This is a guest post by the very lovely, absolutely beach ready Liz Jarvis As well as blogging at www.kidstart.co.uk/livingwithkids, Liz Jarvis is the former Editor of the health and beauty glossy Shape, Lifestyle Editor of Closer, and writes about lifestyle for various magazines and national newspapers.
I’m a firm believer in Me Time for mums – although I realise it can be a slightly elusive concept, particularly if you’re a SAHM or a WAHM. Whether it’s going away for a few days with the girls, getting pampered, meeting up with friends for a coffee (or something stronger, *cough*) or simply having the chance to lie in or a long soak in a hot bubble bath or use a face pack or hair treatment once a week, it’s all good for your equilibrium.
Getting ready for your summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to give yourself some TLC – but if time, and budget are an issue, here are my top tips for how you can get beach ready quickly – and without spending a fortune.
*Whether you’re going on holiday tomorrow or in a month’s time, kick-start your metabolism by working out as often as possible. It’ll help reduce bloating, too. Head to the park for a powerwalk (pushchair optional), go swimming or just dance around your living room for 45 minutes.
*You can give your thighs (dimpled or not) a smoother appearance by dry brushing with a natural bristle brush. Start at your feet and work up in firm, circular motions towards your heart for three to five minutes. Then when you’re in the shower or bath, using a body scrub will help brighten your skin, and prepare it for sunbathing or fake tan.
*Alternatively, pamper yourself and your skin with an at home thalasso-style treatment. Light a candle, then luxuriate in a warm salt bath (try Dead Sea Spa Magic Bath Salts, £4.95, from Holland & Barrett). Remember to moisturise well afterwards.
*Whiten your smile with a baking-soda based toothpaste
*Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water a day – it encourages the body to rid itself of any excess water – but not all at once!
*Get your eyebrows threaded – it will define your eyes and give you an instant face-lift. My local Asian beauty salon charges me £3 and it takes about as many minutes.
*If you’re applying fake tan, use a mitt – it’s the best way to avoid streaks and achieve a more natural looking colour.
*Don’t fuss about your hair – summer is the time to wash and go. Just spritz on some conditioning spray and then forget about it.
*Get rid of dark eye circles by gently place the tips of your index finger at the inner corner of each eye hollow. Work round the eye contour, above the cheekbone and over the browbone with a small, feather-like patting action.
*Treat cracked heels, invest in a foot file for dry skin, and if you can afford it, get yourself down to your nearest nail salon for a mani-pedi. If you want to DIY, make sure you use a cuticle removing cream for a more professional look. Shape your nails, then soak off the cream. Pat dry and if you’re not using a polish, simply buff until mirror-shiny.
*Keep your make-up as natural as possible and avoid using too many products on your skin – they’ll just melt in the heat. Lip gloss is fine for the beach. In the evenings use a bronzer to intensify the colour on your cheekbones and pick up the light on your face, and a shimmery golden tone on your eyelids.
*Finally, practise your photo pose in front of the mirror. Hold your head high, shoulders back, chest and stomach in, one foot slightly in front of the other and you’ll instantly look 7Ib lighter.
You’re good to glow!