Getting into that Bikini….
This blog may seem late. Unfortunately for me I have been slaving away all summer, de-fluffing SW6 and beyond and am now in the home run and can see, smell and taste my holiday to Mexico with my best friend. Bikini fever hit as soon as I booked and I spent a ridiculous amount of money on not a lot of material. After numerous discussions with clients over the summer (most of whom were jetting off to some dreamy destination… some were just popping down to Cornwall) about the actual effort required as a prerequisite to wearing the teeny-weeny scraps of material that cover our modesty, I decided to list out all the necessary (and perhaps not so necessary) efforts so that I can tick them off, and thus feel totally comfortable when getting into my swimsuit this September.
Actual bikini-wearing preparations can start up to TWO months before ‘bikini season’ is upon us. Ideally, if you are looking to lose a few pounds and tone up, this is when you should be starting to ensure you feel fully confident for the duration of your holiday. Weight lost over a period of two months isn’t going to pile back on after a week of indulgence; However if you try a quick fix week juice cleanse and head to Italy for pasta, pizza and wine, then the effects will most probably be undone after day 3.
The principal is: Weight that is lost over time will not be regained instantly. It is very important to remember that when you are on holiday you need to be feeling your best for the duration. Those seven new bikinis are not going to wear themselves! Unfortunately for me I have only 2 weeks until I fly away so am going to have to try the ‘quick fix’. Therefore I will be condensing my two month exercise and diet regime into a quarter of the time which means stricter diet allowances and earlier rises to fit in the exercise requirements.
It is important to remember that looking good in a bikini is not about being size ‘000’ but embracing your shape and toning up as much as possible. Cellulite is also a no-no. Pilates is amazing(as long as you are going to the right place/teacher). It works that tiny muscles that contribute to changing the shape of the body and creating a soft, feminine silhouette. I already hit Paola’s Body Barre in Fulham 3 times a week for ballet inspired pilates classes and, since starting, there is a noticeable difference to my figure. People have mentioned that my butt is more round and lifted and I can feel that my waist is smaller and breasts are perter.
As for the cellulite, the best exercise for that is Bikram Yoga, the ‘marmite’ of exercise, the one you either love or hate. I LOVE it and it is honestly amazing for cellulite. How could sweating profusely for 90 minutes whilst working all your muscles not be? You come out 3 pounds lighter for sure and with regular practice every week has banished my cellulite. Realistically this is thanks to not only the sweating but also the compression and stretching postures which allow the blood to run more smoothly through the body and therefore break up fatty deposits. Practicing Bikram also makes you drink far more water, which again flushes out any toxic build ups.
So. That’s the exercise regime sorted, I will just up my visits to Paola’s and Bikram… I should probably chuck some hard cardio in there but I am not a fan of running and I do not have a bike. However, I have just signed up to try an Insanity class in Fulham next week. It is apparently very tough but when slipping into my seafolly bikini I am sure I will be glad I did it.
So now I need to think about a diet to complement my fierce exercise regime. A juice cleanse is always the best way to start a health kick. Mainly for the reason it shrinks your stomach! It also stops any of those unwanted choccy cravings that always seem to pop up then you’ve decided to embark on a path of dietary restriction. Juice cleanses also have a fantastic effect on your skin. By day three the difference is visibly noticeable. It also has a positive impact on your energy levels, which is perfect for those extra early pilates classes! Luckily, one of my clients is yoga-teacher-come-juicer-extraordinaire and is always recommending recipes and superfoods that she loves. Realistically, my life will get in the way of my regime, I am supposed to be going for an evening of pizza and prosecco tomorrow…. However I am a great believer in being good 80% of the time means 20% of the time you can be more relaxed. Unfortunately I think this mantra is more apt when one has two MONTHS to get bikini ready not two WEEKS… ah well. There are perhaps more important things in life that looking perfect on a sunny… ah who am I kidding. Aside from the juicing (and Italian feast) I will be eating lean and green as much as possible. The only way to get a lean body is to eat lean. Processed foods are a no. Essential fatty oils are a must. Proteins are important to complement the work outs. Fruit and veg to nourish and help with that glowing skin I am after. Not pricey, not fussy, just honest clean food. If I fancy a treat I will no doubt pop down to the Retreat Cafe on Lettice Street where I can buy ‘virtuous’ sweet snacks- no wheat, dairy, gluten or refined sugars. Snacks include rosewater truffles and lemon and blueberry cake.
