You know her when you see her: The summer goddess whose face and entire body glisten as if they were sprinkled with pixie dust. The mysteriously glowing woman who is oozing sexiness from every pore you simply can’t ignore.
For the majority of us who weren’t born under the star of Venus, here are some tried-and-tested tips to give you that sexy glow from head to toe like your skin’s been plugged in.
SEXY SKIN STEP #1: SCRUB TO START
As always, the prep work is the key to turning on the winning summer shine you want to bare. Properly exfoliated skin will banish rough, dull dead skin, ensure your moisturizer or spray tan goes on smoothly, and keep your new glow from fading prematurely.
One of the best and most trusted scrubs of makeup artists and beauty queens is also sweet – Sugar scrubs are super gentle on all skin types and on both the face and body, but still gets the job done whether DIY or store bought.
Fresh Sugar Face Polish gives tired, lacklustre skin just what it’s hungry for: the invigorating all-natural duo of brown sugar and soothing wild strawberries hydrates while it sloughs for softer, brighter skin. Its yummy scent is highly addictive too.
Dry brushing, an ancient beauty practice that dates back to Greco-Roman bathhouses, is gaining popularity in spas and with celebrities like Miranda Kerr. Use a natural-bristle brush on dry body skin gently once daily before showering to banish dry spots and reveal smooth, energized skin in one week.
Pay special attention to rough spots, which are typically the elbows, knees and heels. To get the real toughies ready for a better buff, soften the thick elephant skin by rubbing half a lemon and let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing. Alternatively, add some lemon juice to your sugar scrub in less severe cases.
SEXY SKIN STEP #2: QUENCH YOUR THIRST
Like they say, ‘moisturize, moisturize, moisturize’. Add a few drops of body oil to the bathwater to nourish dry wintery skin. For that supple celebrity shine, massage in a super rich moisturizer into just-out-of-the-shower moist skin, especially in notoriously parched spots such as the shins and arms, to lock in the fresh dewy luminosity.
A homemade yogurt facial mask is a great way to bring out your glow anytime of the year – it gently exfoliates (with its natural mild lactic acid), hydrates, soothes after-sun skin, and it’s also inexpensive! What else can a girl ask for?
SEXY SKIN STEP #3: SAFE TAN TIME
The secret to morphing into a healthy, head-turning bronze babe is not soaking up the sun (or roasting under the tanning bed either).
We are sure you would have heard this before, but so many people are still over-exposing themselves to the two big ‘C’s associated with UV damage: Skin Cancer, and Catastrophic premature photo-aging (yes…sun exposure is responsible for up to 90 percent of aging!).
Do yourself a big favor, go get a tan-in-a-can or a professional spray tan for your sunless tanning pleasure. For a natural sun-kissed glow, limit your faux tan to one to two shades darker than your original skin color. The last thing you want is to turn up at the beach party looking like orange Oompa-Loompa jumping out of the bushes. In any case, skin that’s too tan ages you instantly.
A handy trick is to lightly blow-dry your skin after the first thin layer of self-tanner to allow it to set into skin quickly to prevent streaking, and show its true color so you’ll know if you need a second coat in certain areas.
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel gives a sublime day-at-the-beach natural glow to your face and body. This clear, non-oily gel makes it easier for you to detect any spots you could have missed.
SEXY SKIN STEP #4: SHINE LIKE A STAR
There’s a fine line between skin that ‘glistens’ with sexy glamor versus skin that ‘glitters’ like a Christmas tree.
What you want for the face is a gorgeous glow, not an oily sheen. After applying a sheer liquid foundation to even out any imperfections, dab a highlighter on the high planes of the face – your cheekbones, brow bones, cupid’s bow of the lips – to add ‘just-enough’ radiance and make your features ‘pop’. Powder sparingly to reduce excessive shine in your T-zone.
Similarly, body shimmer should be lightweight, free of visible individual flakes (you’re looking for a soft iridescence), and not too white or silver which can look ashy against tan skin. And apply it mainly to define and add dimension to high points of the body – the collarbone, shoulders, front of your thighs, down the shin bones and lightly over the top of the feet. Highlighting your gams gives an illusion of longer, slimmer legs too!
Benefit Bathina “Take a Picture. It Lasts Longer” is a glimmering body balm that gives a naturally delicious dewy sheen that doesn’t transfer to your clothes.
SEXY SKIN STEP #5: SKIN DEEPER
Come-hither skin takes more than simply staying out of the sun, exfoliating, moisturizing and spray tanning. You also need to care for the deeper layers of the skin from the inside. Fill your diet with 1L of water, and 6 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily to radiate a healthy glow from within and get trimmer at the same time.
Orange-red (carotenoid-containing) vegetables and fruits like carrots, apricots, tomatoes and red peppers have been shown to impart their warm attractive glow to your skin if you consume 3 or more servings daily. Lycopene found in processed tomatoes and other red veggies further protects you against damaging summer sun. Free radical-fighting antioxidants found in these edible glow, as well as in berries (like blueberries, strawberries) and green leafy vegetables (like spinach) maintain your youthful beauty for longer. Foods rich in essential omega fatty acids like nuts, seeds and oily fish keep your skin well-moisturized and healthy.
– By Alexia Wilson