| Project Bikini
Our no-excuses plan to beach-babe perfection
Beach-babe worthy solutions for your summer beauty dilemmas!
Diane von Furstenberg
You say: I’m too scared to get a Brazilian.
FLARE says: Don’t get one. It’s OK to just take it off where you want to—literally only around your bikini line. Wipe away unwanted hair the old-school way with a depilatory, which clears it away without pain, humiliation or yoga-style moves. Heck, use it on your legs, too. We love Veet In-Shower Hair Removal Cream, $9. Apply it before you shower, hop under the water and it won’t budge until you’re ready to wipe it off. For your underarms, go ahead and switch to a razor if you’re wearing a bikini top every day and can’t wait for the 1/4” growth necessary for waxing. Schick Quattro for Women Go, $12, is a razor kit with all the fixings—razor, shower hanger and a convenient travel case—but take note of its special blade, designed to cut close and minimize nicks and cuts.
You say: I’m in shape, but my skin still looks dimply and saggy.
FLARE says: A faux tan evens out your skin tone (say buh-bye to patchy skin areas) and can lessen the appearance of orange-peel skin. Keep cellulite (aka trapped fat) from increasing by improving your diet. Toronto nutritionist Lilian Presti advises avoiding the baddies (fat, refined carbs, sugar, salt, processed foods, caffeine and booze) and bringing on the goodies (water, essential fatty acids, green leafy vegetables, high-fibre fruit, whole grains and lean meats). Plus, keep up the exercise, especially strength training (if you develop more muscle and reduce your body fat your skin will look firmer). Finally, use a slimming lotion. Just like an action-packed face cream that’s formulated to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, anticellulite creams have ingredients that improve the look and feel of your body. FLARE’s pick: Biotherm Celluli Intense Peel, 200 mL, $63. It has caffeine and ginkgo biloba to encourage the breakdown of stored fat.
You say: I hate wearing makeup in hot weather.
FLARE says: We agree. Foundations and powders can make skin feel suffocated. The solution? Trade ’em in for a tinted moisturizer. Smoky eyes and rich lips are also worse for wear in the heat. However, with the spring runways flaunting poolside polish, don’t let the heat keep you from putting on makeup. Wear cream, gel or mousse colour formulas that are meant to melt into your skin. If they start to run a little, just blend with your fingers. Plus, choose a light palette (as shown here) for a natural, chic finish. FLARE’s picks: Pout Eyesheer in Calypso, $33, Quo Cheek Tint in Cutie Pie, $17, and Elizabeth Arden Double Intrigue Lipcolor in Pink Sun, $24. Now let us be a nag for a minute—don’t forget sun protection. We’ve completely fallen for Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30, 50 g, $53. It’s got all the benefits of a multitalented moisturizer (vitamin loaded, antioxidant rich) and an SPF of 30, the minimum SPF smart, gorgeous gals should wear every day.
You say: Self-tanning booths always leave me looking too dark.
FLARE says: Do it at home. There are plenty of over-the-counter spray tanners with handy spouts that reach the back of your legs, your back and your butt. There’s no premeasured Donatella-style dose to worry about—you put on as much as you want. Try ModelCo Tan Airbrush in a Can, 187 mL, approximately $32 (Jessica Simpson and Mrs. Beckham are fans of the brand). Still afraid to DIY? Throw on a bikini and have your BFF spray it on for you; just remember to exfoliate first with L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Pre-Self-Tanning Scrub, 200 mL, $10. And if you’re in a hurry to look tan-tastic, Guerlain Terracotta Teint Doré (that’s a fancy name for a moisturizing bronzing spray), 150 mL, $40, has a colour-fixing polymer, which means you’ll get immediate faux colour but your white denim mini won’t.
You say: My back always breaks out in July.
FLARE says: Think ahead. Now’s the time to start using a loofah brush (buy one with a long handle so you can reach the middle of your back while you shower) and an exfoliating body butter such as Lush Buffy the Backside Slayer, $10.45/100 g, to keep pores clean and prevent zits.
You say: A heavy perfume? No way!
FLARE says: OK, we know you’ve heard all about summer scents before. (Here’s a reminder: they usually have less alcohol content and lighter notes so you won’t smell strong when the temperature soars above 30 degrees.) If you’re shy about wearing even a lightweight spritz, rub on a scented body cream. It’s a subtle allover fragrance fix that won’t give you—or your beach date—an aching head or irritated skin. Try Origins Shedonism Deeply Hydrating Butter Cream, 250 mL, $49, with the sexy, lush note of the Tahitian gardenia, or Roger & Gallet Gentle Nature Nutri-moisturizing Restructuring Body Lotion with Vanilla Sap, 200 mL, $16.