How To Get Bikini Ready In 7 Days

While sitting in the library cramming for my finals (Okay fine, I did a little studying and mostly drank Starbucks while googling pictures of Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling. Sue me.),  all I could think of was what was waiting for me once I finished my freshman year. Iced coffee, denim shorts, and most importantly, beach trips and pool parties. In day dreams all those sound wonderful, but then as you put away the coats and pull out the summer clothes, it hits you: It is bikini season. The skimpy two piece is enough to instill fear into us girls who have had a hard time avoiding the freshman fifteen or simply aren’t confident with their bodies. While it is ideal that you maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet all year round, usually you neglect those rules until you realize there are a limited number of days before you have to make your bikini debut. No fear, here is a 7 day guide to looking your best and rocking that swimsuit.
Seven days until bikini time:
Think realistically about your goal. Seven days is not a tremendous amount of time so you shouldn’t put the pressure on yourself to lose 15lbs. Don’t fall for the celebrity detoxes or gimmick diet plans. Those are risky to your health and can backfire: you can’t maintain that diet so once you return to your usual eating habits the weight will come right back. Start off a routine you can keep going all summer to bring real results, and get active! Get off your butt and go for a jog or hit the gym. Sweating can rid excess water weight, also, giving an instantly slimmer look.
Six days:
Cut out salt from your diet. Salt makes you bloat and retain water. By eating cleaner, whole foods and skipping the processed junk, you can look significantly slimmer.
Five Days:
Continue trying to be active, and increase your water intake. Water is vital for a healthy body and weight loss, and it will help flush your system.
Four Days:
Have your bathing suit selected for the event ahead of time. If you simply grab one from your drawer the day of, it could be that it doesn’t fit the same way it used to last summer. Do some shopping and find a suit that flatters you. For example, I don’t have the biggest chest so I like tops that have a bit of a push up to them, and my favorite part of my body is probably my butt and legs, so I love the Victoria’s Secret Hipkini bottom. Show off your assets and hide your insecurities.  If you want a little bit of help sucking it all in, there are brands that make bathing suits with built in control tops. The company Spanx is typically known for their undergarments, but they also make really stylish bathing suits! And it can be your little secret.
Three Days:
It’s no secret that being tan makes you look more sculpted. As a naturally pasty Irish girl, I understand that not all of us are blessed with a sun-kissed skin.  Luckily there are so many great options out there to give a bronzed look. I can’t advise you to hit the tanning salon because we all know that can lead to skin cancer, but in my opinion the sunless tanning options get the job done a lot faster anyway. You can do this very affordably also. The drugstore has so many fake tan choices, but my favorite has to be the Neutrogena Micro Mist Tanning Spray because you don’t have to get your hands messy (avoiding the tell tale sign of sunless tanning: the dreaded orange palms.) I have heard nothing but great things about the Victoria’s Secret line of tanning products, and same for Bath and Body Works. If you want to splurge, cult favorites are by companies such as St. Tropez and Bare Minerals. If you are a first time user of these products, I suggest choosing a lotion with a color guard. This means there is a bronzer in the lotion that shows up immediately on the skin, so you know where you have applied it. This washes off after the primary tan sets.
Once you choose your tanner, make sure you do a really good job of exfoliating your skin. Put moisturizer on dry spots such as elbows, knees and hands to prevent things from getting streaky. Apply your tanner carefully; I like to do it in front of a mirror and get help from a friend for my back. Let it dry and wait up to 24 hours to see the full effect.  I recommend doing this two to three days before your pool/beach party because if you are streaky or missed a spot, this gives you time to fix it.
Two Days:
Focus on very clean eating. Of course do not starve yourself, but eat light foods that don’t make you feel sluggish or bloated. Use a thick lotion or body butter to make your skin that will be exposed super soft, as this will help maintain your new tan. I like choosing one with some glitter in it!
One Day:
Plan your look! Just because you’re wearing beach gear doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize. I love wearing big earrings and bangles with my bikinis. Fedoras and floppy hats are so chic on the beach, and I love swapping the boring flip flop for a jeweled sandal.  At the very least find an awesome pair of shades to go with your look. If you feel cute and pulled together, you will instantly be more confident. You will get compliments and people will focus on your great style, not your body.  I guarantee that every single person you see in a bathing suit has something that they are insecure about. This is where it’s time to stop feeling self conscious and just enjoy yourself.
You made it to the big day! Have a blast and remember ultimately, it isn’t about how you look, but it’s about enjoying summer and spending time with your friends!
[Lead image via GTeam/Shutterstock]

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