Showing Some Skin This Summer? Celeb Stylists Share Tricks To Nix Cellulite, Spider Veins, and Saggy Cleavage
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It’s the typical “summer’s coming” dilemma: We can’t wait to feel the season’s warm breeze and the sun’s gentle heat on our skin, but that involves shedding our concealing layers and slipping into body-baring fashions that emphasize things like cellulite, belly bloat, and pit pudge. While there’s nothing wrong with your body the way it is (self-love is, and always will be, in fashion), there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to use summer beauty tricks to boost your self-confidence. To the rescue: Top beauty experts reveal the simple solutions to tackle skin and body “arghs” so you can wear that sundress, shorts, or swimsuit carefree and confident.
To Smooth Dimpled Skin: Apply a Skin Patch
Plan on showing some leg tomorrow? Apply a skin-smoothing patch — like Stretch Patch Cellulite+ Extra Strong Formula (Buy from StretchPatch.com, $28.49) — before bed tonight. The self-heating patch (heat helps ingredients absorb better) is infused with ginger root extract, which increases circulation to remove the excess fluids that make up and magnify cellulite. And the patch’s hydrating glycerin (which plumps skin) helps to diminish dimples as you sleep.
Then, before you go out, remove the patch and dab a silicone-based face primer, like Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer (Buy from Sephora, $34), onto spots with cellulite. Why this works: Silicone blurs and “fills in” dimples (this helps even if you don’t do the patch) for smoother-looking thighs.
To Erase Skin Flaws: Use a Light Self-Tanner
It’s been some time since our skin has seen the sun, and that pallid tone can make discolorations like spider veins, stretch marks, and age spots appear more prominent. The quick fix makeup artist Mari Shten, who’s worked with Maye Musk and Bellamy Young, recommends self-tanner. “Applying an instant wash of sun-kissed color onto the body camouflages any spots, marks or scars, while the tanner’s warm, golden undertones cancel out the cool tones in purple vein clusters so they instantly disappear.”
To do: Apply three pumps of an instant self-tanner, like Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse (Buy from Amazon, $13.47), onto a tanning mitt, like Jergens Applicator Mitt (Buy from Amazon, $6.99) and rub evenly onto dry skin. Let dry for five minutes.
To Nix Razor Burn: Rub On a Shimmer Balm
We’re constantly reaching for our razor this time of year to ensure legs remain hair-free. The downside? The older we are, the more sensitive our skin becomes and the more prone it is to shaving-related irritation. New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, says you can relieve the rash and cover it at the same time with this summer beauty trick: a nutrient-infused shimmer balm. One she likes? Honest Beauty Magic Beauty Balm (Buy from Amazon, $12). “It contains sunflower seed oil, which is loaded with skin-repairing antioxidants, soothing vitamin E to reduce redness and inflammation, and coconut oil, which deeply moisturizes skin to calm irritation and prevent future rashes from occurring.” What’s more, the balm leaves behind a slight sheen so leg skin glows, helping detract from redness or bumps.
To do: Sweep the balm onto razor burn, then rub in and blend with fingertips. Rashes will instantly look less noticeable, but use for two to three days to help them heal.
To Clear Bacne: Apply a ‘Cold’ Rub
While breakouts may have seemed like a distant teenage memory, similar hormonal changes can cause body acne to recur in women over 50. What can help heal “bacne” quickly: the medicine-cabinet staple Vicks VapoRub Topical Cough Suppressant (Buy from Amazon, $5.97). “The rub contains camphor, which has antibacterial properties that help kill acne-causing bacteria,” says Dr. Jaliman. It’s also infused with anti-inflammatory eucalyptus oil, which may control redness and swelling within seconds of making contact with skin.
To do: Dab a pea-size amount of the rub onto blemishes with a cotton swab and leave on skin, since the salve’s nutrients continue to repair irritated skin all day long.
Note: If the petrolatum in the Vicks VapoRub clogs your pores and leads to more bacne, try using a zinc-pyrithione soap bar in the shower, like the Noble Formula 2% Zinc Pyrithione Bar (Buy from Amazon, $12). This type of zinc not only reduces dander (which is why you’ll find it in Head & Shoulders shampoo), it also reduces inflammation and stops bad bacteria from multiplying on your skin.
To Lift a Saggy Bust: Try Cleavage ‘Contouring’
The easy summer beauty tip to fake a breast lift, surgery-free? Celebrity makeup artist Mari Shten uses bronzer and a fluffy powder brush to contour the chests of her famous clients. “It creates breast-defining shadows along the cleavage, which helps breasts appear higher and fuller,” she explains. Her pro tip: Opt for a waterproof bronzer like Tarte Mini Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer (Buy from Sephora, $16) to ensure the color stays put and won’t become streaky if you’re sweating or swimming.
To do: Swirl a powder brush in the bronzer and apply down the center of the chest between breasts, then blend the color up and out creating a V-like shape along the upper curve of the bosom. For an added optical lift, swipe a cream highlighter like e.l.f. Cosmetics Highlighting Stick (Buy from Amazon, $10.95) along the top of each breast.
