The words “Memorial Day weekend” can strike simultaneous pangs of joy and fear into the hearts of those making jet-set vacation plans. For most of us, it marks the inaugural outing of newly exposed arms, legs, and midriffs after months of hiding beneath layers of cashmere. So, in preparation for a seaside escape (not to mention the months ahead of Proenza Schouler crop tops and Isabel Marantmicro-shorts), we consulted an arsenal of beach body experts—from a pro skin-care guru to a sought-after spray tanner—on how to look smooth, glowing, and fit all summer long.
• When it comes to changing one’s diet, “I give the same advice to clients who want to feel better as I do to clients who want to lose weight: get rid of foods that will create inflammation and puffiness in the body,” says the New York City–based nutritionist Frank Lipman, M.D., who suggests replacing sugar, gluten, carbs, and alcohol with green vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. “A huge misconception is that fats make you fat,” he continues. “That’s a cultural myth. Good fats like avocado, goat cheese, and the skin on organic chicken will make your skin look better, without contributing to weight gain.” To make the switch even easier, Lipman also offers a foolproof fourteen-day cleanse.
• “Everyone wants to feel lighter—physically and emotionally—when they’re wearing less clothing,” says trainer Taryn Toomey, who leads the cult Tribeca-based yoga-cum-aerobics workout called The Class. The 75-minute method combines blasts of intense cardio with strength training and meditation—a powerful example of a cross-training routine that burns fat and tones lean muscle for those trying to get fit fast. When exercising, she adds, instead of thinking, “Oh no, I don’t want to be here. What time is it?,” try envisioning that negativity as something you’re moving out of your body—use it to fuel your workouts.” And if you hate running, swimming, Pilates? “Don’t do it,” says Toomey. “Find a trainer, a song, or a class that makes you excited to work out.”
• To ensure that not even the smallest hair is visible in the sun, waxing is key. “Don’t shave,” stresses Paz Stark, founder of Los Angeles and New York City’sStark Waxing Studio, who suggests allowing for “three weeks of hair growth to get great results.” Between appointments, maintain bump-free bikini lines or legs by dry exfoliating the area with a mitt (editor’s note: Stark’s is fantastic) just before your shower, in a circular motion. “This removes the top layer of skin to allow baby hairs from getting trapped,” she explains. Schedule a follow up as often as every two weeks, but, because hair grows in stages, Stark suggests calling your favorite aesthetician in advance to “ask for a little extra time for tweezing.”
• “The spray tan is a must,” says Megan Simon, the West Coast body expert who uses a combination of endermologie, microcurrent muscle toning, and sunless tanning to create an “instant slimming effect” from head to toe while “hiding little imperfections.” She swears by the Australian based company SunFx’s formula, because “it only has three ingredients: DHA (the active tanning agent), mineral water, and caramelized salt. The key with spray tanning is to avoid products with scents, dyes, alcohols, and colors, which will lend themselves to an orange-y effect and dry your skin out.” If you can’t make it to her Los Angeles salon, Beautiful You, she suggests starting at home with a pair of exfoliation scrubbing gloves for a smooth base, then applying a fast drying , tinted formula, like SunFx’s Whiteout, so your skin looks bronzed immediately. To prolong the color without overdoing it, “follow up with Jergens Gradual Tanner in the lightest formula.” Short of that, there’s little that beats the winning effect of confidence and good posture.