Throughout the year, I dream about putting my bikini on to bask in the sunshine. In fact, I’m sure most of us anticipate our summer holiday more than any other week or two of the year. It’s a time to relax, recharge, re-energise and spend quality time with loved ones. For me, it’s a heady yet healthy mix of enjoyment and indulgence with a sense of freedom thrown in for good measure. Freedom from deadlines, from emails, from food shopping, cooking and housework. It’s also a chance to read, to chat, to laze, to drink Cava with breakfast and eat ice-cream every lunchtime. And that’s exactly what I did for ten days in Nerja.
Sunshine makes me feel more alive and more vital. In addition, I welcome the subtle changes it imparts on my appearance – the golden tan, the freckles and the highlights in my hair. It makes me feel better, and after all, we all want to look and feel our best. Yet, even the most self-confident of women can feel a little vulnerable in her bikini, so what can we do to look and feel our best in our swimwear?
How To Shine On The Beach (Without The Bikini Bootcamp)
-First of all, exfoliate, exfoliate and exfoliate some more. Dry body brushing is excellent for smoothing the skin and boosting circulation. Moisturise daily, especially after bathing or showering and pay particular attention to knees, elbows, ankles and heels. As a result, a tan, whether fake or real will be more even.
-Have an eyelash tint, especially if, like me, you’re fair and need mascara but want to submerge your face. Every waterproof mascara I’ve ever tried had mutually exclusive staying power and removability. This resulted in either panda eyes in the sea when it came off, or panda eyes all night when it wouldn’t.
-Have a professional manicure and pedicure. For 51 weeks of the year, I paint my nails myself, but a beautician or nail technician always produces a neater finish, so I treat myself. Bright colours in bright sunshine work perfectly but so do soft pastels because they contrast beautifully with tanned tootsies.
-Suncream is a given, but remember to protect your hair and if you have a parting, protect that too. A sore, red sunburned parting is a friend to nobody. Take it from one who knows.
-Accessorise with a fabulous and functional pair of sunglasses. Mine are StyleColours by Transitions. They darken in the sunlight and protect the eyes and surrounding skin from harmful UV rays and furthermore, they fade to become clear when indoors which saves taking them off and on.
-Most of all, have fun. Why not play in a rubber ring, jump into the pool, have a lilo race or try a new watersport? There is little more attractive than seeing someone laughing and loving life.
How To Choose The Right Bikini or Swimsuit
Of course, as with any clothing, the right swimwear makes all the difference to how we look and feel about ourselves.
-Try on several different styles and colours including some that are out of your comfort zone- as a consequence, you may find THE perfect silhouette.
-Take a few quick snaps on your phone from all angles, therefore you can be sure it fits and looks as good from the back as it does from the front.
-If you are between sizes, opt for the smaller. This is important because bikinis and swimsuits expand when wet.
-Make use of ties and straps. Go tighter than you think, lean forward and keep adjusting until you feel confident and secure.
-More fabric does not necessarily mean more flattering coverage. The extra fabric will draw attention to the area you wish to conceal. Try something less demure, especially with bikini bottoms. You may be pleasantly surprised.
My Red Leopard Print Bikini
My bikini is from an exclusive new collection of swimwear styles at M&Co. This summer, the swimwear range was designed to boost confidence in women of all ages, aiming to help them to discover their perfect poolside look. The collection focuses on a range of swimwear styles including swimsuits, bikinis, tankinis and slimming beachwear.
A halter neck bikini top is always very flattering and this one is no exception. It fits extremely well and has subtle shaping. The briefs are particularly comfortable and have a little bit of matte gold embellishment which makes them that little bit more special.
I always take plenty of beach cover-ups and this long red, lightweight beach dress, also from M&Co is ideal for wearing over my bikini, to go to breakfast and lunch. The lace and embroidered detailing is beautiful yet simple.
What Women Really Think
M&Co conducted a survey among their customers, (which you can read here), and asked about their swimwear style, habits and preferences. They received 1300 responses from women aged 18-80 and consequently discovered some fascinating facts about bikini bodies, celebrity style and body shapes…
Younger women appreciate an icon with 18-34 year-olds preferring Marilyn Monroe to Halle Berry.
Women of all ages prefer natural bodies as opposed to fake.
85% of women would not give up their other halves for a year in exchange for the dream bikini body.
The most confident ladies in their swimwear are 65-74 year-olds.
This latter fact made me smile because I was on holiday with my parents and children and both my 67 year-old mother and my 16 year-old daughter wore (two-piece) bikinis. Without doubt, my mum is just as happy in her bikini as my daughter and I are. Of course, as we age, so do our bodies and she does on occasions refer to “lumps and bumps” but we all think she’s a fabulously gorgeous granny. Her self-confidence and love of life are all we see when we look at her. I have every intention of rocking a bikini just like her when I’m in my seventh decade, and what a wonderfully positive message this is for my daughter.
My Thoughts On My Bikini Body
I’m 43 years old and a mother of two teenage children, so consequently, my bikini body isn’t what it was twenty years ago. Without question though, I’m happier and feel more self-confident now, than I did back then. I look after myself; I work out at the gym and go to spinning classes. Because exercise has always been part of my life, it’s second nature to want to feel fit, strong and toned. Having said all of that though, I do believe that it’s what’s inside that makes a difference. I’m healthy, loved and fulfilled. I’ve never felt happier and I think it shows. And, for the record, I’m definitely among the 85% of women who would not give up their other half for a year in exchange for the dream bikini body!
So in conclusion, maybe the best thing to wear on the beach is a smile!
Your Exclusive Discount Code for M&Co
Use Code: LIZZYLOVES10 online for 10% off full price items.
(Terms & conditions: Valid online at www.mandco.com until 31st August 2017. This excludes promotional or sale items and online P&P charges. Items from non-participating concessions are excluded from this promotion and returned items will be refunded at the discounted price paid. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer)
The animal print underwired top, £14.40, animal print roll over bottoms, £11.20 and the crochet maxi beach dress, £32, were gifted to me by M&Co. This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with M&Co but my opinions are always honest and the content is always my own. It’s lovely when you support those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. The photographs were taken by my daughter Poppy Johnston and I’ll be linking this post to I Will Wear What I Like, Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share