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,

One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all