Beach belle: Cheat your way to a bikini body

It's bikini time again. But fear not: our team of beauty experts has been sweating so you don't have to. Here's their pick of the latest quick body fixes

Summer fashion is less about the clothes than the body inside them. While the trusty opaque tights and chunky knits of winter can be relied upon to conceal more than they reveal, the opposite is true of this season's diaphanous fabrics and thigh-skimming mini-dresses.

Now, as holiday season rolls around again, many of us will be disappointed to find ourselves in the same predicament as this time last year, barely able to whisper the word "bikini", let alone wear one.

For all our promises last September that we really, really would continue to epilate, exfoliate and exercise throughout the dark, cold months of winter to emerge from our winter cocoons beach-ready, the reality panned out rather differently.

But before you descend into abject despair, take heart. There is still time to remedy the situation thanks to the latest crop of quick fixes, which have been put through their paces by the Independent's style gurus. The result is a 10-point top-to-toe plan that should be enough to blag your way to face- and body-beautiful.


If you want to hone your body and holiday at the same time, consider a Wildfitness exercise trip to Kenya or Greece. The idea is to reintroduce city-dwellers to the more natural way of living we knew as hunter-gatherers. The company has also introduced Wildfitness City, a programme of personal and group training sessions in London parks, to help you find your inner animal at home.


Perfume will make a difference to how you feel, especially if it is one of the new Energy C series from Japanese brand Comme des Garçons. As unusual as you would expect from the avant-garde label, the three compositions – lemon, lime and orange – are described as a "perfume vitamin rush based on citrus fruit". £22, tel: 020 7518 0680


Smooth skin is half the battle in getting your body to beach-baring spec – especially on your thighs, or anywhere that needs toning. If you haven't stuck to your pre-holiday gym routine, the Sanderson Hotel's Agua Spa has created a "facial for the body" with its luxurious Enrich Body Treatment to nourish, exfoliate and help disguise the dimples. £110 for 90-minute treatment including massage, tel: 020 7300 1414


Inner beauty is fast acquiring new meaning, with lots of brands bringing out food supplements to complement their ranges. Nude's Hydrate capsules contain a blend of omega fatty acids, borage, flax and olive oils to moisturise and replenish. Our tester was convinced that two capsules a day gave her clearer, softer skin after four weeks. £40 for 90 capsules, available from Space NK,


If a holiday is beyond your credit-crunched means, take a mini-break to clear your head at Aveda's Lifestyle salon. Now offering manicures, pedicures, eyebrow-threading and facials from a private room, as well as the usual plant-based hair treatments, the salon has been redesigned using recycled and sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork. You won't have to feel guilty about your carbon footprint either. Aveda Lifestyle salon, 28-29 Marylebone High Street, London W1,


Infinitely more dignified than standing in a spray booth like a second-hand car, Clarins has developed a treatment that combines massage with application of its new Delicious self-tanning cream. The sugar formula ensures a natural brown colour. From £41,


The Urban Retreat spa has just launched a range of signature treatments in time for summer, including the Afrodisiac hair treatment for textured hair, which involves a deep conditioner originally created for Sade, a head massage and steam (£25 for 30 minutes). Available at Urban Retreats in Harrods, Harvey Nichols Manchester, and – for the truly time-pressed traveller – Heathrow Terminal 1.


For flip flop-friendly feet, microdermabrasion is the speediest way to go from scaly to smooth. Crystal Clear's treatment will soften up even the most hideous of heels in one 40-minute session. From £45,


These perennial problem areas require special measures to beat dryness. Cult Spanish brand Natura Bissé's Rosa Mosqueta Oil is ultra-moisturising and will even help to heal sunburn and insect bites. A brilliant multi-tasker to pack in your suitcase. £37, now available nationwide from Space NK,


How does Bobbi Brown do it? The mistress of make-up manages to produce a covetable new collection every season without straying from her "less is more" beauty aesthetic. This summer's Bronzed Pink range is designed to "capture the pretty glow skin gets on holiday", so you can get the St Barts look even if you're in St Albans. Available from July, from £12,

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Administrator

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral