Bikini-Body Secrets from the People Who Know Best
"The secret to being confident in a bikini is doing your "nutritional homework" before you hit the beach. In addition to eating fish the week leading up to a bikini-worthy event for its protein and anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fat qualities, I always eat asparagus. It is a natural diuretic that helps lean you out. Avoid grains and dairy at all costs—both will majorly bloat you."
— Shannon Ford, Mrs. United States
"Make a vision board. Funny as that sounds, your thoughts have just as much power as your actions. Keeping images of clothes, people, body types, and things that you admire will help you gravitate to acquiring those things/attributes if you reinforce them constantly. It can really help you accomplish your goals—fitness and otherwise!"
—Priya T. Scroggins, Designer of Beloved Star Resort Wear
Clean Up Your Act
"Clean up your eating habits. Take advantage of all the beautiful organic produce available this time of year; Drink plenty of water, aim for eight glasses a day; Stay active, whether it be running, kayaking, going for a hike, or learning to paddleboard; Get an organic spray tan. A little color will give you confidence and help you look a little slimmer; Most importantly, have a happy, positive outlook. That will outshine everything and give you that beautiful summer glow!"
—Lori Kenyon, Ritual Cleanse Co-founder and Fitness Competitor
"As a fashion, beauty, and bra expert, inevitably around this time of year, I always get a million questions on how to find a properly supportive swimsuit. For women larger than a C-cup, swimsuits can be a saggy nightmare! Those triangle styles barely cover most normal breasts and certainly don't provide the support most fuller-busted women are looking for. I say, take advantage of bra-sized swimwear for that more customized fit, and also those that feature built-in-bra features like underwire."
—Jené Luciani, National TV Style Correspondent and Author of The Bra Book
Love the Skin You're In
"Before you slip on a bikini, or anything else, give yourself a hug and a kiss. When you love yourself and your body, you look amazing in anything."
—PJ Gach, Senior Editor: Style and Beauty at BettyConfidential.com
Get an Adjustment
"Always go for a string tied bikini over a brief style bottom so you can adjust the size. This way you will appear smaller and never have anything extra over the sides."
—Anya Sarre, Celebrity Stylist
Silicone and Other Stuff
"I love adding silicone bra inserts to my suit! It makes me look proportioned and gives me great cleavage. I also like to apply a nice bronzer or self-tanner to firm up the skin and get a touch of summer glow, and I love to pair my swimsuit with a great wedge sandal (they even sell wedge flip flops, which I own every color). Wedge sandals give your legs an amazing look (lean and slim) and also help your posture. Even though it's hard to walk in the sand with wedges... it's a great look for the boardwalk or lounging around in your beach bungalow or cabana."
—Christina Mendez, Model
Cut It Out
"Cut out all white foods, sugar, and alcohol to get bikini ready! This means no white bread, pasta, rice, pastries, products with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, or alcohol. Do this for two weeks only and you will look AWESOME!"
—Mindy Berla, Fitness Studio Owner and Nutrition Expert
Wax On, Wax Off
"After a long and dry winter, it's important to exfoliate your skin with gentle solutions that won't leave the area scratched or damaged. Removing dead skin cells before getting hair removed will reduce the chance of ingrown hairs, bumps, and blemishes, which is great, especially near the bikini area."
"Also, be sure to start a waxing routine early," and wax first, spray tan later. Waxing opens your pores so be sure to keep your skin free of dirt, oil, and other pore-clogging solutions. Wait at least 48 hours before hitting the spray tan booth or heading to the gym to avoid ingrowns, bumps, and blemishes."
—Jessica Coba, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of European Wax Center
You Are What You Eat
"We all know that abs are not made in the gym, but in the kitchen! Make sure you get enough muscle-building protein, while eating good-for-you whole grains before 4:00 p.m., aiming not to eat complex carbs at night. Ensure proper protein absorption at the right time, most importantly drinking a protein shake within 60 minutes after your workout."
—Jennifer Nicole Lee, Fitness and Swimsuit Model
Find Your Secret Swimsuit Weapons
"My secrets are spray tans, working out three times a week, and no sugar! My kids and I have dance-offs in the kitchen and I also stay active by playing handball and other outdoor activities."
—Brandi Glanville, Star of BRAVO'S Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Healthy Skin Is In
"Having the look of really healthy skin makes you instantly feel more confident. Take a little bronzer and mix it in with your body lotion or spray on an instant brightener like Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. Instead of spraying on directly, spritz some in your hands and massage it into your skin and slowly build up the color with a few applications for a more natural look."
—Rebekah George, Beauty and Style Expert
Work with What You've Got
"Be honest with yourself: What's your problem area? If you have a boyish figure, rock a bikini with ruffles; if you are busty, make sure "the girls" are well supported; if your abs aren't quite so fab, invest in a one-piece with some tummy control. Create "perfect bod" illusions using simple tricks—not only will you look great, you'll feel great too!"
—Ysolt Usigan, Site Director of TheBlush.com
Push It Up
"Hit pushups and wall squats before donning your bikini. When working out for even just 10 minutes, your muscles pop and stay that way for up to one hour! This will give you great definition on the beach. And remember, there is nothing sexier than confidence!"
—Jolene Matthews, Celeb Master Trainer, Sky Club Fitness and Spa, Hoboken, NJ
"You've toned it; you've tanned it, so why not accessorize it! Body jewelry is the perfect addition for your time out in the sun as long as you keep it delicate and minimal. The hint of a gold chain at your waist glistening in the sun offers a fresh take on the typical day at the beach. Whereas donning a statement necklace is not as user friendly, these subtle pieces are befitting of a summer siren. Whether it's a belly chain, anklet, hand chain, or head piece, body jewelry is proving itself a summer staple."
—The Smoking Nuns, Style Bloggers
Break a Sweat
"I always try to work out before hitting the beach—not only because of its effect on appearance (although that's always nice), but also because of how it forces me to focus on what my body can do and not just what it looks like—and there is nothing better than feeling strong when rocking a bikini."
—Alexis Wolfer, Editor in Chief, TheBeautyBean.com
"Avoid temptation. When faced with that slice of cheesecake, ask yourself, "Is this worth more to me than looking good in my bikini?" I promise you, it's not!"
—Freddi Brant, Woman's Figure Competitor
Go It Alone
"Never go bikini shopping with a friend—you don't need the extra chatter. Your eyes know the truth and if you feel fabulous, others will recognize your confidence."
—Pamela Pekerman, on-air lifestyle correspondent and host
Question the Trends
"Whatever bikini you choose, you need to feel self-assured and rock it! But don't just wear something that is trendy if it doesn't fit your body type. Even someone with the best body can look bad in a bikini if it's not the right style."
—Melissa Gorga, Real Housewives of New Jersey
Walk the Dog
"I am not into treadmills. My cardio comes from walking around the city with my pup Boo. I'm fortunate that years of being a dancer and an athlete have helped me maintain by bikini body. I also don't deprive myself of anything. If I eat some pasta, then I just add some extra time onto my workout routine."
—Ashley Hebert, ABC's The Bachelorette
Amp Up Your Workout
"In anticipation of bikini season, I make sure that I train five days a week. I start with one hour of cardio and then get my abs and legs really toned by doing 6 sets of squats, 3 sets of walking lunges, 4 sets of leg extensions, 3 sets of leg curls, and 100 leg raises. I also drink one protein shake a day as a meal replacement and take the non-stimulant fat burner AmpoLEAN."
—Mary Radpavar, Fitness Model