Winter is a not-so-distant memory and spring is in full swing, meaning that summer is just around the corner. Which calls for shorts, tank tops, sandals, skirts, dresses, and bikinis! Which essentially means that we need to get ready… and quick!
Like the weather, you want to look your best and brightest. You want to be hot. Radiant. Glowing. Smooth. Sexy. Follow these six steps to prepare and maintain yourself from head to toe for the hot sunny days ahead.
Step 1: Treat your feet
After slumping around for months in heavy winter boots, your feet are probably looking a little worse for wear. Before breaking out your cutest sandals and comfiest flip flops, make sure to give your feet a little lovin’. Grab a girlfriend and treat yourself to pedicures or better yet, opt for an at-home solution.
We like the Feetreat Pedi Exfoliating Foot Mask by Look Beauty ($9.99, Shoppers Drug Mart) to treat the toughest calluses and soften the roughest skin. But ultimate silkiness doesn’t come quickly – these types of treatments often take at least a week to achieve full effects. Once you have used the mask, it keeps working to smooth and exfoliate over the next several days as all your dead skin continues to peel off. Your feet will seem to get worse before they get better but when they do get better, they will be waaaay better. So get started sooner rather than later before it gets too hot because dry, cracked feet are a serious turn-off – even the sexiest strappy sandals won’t save you.
Step 2: Shave your legs
I can’t speak for everyone but I know that personally, I tend to slack on the leg hair maintenance over the winter. It’s too cold and my legs are constantly covered anyway, not to mention my boyfriend doesn’t seem to care, so why bother? But soon I’ll be rocking shorts, skirts, and dresses, so the leg hair has got to go. The general public will probably not be as tolerant as my man.
My leg hair grows so fast that I usually have to shave everyday just to keep them super smooth. And somehow, I can never nick my knee hair. No matter what angle I attack at, my knees remain fuzzy. Thankfully Gillette has come out with the new Venus Swirl Razor ($14.97, Walmart) that follows all your curves and contours. The Flexiball easily swivels to the shape of your knees and ankles without causing cuts, while the 5 Contour Blades catch every hair, giving you the closest, most comfortable shave yet. Your legs will be oh-so-soft-and-touchable.
Step 3: Bronze your bod
We often emerge out of winter hibernation feeling a little soft and a little pale. It’s not quite warm enough to tan outside consistently to build good colour, and of course, tightening and toning your bod for bikini weather doesn’t happen overnight.
So in the meantime, use Hide & Glow Sleek by Bliss ($46.82, shoptoit.ca). This tinted body spray gives you the coveted bronzed look while toning and firming your skin. Colour and light diffusers work with vitamin E and Maracuja oil to make your skin glow with softness and shine, while all imperfections and dullness instantly disappear. Over time, peptides and caffeine effectively firm your derm and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Now that’s killing two birds with one stone. You will be that much closer to being beach ready.
Step 4: Protect your face
If you don’t already, add an SPF product to your daily beauty regimen. Your face is the most exposed part of your body and too much sun can lead to serious issues, from burning and peeling, to lines and wrinkles, to (yikes!) melanoma and skin cancer. Sunburns are definitely NOT hot.
Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, a good sunscreen is necessary to protect yourself from the woes of sun exposure. A lot of sunscreens tend to be thick and greasy, which is okay for the rest of your body. But when it comes to your face you want something lightweight and non-greasy. We like Neutrogena’s UltraSheer Face Sunscreen ($10.97, Walmart). It’s oil-free, ultra-light, quick-absorbing, non-comedogenic, and water- and sweat-resistant – everything you want your facial sunscreen to be. It works great for all skin types: it moisturizes dry skin and won’t clog pores for those with oily skin. It’s even great to wear under makeup! Aim for at least an SPF 30, especially if you are going to be outside for most of the day.
Step 5: Soothe your post-sun skin
Post-sun skincare is just as important as pre-sun prep. While sunscreen is important to apply before sun exposure, you can continue to protect yourself from signs of aging and risks of cancer after you have been outside. A day of fun in the sun will leave you and your skin thirsty for hydration. Drink lots of water, as usual, and follow up with a good after-sun lotion, which are specially formulated to soothe and hydrate sun-exposed skin.
To quickly cool your hot bod, try Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother ($14.99, burtsbees.ca). One of their best-selling products, this quick-absorbing lotion contains Aloe and Linden Flower to soothe and condition, as well as coconut oil and glycerin to replenish and lock in moisture. Slather this nourishing natural blend all over your body and face for fast, intense hydration to keep you feeling silky and sexy.
Step 6: Hydrate your hair
Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs pre-sun protection and post-sun thirst-quenching. The sun can be drying and damaging to your hair too, which can result in such hair trauma as discolouration, split-ends, frizz, and breakage. This becomes amplified if you like to frolic in the water at the pool or beach.
Treat your sun-drenched hair with Fekkai’s Après Soleil Crème ($28.00, murale.ca) to make your locks ooh-la-la-worthy. This lightweight multitasker treats your hair without making it greasy and can be used both before and after sun exposure. Just like sunscreen, apply it to damp or dry hair before exposure to protect it from damage. Or use it as an after-sun moisturizer to replenish and hydrate your hair back to health. Infused with sunflower seed oil, this cream will keep your hair soft, smooth, and radiant – just like the rest of you!