Summer beauty prep 101
Our get-gorgeous guide for becoming a summer stunner.
1. Those paparazzi pics of Mischa Barton’s dimpled derriere made us all feel a little bit better, but that still leaves us with lumpy-bumpy legs and bums. To get swimsuit-ready, try one of the many slimming or anti-cellulite product with tightening ingredients like caffeine, gingko, and ginseng, according to Biotherm representative Nadine Lajoie. You can never get rid of cellulite, but minimizing its appearance can be helped along by massage. Biotherm’s new Celluli line includes a massage tool to improve circulation and aid absorption of the product, which will work on reducing and preventing hardening of the collagen fibers.
2. You caught a little sun – we’ll forgive you (this time!) – and suddenly the foundation shade that took many an hour to match perfectly doesn’t look quite … right. Eddie Maleterre, L’Oreal’s main makeup man in Canada, recommends skipping foundation altogether and using a bronzing powder instead where the sun would normally hit the skin such as the nose, cheeks, and forehead. (Give Cargo Bronzer a try.) Or, if you can’t do without, says Maleterre, “have a foundation that is one shade darker than your regular one and you can mix both to achieve the right shade.” (L’Oreal’s True Match touts itself as muy blendable.) Girls in a hurry can check out Revlon’s new Custom Creations Foundation, which comes in a container that you “click” to the right shade for you.
3. Summer can render your fave fragrance too strong, and even attract bugs. It’s a good idea to switch to a lighter, alcohol-free formulations once the temperature rises. Our new faves include Jean-Paul Gaultier Classique Summer Fragrance and Calvin Klein Eternity Summer. Girls looking to double up on benefits can check out Lavanila’s antioxidant-packed Vanilla Coconut, or even Shu Uemura’s Deepsea Waters, which come in beautiful botanical scents and hydrates the skin with minerals.
4. Ah, tanning – all roads lead to that Lohan-like Orange Crush shade, or skin cancer. It’s enough to turn a girl to self-tanners for life (here’s hoping!). Where to start? “It is really important to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells; it is the key to a streak-free tan,” said Maleterre. “Then, after you apply your self-tanner (and make sure you’ve really applied it everywhere), make sure to wash your hands to avoid stained palms.” He’s a fan of L’Oreal’s new Sublime Bronze Gradual: the lotion is easy to apply and contains AHA, which will gently exfoliate the skin while you are applying it to ensure a smooth tan. Other new user-friendly options include Marcelle’s I-Bronze self-tanning cloths (they’re biodegradable to boot), and Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream, which is tinted to show what’s been swiped already.
Image courtesy of Marcio Madeira
5. When it comes to getting your toes ready for your new gladiator sandals, prep is key, says Jeanet Allinson, owner of Toronto’s Jeanet Spa & Salon, which counts Nicole Kidman and Ashley Judd as clients. “Massaging cuticle oil [such as Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardeners Nail & Cuticle Therapy] into your cuticles will help to hydrate the skin and prevent nail polish from shrinking around the cuticle. Always apply cream to your feet on a daily basis, and, when you exfoliate your body, make sure to include your feet,” she said. Cutting the nails straight across to prevent ingrowns. Make sure your nails are free of oils and creams so that the polish will go on smoothly and last, and then start with a basecoat – such as Sally Hansen’s Complete Care Extra Moisturizing 4-in-1 Treatment – to avoid yellowing of the nails. Said Allinson: “The best tip for painting a nail is to always tip the ends of the nails with polish so that you cover the end. This will prevent dripping, and therefore last longer.” And to keep your pedi as perfect as possible? A new topcoat ever few days will keep you shining on. Hot summer colours include corals (we like Revlon Nail Enamel in Coral Me Wild) and hot pinks (MAC Nail Lacquer in Gee Whiz is boss).
