5 Steps to Beach Beauty
Step-by-Step Summer Beauty
It's beauty-crisis time, when you gotta reveal what's been under sweaters since October. Luckily, tackling winter pallor (and fuzz) is easy. "Just follow the right steps in the right order," says April Greaves, a celebrity makeup artist. And if you haven't had a bikini wax in ages, your secret's safe with us.1. Shed Dead Skin
To make any treatment more effective (moisturizing, waxing, or self-tanning), first slough away dull cells with a body scrub, such as Neutrogena Energizing Sugar Body Scrub, $9.99, at drugstores. "Dead skin forms a film that prevents ingredients from being absorbed," says Diane Berson, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Plus, removing dry patches makes your skin appear more even-toned.2. Smooth Cellulite
Treat dimples on areas like your abs, butt, and the backs of your thighs with a treatment that contains circulation stimulators, such as seaweed or caffeine (try L'Oreal Paris Sublime Slim Abs, $13.89, at drugstores). Massage using circular motions for a few minutes to temporarily firm the skin and make bumps less noticeable. "Because cellulite is made up of uneven fat cells close to the skin's surface, a topical treatment can actually reach the problem layers," says Dr. Berson.3. Get Hair-Free
Yes, waxing hurts more than shaving, but it removes hair from the root to keep skin smooth up to three weeks longer. Hold the area taut and apply a thin, even layer of wax (beginners should try an easy-to-use roll-on, like Parissa 2 in 1 Roll-On Body Sugar, $19.99, parissa.com). Press a paper strip firmly over wax and use the other hand to pull it off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Heal irritation by covering the area with a cotton pad soaked in equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water, says Cornelia Zicu, owner of the Cornelia Day Resort in New York.4. Go Beyond the Pale
"The darker you are, the slimmer you look -- it's an optical illusion," says Jamie Ahn, owner of Acqua Beauty Bar in New York. Apply self-tanner at least 15 minutes before bed so tanning agents have time to fully develop (try Almay Sunless Tanning Gel For Body, $9.99, at drugstores). Color will fade more evenly when the skin is hydrated, so apply a lotion with a touch of self-tanner every other day to moisturize skin and boost your shade.5. Enhance Your Assets
Add a hint of luminosity to areas you want to draw attention to. For a subtle effect, dab a shimmering lotion like Jergens Soft Shimmer Skin Radiance Moisturizer, $6.99, at drugstores, along your collarbone and down shins. To go deeper, sweep a bronzing oil like Victoria's Secret Bare Bronze Shimmering Body Oil, $24, victoriassecret.com, between your breasts and over your legs. "This reflects light off your skin, which diffuses imperfections," says Greaves.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, June 2006.
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