You’re counting down the days until your beach vacation. Your travel arrangements are made. Your dog-sitter is lined up. You can almost feel the sand between your toes.
Who says relaxation can’t start until you’re poolside? Make the most of your retreat by indulging in a few pre-departure pampering sessions. These luxuries will calm your mind and prep your body for a tropical setting. Let the sun goddess in you reign.
A professional facial can take your tired face-care routine to a whole other level. A licensed esthetician can tailor the facial to fit your skin’s needs.
Most facials come with some type of face, neck and shoulder massage designed to relax you while stimulating the skin and muscles. A bonus is the chance to get slathered with higher-quality toners and protective creams that aren’t found in regular beauty-supply haunts.
If your busy schedule doesn’t allow time for self-pampering, you can create a quick at-home facial. Start by washing the skin free of any dirt or oil, then using an exfoliating scrub for deeper cleansing. Fill your sink with warm water, dip in a washcloth and press to your face, repeating two to three times.
Finish with a mask and a moisturizer. For oily skin, use a clay-based mask; for dry skin, a hydrating gel or cream mask. Smooth on a basic moisturizer, but stay away from strong creams containing retinols or acids, as these will over-exfoliate the skin.
Mani / Pedi
We put tons of stress on our hands and feet every day, so why not make an extra effort to treat your body’s hardest workers?
Most professional pedicures and manicures come with masks, soaks and massages — experiences made all the better by the fact that instead of struggling to complete them yourself, you’re daydreaming about that tropical drink by the ocean’s edge. Plus, there’s the rainbow of colored polish options most of us lack at home.
Often manicures and pedicures last less than an hour, leaving you free to fit one in on your lunch break or between errands.
For the do-it-yourselfer: Apply a cuticle softener to nails on hands and feet, and soak them in warm water for two or three minutes. Push back the cuticles on both appendages, and file nails evenly in one direction. (A foam emery board is gentler on your nails than a metal file, yet still gets the job done.)
On feet, use an exfoliating scrub to slough off calluses and dead skin; end by massaging hands and feet with a hydrating cream.
Before adding your favorite summer hue to your nails, prep them with a base coat that’ll help the polish stick and prevent discoloration. A clear top coat extends the life of the color by preventing chipping.
For an extra boost of confidence when showing off that new bathing suit, consider getting your legs and bikini area waxed by a professional. Waxing keeps the dreaded stubble away for about two to three weeks, longer than shaving.
Experienced technicians work fast, which shortens the sting of a sometimes uncomfortable procedure. Their expertise also reduces the chance of unsightly and painful ingrown hairs, missed spots or irritated skin.
A good waxer will work to make you as comfortable as possible and handle the hair on your legs and around your bikini line to your specifications.
But if you’d rather take care of hair yourself, pick up a waxing kit with a wooden applicator, strips and wax, which can be easily found at drugstores. Make sure hair is about one-fourth of an inch long so the wax will stick.
Follow the directions for heating the wax, and work in small sections, making sure to pull the strips off close to your skin rather than straight up. Finally, apply a lotion containing salicylic acid to the waxed area to prevent ingrown hairs.