The lazy girl’s beach-body guide
In 30 seconds: Fake slimness.
Steal this red-carpet secret from Hollywood makeup artists: “When skin is slightly darker along muscles—abs, triceps, butt, thighs—it creates the illusion of definition,” says Regine Berthelot, treatment manager at the Caudalie Spa in New York City. For an immediate effect, suit up, then apply a shimmery bronzing lotion along the center of your muscles, fading it outward. We love Caudalíe Divine Legs Tinted Body Moisturizer ($48, caudalie .com) and Soap & Glory One Night Tanned Instant Beach-Bronze Buttergel ($24, sephora.com).
In 1 minute: Zap breakouts.
Bacne is “challenging to treat because the skin on the back has large pores and oil glands,” says New York City dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D. To cover existing blemishes and any redness, swipe on a self-tanner like Lancôme Flash Bronzer Tinted Self-Tanning Body Gel ($37, lancome.com). And later, when you shower, use a salicylic acid wash such as Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body ($15, clinique.com) to fend off spots and speed healing.
In 3 minutes: Debloat your belly.
First, the facts: No skin cream can actually tone your abs (see page 117 for that), but “it can absolutely make the area look better,” says New York City dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D. Use a firming formula with caffeine (to boost circulation) as well as seaweed extract, a depuffer, to tighten up your belly; let it dry to kick in. We love Clarins Extra-Firming Body Cream ($62, clarins.com).
In 5 minutes: Get glowing skin.
Like bronzing, moisturizing skin is a look-hot game changer. “When skin is dry—from chlorine, salt water, and the sun—it looks more wrinkly and dull,” says Dr. Graf. “But when it’s moisturized, it’s plump and radiant.” Her two-step solution: a gritty oil-free body wash that has jojoba beads or sea salts to slough off dead cells (try Origins Salt Suds Foaming Body Wash, $21, origins .com), followed by a light moisturizer with glycerin. Our go-to is Cureél Daily Moisture Lotion ($8, at drugstores). Top it all off with sunscreen. (You knew that, right?)
In 8 minutes: Firm your legs.
We think of cellulite as excess fat, but “it really has to do with connective tissue underneath the skin,” says Dr. Graf. “Thick bands of collagen crisscross over bulging fat cells, creating a bumpy appearance.” So vigorously massaging your thighs and butt with a dry paddle brush, like Elemis Body Brush ($48, timetospa.com), in circular strokes can rev circulation and reduce water retention to make fat cells lie smoother. “Caffeine also reduces water retention,” explains Dr. Graf. So follow the massage with a caffeine-laced lotion such as Boots No7 Smooth & Improve Cellulite Treatment ($20, target.com).
In 10 minutes: Nix stubble.
OK, goddess. You’re bronzed, slimmified, and acne-free. But there is, of course, that whole body-hair issue. If ingrowns are your problem, avoid them with a salicylic acid treatment before waxing or after shaving (try Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads, $38, blissworld.com). “It keeps bacteria out of hair follicles,” says Berthelot. No time to defuzz? Swipe on a dry body oil like Fresh Rice Dry Oil ($48, fresh.com) to camouflage stubble. Then all you need is a cute swimsuit.
Try the unbikini
...a.k.a. a one-piece. (Remember those?) Shockingly sexy, actually, especially in a skinny-strapped maillot shape that flatters all busts.
Stylist trick: The higher the suit is cut, the longer your legs look. Love an eighties-inspired shape that hits right at the hip.
Swimsuit, American Apparel.
Cinch your middle with a high-brief bottom. No crunches required (though you might want a top!).
Briefs, Malia Mills.