10 Ways to Look Great in a Bikini
Read our tips for looking your best in a swimsuit. We've got tips for tanning, shaving and staying in shape.
Cap Off Your Look
A straw hat keeps hair out of your eyes, sun off your face, and you looking chic in one fell swoop. "For texture, braid hair on the way to the beach and let it down once you arrive," says L.A. stylist Christine Symonds. "Fill a spray bottle with ocean water and spritz hair throughout the day-the waves will look effortless."
Get The Look: Wide-Brim Packable Straw Hat, $55; jcrew.com
Get a Lift
Properly supported breasts sit higher, magically slimming the waist. Try suits with an underwire-or fake a lift with strategically placed medical tape (it's waterproof). Starting under the arm, tape inward, pulling tape taut to lift and build cleavage; repeat with three strips on each side, suggest image consultants Michelle Anderson and Christopher Willshire. A full-coverage bikini top will hide your handiwork. Note: This extreme trick works best for beach loungers, not long-distance swimmers.
Say Buh-Bye to Bloat
Scale back carbs and salty foods for two to three days before you slip into a bikini, says N.Y.C. nutritionist Cynthia Sass. Also, replace gas-producing vegetables like beans, onions and broccoli with cooked asparagus, spinach, celery and tomatoes, which are diuretics.
To avoid any stinging when you hit the salt water, shave the day before. "Use a razor with a moisturizing strip and shaving cream to keep legs silky," says Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare spas. If you must defuzz that morning, opt for a depilatory-no cuts, no bumps.
Trim Down with a Tan
"A good fake tan is like a little black dress," says N.Y.C. tanning specialist Anna Stankiewicz. "It makes you look thinner." Exfoliate, then spray on a thin, even layer of self-tanner. Look for a can with a nozzle that works at any angle so you don't miss a spot.
Buy It: St. Tropez Self Tan bronzing spray, $35; sephora.com
Go Nuts for Coconut Oil
The pressed white meat of the fruit produces coconut oil, a unique saturated fat that actually increases calorie burning. "It's made of medium-chain tri glycerides [MCT] instead of long chains, making it easier to digest," explains Bruce Fife of the Coconut Research Center. "Studies show that after a meal containing MCT, metabolism increases 48 percent." The sweet-tasting oil is great for searing seafood or as a butter substitute in baking.
Buy It: Kopari Coconut Melt, $18; sephora.com
Position Yourself Perfectly
Sitting with your knees up is like getting virtual liposuction. "Not only does it lift the fat off your thighs, it also draws eyes to your upper body and knees, creating a slim line," says body-language expert Patti Wood. While you're at it, try our little secret: Dig a 1-inch ditch in the sand and plant your rear in it. Any spillover from saddlebags or thighs will be cleverly concealed.
Eat Meals the Size of Your Fist
"When the stomach is empty, it is about the size of your fist," says Sass. "If you put only a fistful of food in there at a time, the abdomen will look flat because it doesn't have to stretch to accommodate the food." The best nutritional bang for your bulk: dried fruits and nuts-a serving size of each is about the size of a golf ball.
Hoop to It
Hula hooping may sound silly, but it's a serious abdominal workout. "Hooping rivals running-it burns 600 calories an hour-but it's a lot more fun," says Gabriella Redding, CEO of Hoopnotica. "It engages your upper and lower abdominals and your obliques, perfect for getting into a bikini." Try it an hour a day, three times a week, for the best results.
Buy It: Empower Cardio Core & More 3Lb Weighted Hoop, $25; target.com
Tighten Up Jiggles
The only place you want dimples is on your face. And while the latest anti-cellulite serums won't magically make your backside look like a swimsuit model's anytime soon, they do deliver a more concentrated dose of ingredients that can give skin a smoother appearance for a few hours, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Jeannette Graf.
Buy It: Clarins Body Fit Anti-Cellulite Contouring Expert, $70; sephora.com