To Ease Belly Bloat: Rest a Sheet Mask On Top
Salty treats and bubbly beverages have a way of swelling the belly, making us look and feel up to 10 pounds heavier. Whether you plan to don a bikini or just want to feel comfortable in last summer’s sundress, you can trim the midsection fast. Aesthetician Sarah Akram, who’s worked with Catherine O’Hara and Kate Walsh, suggests a firming belly sheet mask that contains peptides and bergamot oil, like Freeman Beauty Happy Belly Firming + Smoothing Sheet Mask (Buy from Walmart, $32). “Peptides are made of amino acids that signal skin cells to boost collagen production, which has an instant tightening and firming effect on skin along the belly.” And bergamot oil increases circulation, which helps rid the body of excess fluids to further de-puff the belly.
To do: Apply mask to the stomach and let sit 15 minutes, then rub the excess serum into skin.
To Blur a Wrinkled Décolletage: Use a Shimmery SPF
The wrinkly results of years of UV exposure on our delicate-skinned décolletage can have us shying away from halter tops, V-necks, and tank-style dresses. Since slathering the area with SPF is key to protecting skin and warding off new sun damage, look for one infused with sparkles to instantly turn back the clock. “Shimmer causes light to bounce off of skin along the chest, which blurs the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so the chest looks immediately more youthful,” says Newport Beach, California, dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, MD. One we like: Coppertone Glow Hydragel Sunscreen 50 (Buy from Amazon, $6.79). It’s formulated with light-reflecting particles as well as hydrating beeswax that deeply absorbs into skin, plumping neck and chest creases.
To do: Massage a nickel-size amount onto neck and chest skin before heading outside. Reapply every 80 minutes while outside for optimal sun-protection benefits.
To Slim Pit Pudge: Indulge in a Lymph Massage
What’s to blame for those unflattering rolls that pop up under the arm in sleeveless tops or bathing suits? Hot temperatures cause the lymphatic system to be sluggish, resulting in a buildup of fluids and toxins that accumulate under the arms and make the area appear puffy. A lymph massage can help — fast. “The motions of massage increase circulation, which encourages lymph drainage, eliminating trapped fluids and toxins to shrink pit pudge,” says celebrity aesthetician Ildi Pekar. Also smart? Massaging the area with grapefruit essential oil, a diuretic that boosts the body’s ability to flush away retained water.
To do: Dilute 3 drops of grapefruit essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (it hydrates and prevents irritation). Rub a nickel-size amount onto hands, then place one hand on each side of the neck below each ear and sweep hands down toward the shoulders five times. Next, sweep fingertips across the collarbone (starting from below the neck out toward shoulders) five times. End by massaging armpits in a circular motion for one minute.
To Firm Upper Arm Jiggles: Use A Toning Serum
You can get gorgeous arms sans exercise, says dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, when using a slimming serum infused with marine plankton extracts and caffeine, like Cheeky Physique Arm Sleek Upper Arm Firming Serum (Buy from CheekyPhysique.com, $42; enter code FIRST25 for 25 percent off at checkout). Plankton extract is packed with moisturizing fatty acids that deeply penetrate skin, so arms appear instantly smooth and supple, says Dr. Jaliman. “And diuretic caffeine has a skin-tightening effect that helps make triceps look tauter in minutes.”
To do: Massage three pumps of the serum onto upper arms in the morning until fully absorbed.
To Boost a Droopy Bottom: Use Lifting Tape
With each year, it seems our backside gets lower and lower — and wearing a form-fitting skirt (or even worse, a swimsuit) puts a big old spotlight on this unflattering effect of gravity. The good news? Celebrity stylist Danielle Tavia says you can perk the rear right up with lifting tape, like Skinnies Instant Lifts Swimmers (Buy from InstantLifts.com, $19.95). “The strategic placement of the skin-safe adhesive helps hoist up the butt, giving it a figure-flattering boost,” says Tavia. Plus, the tape is waterproof, so it can be worn under a swimsuit for added confidence.
To do: Simply press the bottom of the tape mid–butt cheek, then pull the top up (it lifts the tush up with it) to your desired derriere position, then press the top of the tape into place.
Hot-Weather Shapewear: Try These Products
If just the thought of wearing a second layer makes you overheat, try one of these no-sweat summer beauty products that erase inches — no matter how high the mercury rises.
To Beat Sagging and Boob Sweat: A Wire-Free Tank Bra
The contoured cups and wide straps of True Body Lift Mesh Scoop Neck Bra (Buy from Amazon, $38.99), a wire-free tank bra, lifts droopy breasts. Plus, the mesh-lined back band lets air flow freely to regulate body temperature.
To Trim Thighs and Nix Painful Chafing: Try the Garter 2.0
“Garters” like Bandelettes (Buy from Bandelettes.com, $17.99) offer gentle compression to rein in jiggly upper thighs without having to cover the entire area. Plus, they’re made of stretchy lace that creates a breezy barrier between thighs to end friction-inducing chub rub.
To Smooth Rolls and End Sweat Stains: Wear This Reversible Tank
Made with a blend of breathable fabrics like viscose and polyamide, Yummie Seamlessly Shaped 2-Way Reversible Tank (Buy from Amazon, $18.75) pulls heat away from the body, while its firm control hold helps flatten bulges in the front and back.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.