Now that my social life has gone out the window for the next two weeks in the hope I will be able to take a decent Instagram of myself doing Yoga on a Mexican beach (in accordance with the latest ‘selfie’ trend), what other steps must I take to look as good as possible in a bikini?
Waxing is an absolute must; Even if you can fit into a delicate Brazilian bikini without looking or feeling like a sausage being stuffed into it’s skin, if you have a hairy bikini line, armpits or pins that would give your boyfriend’s legs a run for your money then said boyfriend will probably go running for the hills the second you take off the kaftan. Lycon is the only way to wax, it’s as painfree as it comes, the wax is pretty (which always helps) and it takes out hairs as short as 1mm. A little more expensive than shaving but totally worth it as it leaves skin smooth and silky for up to three weeks and a leg wax will take off the top layer of dead skin cells, like a mini exfoliation.
Talking of silky smooth skin, next on my list of preparation is a full body exfoliation; Dehydrated skin inhibits the tanning process resulting in uneven colour. It also can look scaly, which let’s face it, is not a sexy look on the beach and this is the treatment to blitz any dry, dead skin for the occasion. At Pure Beauty we use BeauBronz body scrub, which has a super creamy texture to sooth whilst the granules work their magic on the dead skin cells- all you have to do is lie back and let the therapist (and the scrub) work their magic. Not only is this treatment super relaxing but afterwards you feel like your skin has been reborn. It also improves circulation and helps with cellulite.
As the therapist massages in a gorgeous scented Lycon body cream (my personal favourite is Coconut and Vanilla) you will feel for yourself just how smooth it is and when you see your glowing skin you will understand why this is holiday must-do treatment and never forgo it in future preparations!
Another dilemma faced by bikini wearers is that whilst that beautiful fluoro pink bikini looks fab on the tanned model, coming from England means that it will take more than one day to achieve the perfect colour to complement the new (and usually rather expensive) swimsuit. It is also a well know fact that a tan can create the illusion of appearing more toned among other benefits. Hence why the spray tan is a seriously popular pre-holiday beauty fix. Luckily, this is a lunchtime treatment. It takes roughly 15 minutes including drying time. Don’t be put off by horror stories of people feeling (and looking) like they have been tangoed and sprayed in mud, some tans have finally been developed to put all these other brands to shame. Such as the one we use at Pure Beauty called BeauBronz. This tan was developed specifically for English Rose skin and is formulated so that is will NEVER go orange. It is also applied with an airbrush gun and is therefore always light and even. The three step process also includes a light exfoliating spray to remove any oils from the skin (just in case you have popped out in your lunch break) and a tan lock to hydrate the skin and stop the colour coming off all over clothes and bedsheets. As tans go, this one is the best. I would know, I have pretty much tried the lot. And just in case you’re not a sun worshipper but want to keep your colour the entire week there is a range of BeauBronz colour enhancers to pop in your suitcase, including an every day gradual tanner which is unbelievably easy to use!
Now that my body is in tip top condition to hit the sand I must remember one more thing…. LASHES! Bizarrely one of thebest (and most secret) holiday enhancements is eyelash extensions or lifting treatment. Whichever one you go for provides the ‘no-mascara mascara’ look. Full, darker and longer lashes that are lifted from the root.Oh, did I mention that both are totally waterproof as well, unlike most mascaras! The bonus is that you inevitably need less make up as attention is drawn to the eyes. It’s a holiday winner. Both treatments take simply one hour. The Silk Eyelash Extensions are stuck to each individual lash, they then fall out naturally with your own lashes (which are hair-like on your head)!
The lifting treatment, called Yumi lashes, involves lifting the lashes from the base around a suitably sized mould and, after the application of various solutions your lashes come away looking a bit like extensions. Except they are your own lashes! And last for 10 weeks! Amazeballs.
Now there were even more lengths some clients mentioned going to, however neither this blog or the two weeks I had to prepare were long enough to include them. I will take enormous pleasure as I look around the beach in the knowledge that most of these ladies have probably put just as much effort into looking natural as I have. Then I will see some guy who has just chucked on his trunks… Maybe had a shave… AH! Typical eh.