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Get beach ready in 14 days

Elsa Krüger and Jaime Rosenzweig iAfrica
Get beach ready in 14 days

Feel like summer is creeping up on you and you are far from ready for the beach. Don't despair we have an essential summer preparation guide for top-to-toe beach beauty in just two weeks.

DAY 14 — Firm up

Now is the time to seriously amp up your exercise regime. Doing 45 to 60 minutes of cardio and strength training three times a week will have you looking firmer and more toned by the time you're ready to hit the beach.

Running, swimming and cycling all provide a great workout, and when you're short on time, focus on the most important areas. Lunges and squats firm your thighs, and kneeling push-ups will get your arms and chest looking toned.

DAY 13 — Adios alcohol

Research shows that alcohol can slow the metabolism, and as it contains no vitamins, minerals or protein, it has little nutritional value. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite, so cutting it out altogether is the best bet if you're trying to lose a few kilos before donning your bikini.

If cold turkey isn't for you, try introducing some trade-offs. Sports scientist, Kathy McQuaide, recommends a 20-minute run for every beer you drink, and a 15-minute run for every glass of wine.

DAY 12 — Sit at the sushi bar

Studies show that the omega-3s found in fish can boost your metabolism and slow down fat storage. They stimulate the release of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake and metabolism, says nutritionist Lisa Dorfman, a professor at the University of Miami in the US. So eating sushi or grilled or steamed fish could help you take control in the crucial days before your summer debut.

DAY 11 — In the buff

Exfoliating twice a week gets rid of dry, flaky skin and helps your skin better absorb moisturiser. Here's how to do it right:

Use a loofah, body mitt or scrub product and massage damp skin (never dry skin, because you'll scratch the surface and cause irritation or infection).

Work over your body in small, circular motions, in the direction of your heart. Pay special attention to rough and dry parts like elbows, knees, feet and the back of the upper arms and thighs.

If you use a mitt or loofah, make sure that you disinfect and dry it thoroughly as it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Don't exfoliate skin prone to problems like eczema, varicose veins, psoriasis or sun sensitivity.

DAY 10 — Banish the orange peel

Cellulite. Just the word is enough to send us into complete bikini panic. It affects up to 80 percent of women, which means that many thin and fit women have it too.

Tackle cellulite from the inside by drinking lots of water (this plumps your skin's outer layer, diminishing the orange-peel appearance), eating lots of fruit, and avoiding saturated fat.

Hitting the gym is also a great strategy because exercise burns fat and increases blood circulation, to lessen those dimples.

To tackle it from the outside, try a cellulite-fighting product and apply with circular massaging strokes to improve circulation and lymph drainage.

DAY 9 — Quench thirsty skin

Giving your skin a fresh, dewy glow means making sure it's properly moisturised. Hydration should start in the shower with a gentle body wash, followed by applying a nourishing moisturiser.

DAY 8 — Treat your feet

We all lavish time and care on our hair and face, but our feet often end up on the bottom of our list of beauty priorities. Treat cracked heels with Sally Hansen Just Feet.

DAY 7 — Brighten up your ‘do

Having a few highlights done will get you looking and feeling ready for a long, lovely summer. Ask for very thin pieces to be lightened, and only go two shades lighter than your natural colour.

This will give you a subtle, sun-streaked look, which the sun will lighten further.

DAY 6 — Protect your skin

It's absolutely essential that sun protection forms a part of your daily beauty routine. Use a moisturiser and foundation with a minimum of SPF 15, and accessorise with hats and sunglasses for added protection.

DAY 5 — Find your summer fragrance

There’s nothing like a new summer fragrance to lift your spirits and make you feel sexy, so don't get stuck in a fragrance rut. Make use of in-store testers to try out something new and leave it on for the rest of the day to see if it works for you. Each scent will smell slightly different from person to person as it mingles with your natural body chemistry, and you’ll find that some last better on you than others.

DAY 4 — Get fuzz-free

Hair removal is a summer must, and there are so many options available that there's really no excuse for bikini-line fuzz.

Waxing is a hassle-free way to stay smooth for a few weeks, and is especially effective for the bikini line.
Shaving is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to de-fuzz, but the results are short-lived. Dermatologists say shaving cream is the secret to avoiding accidental nicks and cuts.
Hair removal creams have slightly longer-lasting results than shaving, and there's no risk of nicks.
Lasers offer a permanent solution to unwanted hair, but treatments are costly. Expect to pay around R449 per session for the four to five treatments required to remove hair for good. Be sure that the salon therapist doing the treatment is fully qualified to do so.

DAY 3 — Time to bronze up

DIY self-tan can produce fantastic results if you do it properly, and is the safest way to get that sun-kissed glow. Here's how to avoid ending up looking orange and streaky:

  • Use a body scrub first to rub away dead and flaky skin.
  • Massage plenty of body lotion into the skin and a thicker layer on knees, elbows, feet and ankles to prevent these areas from absorbing too much product.
  • Apply self-tan just before going to bed so the colour can develop while you sleep.
  • Wait 48 hours before applying self-tan after waxing or your skin may react to the tanning product.
  • Use a thin layer and massage in an upward direction.
  • Buy a tinted self tan if possible so that you can see where you’re applying it.
  • Try not to get dressed for about 40 minutes after application, and avoid white or light-coloured fabrics.
  • Most self-tan products do not contain a sunscreen, so apply sunblock regularly when you're spending time outdoors.

DAY 2 — No-fuss make-up

Summer is no time to spend hours in front of the mirror applying the perfect eyeliner or contouring your cheekbones. Keep it light, keep it simple, and keep it quick.

Have your eyebrows and eyelashes tinted at a salon (or do it yourself if you have mastered the messy trick). Go for a dark tint on the brows and a black tint for lashes — it never lasts longer than about two weeks.

Purchase super-easy cream and gel make-up products for eyelids and cheeks, and stay away from foundation — use a tinted moisturiser instead.

DAY 1 — Finishing Touches

Now that all the hard work is done, treat your hands to a manicure. Slather on moisturiser before bed and wear latex or cotton gloves while you sleep for super-soft hands in the morning.


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