Ruth Griffin: Beach body cheat sheet
Last-minute skin solutions to help you shine this summer
Is anyone really beach confident? Regardless of what we may see on social media - celebs posing on sun-drenched beaches, with seemingly perfect skin and bodies - I'm willing to wager that even these perfect creatures have their own beach body hang-ups and insecurities.
As a former model who has slowly gained a stone over the last year, I'm nowhere near as toned as I was when I modelled in swimwear shoots. But this year, I'm just going to cheat my way to a beach-ready body.
A few tricks from my modelling days: when in a bikini, keep your back really long and straight (it gets rid of the appearance of a pot belly!); apply a layer of tan - this streamlines the body, and swap cream-based SPF for an oil-based one to give the body sheen and make it look leaner. Luckily, there are products that will give you beach confidence and improve your skin.
* A lot of research and science has gone into this beach body- specific line from Clarins - one product getting rave reviews is their Anti Cellulite Contouring Expert €48 department stores nationwide
TREAT VS CHEAT
This gadget is designed to help break down lumpy, fatty tissue and cellulite. Bliss Fat Girl Slim Lean Machine Contouring System, €165, from Marks & Spencer nationwide
I prefer the low-tech option with exfoliating gloves used in the shower with my normal soap. There are tonnes of generic versions available from €2.99 at pharmacies and Penneys
BRINGING UP THE REAR…
A new, and rather bizarre, addition to the mask family is the bum mask - I'm not joking! This is a dry mask with 90pc active ingredients and looks like a bandage that you slip around your bum area and can be re-used 8 times. Supposed to be good for sagging, dimpled and dehydrated bottoms, but comes with a very hefty price tag! Try Nannette de Gaspe Tush Mask €150, net-a-porter.com
6 OF THE TOP BEACH BODY PROBLEM SOLVERS
The Issue: Cellulite
Solution: Caffeine-based cellulite creams and lots of massage
Nearly every women over the age of 20 has cellulite somewhere on their bodies - regardless of weight, lifestyle and diet. It's mostly down to genes, if your mum has cellulite, you're likely to get it no matter what kind of shape you're in. Studies have shown that diet is a very important factor in treating cellulite but increasingly research has shown that caffeine-based skincare with lots of massage can diminish the look of dimply skin.
Try: Soap and Glory Sit Tight Super Intensive 4-D Smoothing Body Serum, ¤21.50, Boots nationwide.
The Issue: Grey, dull-looking skin
Solution: Fake tan
It may seem counter- productive to apply self-tan before a beach or pool sun holiday, but it's the best way I've found to have a shot of beach body confidence without a lot of work! A layer of fake tan will diminish the look of cellulite, make you look thinner and disguise lumps and bumps! Just remember to opt for tans that are suitable for your skin type.
Tip: The lower the DHA level in a tan, the more subtle the colour, the higher the level the darker your end tan will look.
Try: Fake Bake Flawless Self- Tan Liquid spray, ¤29.99, pharmacies nationwide.
The Issue: Stretch marks
Solution: Stretch mark-specific cream
If you've had a baby, or suffer from fluctuating weight gain/loss, stretch marks are par for the course. To help fade the lines out to their eventual silvery colour use a cream rich in oils like sweet almond and omegas 3, 6 and 9.
Try: Mama Mio Goodbye Stretch Marks - Visible Stretch Marks Minimiser, ¤54, from salons nationwide and beautyfeatures.ie. This cream is suitable for new and old stretch marks and can be used during pregnancy.
The Issue: Rough, dry, parched skin
Solution: Exfoliate and moisturise daily
Our skin spends most of the year hidden away under layers of clothes, never seeing the light of day, so it's no surprise that most of us will have flaky dry skin come summer time. We all know we're supposed to be moisturising our bodies daily, but how many of us actually do it? I know I don't! To rehydrate thirsty skin exfoliate in the shower (I love exfoliating gloves) and moisturise while our skin is still a teeny bit damp (this locks in up to 10 times the amount of moisture).
Try: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Body, €94.50, from Debenhams nationwide or strawberrynet.com (this has glycolic acid to exfoliate and hyaluronic acid to moisturise, tone and tighten) or if that's out of your beauty budget try Nivea Rose and Argan Oil Body Lotion, €8, pharmacies and outlets nationwide.
The Issue: Arm bumps (keratosis pilaris)
Solution: Acid-based exfoliant skincare
If the backs of your arms look like gooseflesh and feel scratchy and bumpy, and you are prone to dry skin and/or eczema, you could have a benign, condition called keratosis pilaris. This is caused when keratin, a protein in the skin, forms hard plugs within hair follicles. Please don't try to scrub the raised bits away with rough exfoliants - even though this may seem like the best thing to do, it just irritates the skin further, making the bumps more inflamed. Instead, use washes and lotions with exfoliating acids to reduce and remove bumps over time.
Try: Elave Sensitive Rejuvenating Cleansing Treatment, ¤26.95, with 12pc glycolic acid and arginine complex, from pharmacies nationwide.
The Issue: Body acne
Solution: Treat affected areas on the body as well as your face and use a salicylic acid body wash
Sweat and oil production amps up in summertime and hormone shifts can create body acne on our shoulders, back and bums. To address this use a body wash with at least 1.25pc salicylic acid, which breaks down the cellular build-up while reducing breakouts.
Try: Lycon Anti-Bump Foaming Gel, €15, available from salons nationwide, brazilia.ie and lycon.ie
BACKSTAGE BEAUTY WITH TV PRESENTER AND JOURNALIST RUTH O'NEILL
Ruth O'Neill flies around the world covering some of the biggest fashion and entertainment events, including NYFW and LFW. An ambassador for skincare brand, Hey Honey, here she shares some of her skincare secrets....
What are your top 5 hero make-up products?
● NARS Radiant Concealer ● Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow ● Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation ● Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Pencil ● Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Highlighter
What is your daily skincare routine?
I clean my face with Bioderma Micellar Water to get all the dirt and make-up off, then I cleanse with La Roche Posay Toleriane. Recently I've been using Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Facial Mist as a toner. Then I use Hey Honey Good Morning Serum, Hey Honey Open Your Eyes eye cream and Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. It's a six-step process - so low-maintenance!
Why do you use honey in your regime?
It's calming, hydrating and anti-inflammatory. I've also discovered another amazing natural ingredient - propolis. I find this great if my skin is acting up, it's an instant healer.
What are your top tricks of the trade?
If you want to look good and feel good, everything really comes back to your diet, exercise and staying relaxed. But I think the best thing I've learned has been to prep my skin properly: to conceal my dark circles with a really light concealer shade, to blend make-up properly and make sure I have powdered my T-zone before I go on camera.
What are your favourite beauty tools?
The Beauty Blender Sponge, GHD Curve Wand and Tangle Teezer mini brush.
What are some of the major beauty mistakes women make?
Too much lip fillers and Botox. Too much just doesn't look natural or right.
Having lived in LA, have you seen a difference in styles between American women and Irish women?
American women are less knowledgeable about make-up, so they tend to wear less than Irish women. I think Irish women know how to make the very best of themselves.
What is the biggest beauty myth?
Thinking you don't have to wear SPF if it isn't sunny. It's important to wear it all the time.