Get your body prepped and ready for summer with our top-to-toe prep guide
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably on the countdown to the official start of summer (six weeks and counting!)
As the weather warms up, thoughts turn to getting your body prepped and ready for your summer holiday, but if the idea of sporting a swimsuit makes you nervous, you’re not alone. It’s all too easy to spend the winter months cooped up indoors, foregoing salads in favour of comforting carbs, then before you know it, your summer holiday is fast approaching and you’ll have to reveal more skin than you might like, for the first time in nearly a year!
Don’t fret; we’ve got everything you need to look great in your favourite swimwear, fast. Whether your worried about baring your dry skin after a long winter, need to firm up your upper arms, are concerned that sweating will get in the way or want a post-holiday glow without jetting off abroad. Scroll through our roundup of clever tips and tricks to get you ready for your summer holiday, and you’ll be able to feel confident and fabulous this summer – no matter how much time you’ve got. Learn how to get younger looking legs in six weeks by fixing thread veins to how to reveal smoother feet in just one hour – these beach body fixes can be tailored to suit your timeline.
We’ve also included every woman’s essential packing list to ensure that you have everything you need for the perfect holiday, like nourishing creams, cooling treatments and the product that will keep you make-up in place, whatever the weather. Nothing looks as good as feeling confident, so by preparing for your beach holiday (even if you’ve only got a few spare hours!), you know that you’ll be hitting the beach looking and feeling your best.
Click through now and get ready to feel confident by the beach, pool or in the garden at home…
Feel more confident with a subtle glow but don't have time to meticulously apply self-tan on a regular basis? Us too, which is why we are excited about St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower, £14.50 which hit beauty counters countrywide today!
The first in-shower self tan of its kind, all you need to do is lather it on mid-shower, leave it for three minutes and then rinse it off again. If we hadn't tried it, we would have said the whole concept was completely bonkers and almost to good to be true.
But we did try it and the gradual colour developed effortlessly. The tinted lather means there is no opportunity to miss a spot and the sweet almond oil extract ensures your skin stays suitably nourished for 24 hours after application. Rather than slathering on moisturiser we spent those precious minutes sorting out our hair before we dashed out the door.
If you have dry upper arms, ingrown hairs on your legs or just need an all-over radiance boost, we've found just the thing to help, and the best part? It's only £4!
It's true that the legs are often the last to go. However, thread veins can spoil even the most gorgeous pair of pins, so tackling them is a smart move.
The fix "Sclerotherapy for those small blue veins, Microsclerotherapy for little red or purple veins," recommends top dermatologist and queen of the vein treatments, Dr Elizabeth Dancey.
The feel The injections can sting a bit, especially, as our tester discovered, in the area behind the knee. But there's numbing cream on offer if you wish. The result You'll probably need three treatments at fortnightly gaps, and veins can look a bit bee-stung for a short while afterwards.
How about aftercare? "Just keep clean and dry for 24 hours, and avoid the sun while you still have treatment marks," says Dr Dancey.
The cost Treatments cost £220 each at Dr Dancey's Bijoux Medispas in London and Southampton; bijoux-medispa.co.uk. For dermatologists who practise sclerotherapy in your area, see cosmeticdoctors.co.uk. Prices vary.
When it's too late to whip out the weights, a treatment that scores zilch on the effort-o-meter really appeals.
The fix Strawberry Laser Lipo sounds dramatic, but isn't. Non-invasive and totally painless, it's the lazy girl's tone-up of choice. Laser beams are used to penetrate the skin, hitting fat cells and causing them to spill water and fatty acids, which are then simply digested by the body.
The feel Hop on the couch, have laser paddles placed on your skin and lie back for ten to 20 minutes. You'll need to repeat it twice a week for four weeks for best results, but firm arms in a month - how good is that?
The result Firmer, slimmer arms, but you'll need to protect your investment by looking at your diet and exercise from then on or back they come! The cost Around £100 per session, but prices vary. Find salons nationwide at strawberry-laser.com.
Don't let pesky underarm patches spoil your summer, there are plenty of ways to get a handle on excess perspiration.
The fix "Botox," says dermatologist Dr Elizabeth Dancey. "It's the least invasive, most tolerable and reversible treatment for hyperhidrosis [excessive sweating]." Fast and safe, it disables the eccrine and apocrine glands to stop them producing sweat.
The feel If you're happy having about 20 injections in each armpit - numbing cream is on offer - it's a breeze.
The result Around six to eight months free from fretting about excess sweating. The cost Around £550 per treatment at Dr Dancey's Bijoux Medispas; bijoux-medispa.co.uk. Prices vary at dermatologists around the country.
Forget bunions - it's thickening nails that really age your feet and ruin the look of minimal sandals. "Nails thicken over time through repeated micro trauma from shoes," says podiatrist Emma Supple. "And once they thicken they're vulnerable to fungal infections." Which, let's face it, is worse!
The fix While pedicures can be an easy DIY moment, these nails need a professional. "When no one cares for them, thickened nails can grow and grow," says Emma. "A professional chiropodist can gently thin them down, using a diamond nail burr at high speed, and help keep them under control."
The glam bit "Pared down regularly, you can polish away happily, but check nails each time you remove colour and brush with tea tree oil to stop infections," says Emma.
The cost Chiropody at Supple Feet costs £35 per session; supplefeet.com.
For sure, waxing is efficient (if a bit ouch), and shaving is okay (if a bit risky), but the big problem is... hair still grows! We need painless and permanent to even think about abandoning the long-line swimsuit!
The fix The poetically-named Soprano Laser is a smarter spin on painful, lengthy laser hair-removal treatments. The device is brushed rather than pulsed over the area, allowing laser light to pass through the skin, destroying hair roots.
The feel No pain - just a warming and tingling sensation. "You'll need around six treatments with four to six weeks between each one,: says Charlotte Johnson at the uber-smart EF Medispa in London. "April is the ideal time to start treatments for summer."
The result "The hairs treated are gone for life," says Charlotte. "You may need some maintenance in the future for new follicles, but that's it."
The cost A course of six treatments costs £750 at EF Medispa in Chelsea, Kensington and St John's Wood, London; efmedispa.com. For a salon near you, go to painfreehairfree.co.uk - prices vary around the country.
Apply the lovely Aveda Beautifying Composition to soften the cuticles around the toenails. Trim toenails and push back cuticles if need be, then massage in a little foot cream.
Wipe toenails with nail polish remover, then apply a layer of double-duty Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat, followed by your nail polish. When your final layer of top coat is almost dry, apply one drop of Aveda Beautifying Composition to each toenail to set the polish and add shine.
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Facialist Yvonne Martin says, "A topical Vitamin C product helps the appearance of skin, reducing pigmentation and creating a glowing complexion. Plus, its keratolytic properties increase the exfoliation of dead cells, so skin looks brighter in no time."
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"The sun causes dehydration on the skin from sweating," says facialist Yvonne Martin, "Especially if you're not drinking lots of water and eating water-based foods." She suggests a non-stimulating hydrating mask.
A skincare treatment will soothe, calm and repair over-stressed skin. w&h adores the highly potent Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Face Serum - the best to renew radianced.
Or click the Invisible Zinc Environmental Repair Serum Rollerball, to deliver an intense antioxidant treatment, with green tea, calendula, rosehip oil and aloe vera.
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Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray gives skin a boost of moisture and can also be applied over make-up. Or refreshingly cool Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Creme helps re-plump and soften skin, yet leaves it looking matte instead of shiny.
Try Elemis Skin Nourishing Hand and Body Lotion, which you can use everywhere on the body. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is a desert island, in-flight must, keeping lips, cuticles and skin feeling soft and cared for.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is loved by cabin crew as it stays put for up to 15 hours, but allows skin to breathe. Stay cool with a quick rub of Methode Jeanne Piaubert Slim Sculpt, a cooling roller ball for calves and ankles.
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