Aisling Keenan: Ready for Summer
You've been hibernating for months and your 'winter coat' is holding firm everywhere hair grows. Your skin looks and feels rough, dry and pasty.
Then you hear the one word that strikes fear into the hearts of women everywhere: bikini.
Sticking to your diet and pounding pavements to get into your two-piece are all well and good, but that's not all it takes to perfect your body.
Once you're clean, polished and trimmed, lash on some instant tan or an illuminator for the first few bare-all days to give skin a healthy glow.
First, awaken your skin. Clear it of dead skin, remnants of spray tans past and any other pollutants. A super exfoliator is what’s needed. When I asked the social media sphere to recommend one, an almost unanimous verdict came back. L’Oreal Exfotonic Skin Revealing Exfoliator (€14.99, pharmacies and department stores ) is the real deal. It has micro-beads that remove all the flaky bits of skin, but won’t leave you with no skin.
Another simply marvellous product that I came across recently is Karora Cosmetics Multi-action Micro Peel (€14.99, Unicare, McCabes and Sam McCauley’s pharmacy branches). I couldn't believe what it did to my skin the first time I tried it. It’s a gel formula with no beads or gritty bits, so I was wondering how exactly it would exfoliate my skin. I rubbed it in and, before my eyes, dead skin and leftover bits of tan were flaking right off, leaving my skin smooth and grime-free. Ideal for stubborn false tan gone wrong and for those particularly rough body parts. Try it and be astounded. I was.
If there’s one body woe that we all share, even with the most beautiful women in the world, it’s cellulite. No matter how hard we work on the treadmill and weights machines, we still end up with a bit of orange peel on the backs of our legs and elsewhere. Something I use regularly to reduce the look of cellulite is Nuxe Body Contouring Oil (€26.50, Arnotts and pharmacies nationwide). I lash it on my tummy, the backs of my legs and my bum after I shower and it seeps in, targeting all those lumpy bits.
Lancôme Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Leg Gel (€27, Lancôme counters nationwide) is the go-to tan for every second person that I ask. It says leg gel, but it can and does go on every other body part just as effectively. No streaks, natural colour, quick drying and, best of all, it doesn’t smell like biscuits or rice which partners always appreciate. St Tropez Skin Illuminators comes in rose, violet and gold, (€19.99, Brown Thomas) and gives a polished, finished look to your skin. Slick a small amount along your collarbone to highlight and contour the area, or some along your shins to lengthen your legs. It’s not overly shimmery, which is a big plus for me.
There will, of course, be areas of your body that have become more overgrown than you might like — especially in the bikini region. A trip to your favourite waxing establishment will see you straight, but to keep up the grooming on the go, you might look into a bikini- line razor. The new Gillette Venus Bikini Trimmer (€7.99, retailers nationwide) has a comb between your skin and the blade, making trimming safe and easy. I don’t know about you, but safety and comfort are my main concerns when going into that region. Worry not with the Venus trimmer.