By Victoria Dawson Hoff
Photo by Alexei Hay
We’re not miracle-workers, but when the bikini countdown is officially on, there are some last minute hacks to putting your best body forward. See how to tackle everything on the fly, from banishing bumps and bruises to nipping bloat in the bud. (And you’re not just hearing it from us-we’ve got tips from certain swimsuit experts like Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bündchen, and more.)
1. Cut out sodium.
When it comes to bloating, consider salt your enemy #1. It’s a sneaky offender at that, so your best bet is to avoid all processed foods, where it might show up as an ingredient under names and in quantities you aren’t aware of.
2. …and alcohol.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but there really aren’t any loopholes here: Alcohol = bloat. It’s only ONE DAY, so just dream of sipping margs tomorrow night. (You can do it!)
3. Avoid carbs.
Or most of them, anyway-especially when they’re of the white variety. While it’s best to keep them to a minimum, high-fiber whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice can actually help diminish bloating. It’s been proven time and again that low-carb diets really aren’t a sustainable solution, but scaling back for 24 hours should be A-OK.
4. Say it with us: water, water, water!
Given that it’s the cheapest and easiest way to prep for a beach day, you really don’t have any excuses. Staying hydrated will keep your skin looking dewy, your metabolism humming smoothly, and actually combat water retention, since drinking stimulates your body to release fluids. If you’re stingy about it, try these tips to make water drinking more fun and palatable.
5. Go raw.
If you’re feeling ambitious, adopting a raw diet for a day or two is a great way to detox. Raw veggies and fruits are chock full of H2O, stomach-flattening fiber, and you’d be surprised how quickly they’ll satiate your appetite (not to mentionhow glow-y your skin will be). Heck, even Kate Middleton is giving the raw diet a try. Just be careful to do your research-crash dieting never helped anyone.
6. Go to the gym.
Or get moving in some way. It seems obvious, but it’s the number one tip from bikini-ready models like Behati Prinsloo and Nina Agdal. Don’t go crazy, because you’re not about to transform your body in a matter of hours, no matter how many minutes you clock on the elliptical. Just pick a fun class or activity you love (Behati and Candace Swanepoel are partial to Zumba) to get your blood flowing and your metabolism churning.
7. Take a probiotic.
It’ll help iron out any excess gas or bloating.
8. Try arnica.
Industry insiders swear by this plant-based supplement when they’re getting photo shoot-ready. As nature’s answer to ibuprofen, its anti-inflammatory properties help tone down puffiness when taken orally. Meanwhile, used topically, arnica gel or lotion will help heal bruises in a snap, and Gisele Bündchen uses it as a last minute blemish eraser.
9. Make sure your bikini line is bikini-ready, too.
Namely, keep any ingrown hairs at bay with Bliss’s whole line of products devoted to doing just that. (And please, for the love of god, do NOT get a wax just hours before you hit the sand, lest you’d like to look red and puffy before you’ve even had the chance to bask in the sun.
10. Banish bruises and other marks with a spray tan.
Arnica might help, but a real shiner isn’t going to disappear in a matter of hours. Either make a quick trip to the salon for a spray tan or try an at-home tanner (like this one) for flawless, smooth-looking skin. Bonus: You won’t have to risk a sunburn come beach time, because you already have a healthy faux-glow.
Related: The 6 Best Apps for Vacation Fitness
You should know at this point that “beauty sleep” is no myth-substantial shut-eye (that’s 7-8 hours) ensures that everything in your body is running smoothly.
12. Drop down and give us 20.
Or try some planks when you’re ready for the big reveal. Miranda Kerr says it’s her favorite way to make muscles pop right before a photo shoot, and, well, it seems to work.
13. Stand up straight.
Congratulations! You just lost five pounds! (Or look like it, anyway.)
14. Be confident!
You’re rolling your eyes because you’ve heard it before. And yet, it’s true: When you feel good, it’s apparent to everyone around you. You’re at the beach (or pool, or lake), and you’re here for a good time. Own it-and remember that at the end of the day, none of this is that big of a deal.