6. We think of summer skin as all dewy, right? Think again. Skin therapist Samantha Flores of Toronto’s Ritual 2 said, “You’re covered in sweat, sunscreen, dirt – you need to get that and the dead skin off to get that glow, and promote cell renewal.” Gals with darker, oiler skin can try Dermalogica’s salicylic acid Clearing Mattifier from the MediBac clearing line, for use two to three times a week. Those with normal or combination skin can try the Skin Prep Scrub once or twice a week, which comes with corn meal to scrub away impurities. Sensitive-skinned ladies can make use of the gentler rice enzymes in the line’s Daily Micro Exfoliant once a week. And those who poo-poo DIY? They can head to Ritual 2 to get their face glowing, courtesy of the new Flash Exfoliation Treatment that gets you in, polished, and out in 20 minutes.
7. While shaving is pretty straightforward, waxing is more of a freaky frontier, but assistant manager and esthetics supervisor Leanne Charlton from Vancouver’s Le Petit Spa has a foolproof plan for hairless gams. The faint-of-heart can pop an Ibuprofen or two an hour beforehand to ease the sting. Clean your skin first with alcohol and follow with a spinkling of baby powder. “Do small sections at a time, and only use a thin layer of wax. Apply the strip in the direction of hair growth, pull the skin taut, and then remove it against the growth in one swift motion,” she says. Applying pressure and tea tree oil – available at health food stores – or a mild lotion (we like Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion from Burt’s Bees) will soothe the area. Things to avoid for the next 24 hours (to avoid irritation) are swimming, sun exposure, sweating, and hot showers. Exfoliating after this period will keep your bod free of pesky ingrown hairs. And the pay-off for long-term waxing? Your hairlessness will last from a week to three weeks, and will result in thinner hair after a while. A new at-home kit that struck our fancy is Veet’s Salon Line Ready To Use Wax Strips, as they come in a mint scent for normal to dry skin, and with Vitamin E and almond oil for the sensitive-skinned gals.
Image courtesy of Marcio Madeira
8. Looking for the best ingredient to keep your summer skin sexily smooth? One of summer’s hottest moisturizers has recently graced the pages of Vogue Magazine and been a fan favourite for … thousands of years? The olive and olive oil’s ultra-moisturizing properties are reaping the props these days, so give the Moisturizing Cream from Montreal’s Olivia’s Oasis, or The Body Shop’s new Olive Body Butter and Olive Dry Oil Mist, a try for hydrated hottie-ness .
9. Spending the winter months cozied up to 30 Rock and a cup of hot cocoa can result in a bod more flab than fab come summer. While it’s not a substitute for getting back into shape, bronzer can help you fake it ’til you make it – back to the gym, that is! Smashbox Cosmetics’ professional artistry relations manager Lori Taylor suggests exfoliating first, then brushing some body bronzer like Smashbox’s new Desert Chic Fusion Body Bronzing Powder in a line down the top of the thigh and shin. “It will draw the eye, and give the optical illusion of a thinner leg. Bronzer used on cellulite will also reduce its appearance,” she says. Make sure to buff the bronzer on in a round motion (rather than just painting a line up and down) to get a natural look. And, to get abs in a flash, use the same technique to apply the product to the top and sides of the stomach to give the illusion of tone.
10. Patterns may be a hot ticket for summer, but stretch marks are one stripe you want to avoid. Luckily, there are a few cult products to help us out. Bio-Oil hails from South Africa, but it has its fair share of Canadian fans – Shoppers Drug Mart sold out a year’s supply in a few months. It can reduce the appearance of scars and uneven skin-tone, too, and has the summer-appropriate bonus of soothing sunburns. France spawned another fan favourite in StriVectin SD, the uber-popular salve that does double duty as an anti-wrinkle miracle-cream.
Where to buy:
Shoppers Drug Mart
Dermalogica.com for the “Get Dermalogica” link to local spas
The Body Shop
The Body Shop products
Crabtree & Evelyn
Crabtree & Evelyn products
Image courtesy of Marcio Madeira