moisturizing effect, combine the exfoliating agent with a little olive oil and/or honey before applying it to skin.
Then, using a couple of tablespoons of scrub mixture and a loofah or pair of exfoliating gloves, scrub your body in circular motions. Spend a little extra time on particularly rough patches, such as elbows, knees and feet. You’ll eradicate dull, drab skin and reveal a fresh, radiant glow.
Get a Good, Close Shave
Stubble and razor burn is probably not the way you want to sport your new teeny-weeny bikini. You want your Baywatch body to draw attention, not your bristly underarms or red, bumpy skin. After exfoliating, you’ll want to shave all the important visible areas carefully (i.e., underarms, entire legs and bikini zone), for smooth, svelte skin.
For a close shave that minimizes the risk of razor burn:
- exfoliate first;
- use very warm water in the shower to soften hair and open pores;
- lather with a moisturizing shaving cream;
- use a new, four-bladed razor;
- re-lather if you have to go back over an area;
- pat dry; and
- apply witch hazel or aloe vera gel to prevent ingrown hairs and soothe the area.
Self-Tanner: Fake it ‘Til You Make It
Tans and bikinis are like peanut butter and jelly – you don’t really want one without the other.
But it becomes a case of the chicken and the egg in that you want to wear a bikini to get a tan, but you have to have a tan to look good in a bikini. The appeal of a tan is really a no-brainer. Tanned skin makes trouble spots look leaner, colors look brighter and flaws look less noticeable.
A quick fix for a faux tan? A self-tanner with a bronzer. It’s good practice to start using a gradual, moisturizing self-tanner the week before you hit the pool. If you’re in a rush to don a natural-looking glow and be bikini-ready this afternoon, opt for a product with a bronzer in it for an immediately darker tone. For the facial area, you’ll want to use a matte bronzer to avoid a greasy, harsh look.
Crystal-Clear Skin: Zap Zits
Nothing spoils plans to don that new bikini like a back or facial breakout. A good skincare regimen goes a long way in preventing nasty breakouts.
When the little devils do crop up, you can spot-treat them quickly with a peroxide-based cream. For daily care to prevent pimples during the summer months, try:
- gently exfoliating daily;
- using a daily body wash that contains salicylic acid;
- avoiding sleeping in makeup; and
- speaking to your dermatologist about an acne prescription, if necessary.
Protect Your Locks
The sun can be brutal on your hair, as can salty or chlorinated water. You’ll want to take a few extra steps to make sure your locks are luscious-looking before heading out the door. Here are a couple of summer hair care tips you can try:
- Put a small amount of conditioner in your hair before you leave for the beach or pool, and don’t rinse it out.
- Wear a hat for the ultimate sun protection coverage for your locks.
- Avoid the ’90s trend of dipping your hair in peroxide or lemon juice before heading out into the sun. The homemade beauty treatment might lighten your hair, but it will also fry it.
- Try diluting a little sunscreen with some water and running in through your hair to prevent oxidation.
- Wear your hair up in a clip or bun. Not only will it keep flyways out of your face in the summer breeze, but it will also protect delicate ends from damage.
Avoid Belly Bulge: Eat Lean and Clean
Many ladies are leery of bikinis because of embarrassing pooch bellies. A healthy diet and exercise program is the best way to prevent unwanted fat and the only effective way to look your absolute best in your new bikini.
Even with the healthiest of diets, though, eating improperly right before you hit the beach can create unwanted and unsightly belly bloat. To ensure your stomach is flat, stick to following this regimen on beach/pool day:
- Drink tons and tons of water. Hydration will flush out excess puffiness.
- Avoid white flour, sugar and gluten, including pasta, breads, cakes, etc.
- Stick to lean proteins, fruits, veggies and healthy fats.
- Avoid soda and other carbonated, gas-inducing drinks.
- Don’t overdo the raw vegetables. Veggies are great for you, but too many can create gas and give your belly a distended appearance.
Polish Off the Look with a Pair of Shades
Nothing tops off a new bikini like the perfect pair of sunglasses. Not only do they earn you fashion points, but wearing sunglasses also prevents eye damage. Make sure your glasses provide 100 percent UV protection and that they suit the shape of your face well.
To find the right pair of shades to complete your bikini-ready look, select a pair that matches your facial features:
- Heart-shaped face – cat-eye shaped shades work best for heart-shaped faces.
- Round face – to minimize roundness, try wearing angular glasses to add definition.
- Square/angular face – conversely, if you have an angular face, you’ll want to wear round-framed sunglasses for a balanced look.
- Oval face – people with oval-shaped faces look good in just about anything. Go for style here — whatever floats your boat!
With these tips, you can be beautiful, bikini-ready and ready for fun in the sun in a matter of minutes.