Life & Beauty Weekly: Hair & Beauty

By Stephanie Tweito Jacob for Life & Beauty Weekly


If you’re like most women, getting into a swimsuit probably isn’t at the top of your favourite-things-about-summer list. So what’s the trick to bathing suit confidence? You need to love your whole look. That means finding a flattering swimsuit, of course, but also creating a pretty (and easy!) beach-inspired hairstyle and perking up your skin. These tips will have you looking and feeling great all summer long.

1. Find a flattering swimsuit

“Knowing what works for your body type can seriously help with swimwear shopping,” says Jessica Biffi, head designer and owner of the Jessica Biffi fashion lable. Here’s how to:

Slim your waistline. Look for empire waists, details at bust level or even asymmetrical seams and gathers at the waist. These can give the illusion of a smaller waistline.

Find the perfect fit. Many women are one size on top and a different size on the bottom, making it a challenge to find a one-piece that fits. In this case, tankinis are your best friend. They give you the freedom to mix and match not only sizing, but colour combos as well.

Look tall and trim. Again, empire waists draw the eye up, making the body seem taller and leaner. Also, anything moving diagonally across the body creates length. And if you have the hips for it, a dropped waist can add length as well.

Draw attention to the good (and camouflage the bad). The use of colour blocking can help minimize some areas and highlight others. Try a black boy short paired with a colourful tank, which can even out your figure and give the illusion of a more slender frame.

2. Feel great with a pretty, carefree hairstyle

When your hair looks great, you feel more confident no matter what you’re wearing. Forget the usual ponytail and try loose, beach-ready waves. This effortless style works on all hair types and looks sexy and casual, says Chantel Guertin, beauty expert on The Marilyn Denis Show and editor-at-large at How to get the look:

While you’re still in the shower, run a wide-tooth comb through your hair. Do not towel-dry it! (This causes frizz.)

Keep a serum in the shower so you can apply it while your hair is still wet. If you have curly hair, just apply a smoothing serum. If you have straight hair, apply a curl-enhancing serum — or, better yet, a serum made especially for beachy waves. Apply a dime-size amount (or quarter if your hair is really thick or long) to the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to disperse product across your entire palm and fingertips. Then run your fingers through your hair, starting about five inches from the root (your roots don’t need product; it’ll just weigh your hair down and make it look greasy quicker) through to the ends. Once you’re out of the shower, let your hair wave naturally. If the curls are too thin and tight, group two to three sections together and twist them together to make thicker waves.

If your hair is really curly and you’re trying to get it to be looser, let it dry naturally. Don’t touch it during the drying process. When it’s 90 percent dry, run a brush through it to break up the curls.

If your hair is straight or has just a bit of wave, you can use a diffuser to add more wave to your hair. If your hair is really straight, wash your hair at night, then twist sections into mini buns all of your head and secure with elastics or bobby pins. Sleep on it, then let it out in the morning. Run a brush through it and you’ll have great beachy waves.

3. Get glowing skin

Sun-kissed skin is always in, but baring your bod to UV rays isn’t the healthiest solution. Instead, try gradual self-tanning lotions, which are a great alternative to a harmful tan from a tanning bed or outdoor rays, says Toronto dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll. These daily moisturizers contain low levels of DHA (a skin-tinting agent), so they’re easier to use than regular self-tanners and give a subtler result.

In order to avoid the “pumpkin look,” Carroll suggests a few key steps. Shower first; while in the shower, exfoliate with a loofah and shave your legs. Pay special attention to your elbows, knees and the tops of your feet when exfoliating. Once you’re out of the shower, bring out the self-tanner. If you’re a newbie you may want to mix it with a little moisturizer. “That way you get a gradual effect,” she says. “This works very well for the face and helps avoid streaking.” After you’ve applied the tanner, let your skin air dry. And try to avoid white clothes or sheets until you’re dry.

Using these easy tricks to look and feel your best means you can focus on what’s most important: spending time relaxing!


Stephanie Tweito Jacob is a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, fashion and health. She has held editorial positions at Allure, More and O, The Oprah Magazine.

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