Tick-tock, Urban Listers – the countdown to summer is officially on!
In addition to warmer weather, Sunday sessions and ice-cream by the bucket load, we're pretty darn excited to don our swimmers and hit the beach. Actually, hold that thought. Looking in the mirror, we're not as ready as we would've thought! Our summer bodies are going to, ummm, need a little work.
In a similar boat? Never fear, our 5-step bikini prep is here! From de-fuzzing and scrubbing, to tanning and more, you can use our little cheat sheet as your guide to achieving a bangin' summer bod.
Now, bring on summer!
STEP 1 | UNWANTED BODY HAIR, BE GONE!
That's right, the first part of your 5-step bikini prep is to de-fuzz and this summer, it's all about laser hair removal. So what's it all about? Essentially laser hair removal machines use highly concentrated beams of light to target the hair follicle – the laser pulse zaps them so that their ability to regrow is significantly impeded, resulting in smooooth-as skin that's perfect for flaunting on the beach.
Let's be honest though, the process can be a little, well, uncomfortable, so we've tracked down a clinic offering relatively painless laser hair removal in Melbourne. Based on Williams Road in Hawthorn, the team at Epilase Laser & Skin Clinic use the state-of-the-art LightSheer Duet machine to safely, effectively and most importantly, comfortably treat your fuzzy areas. The larger spot size can cover more hair follicles at once meaning you'll be in and out in half the time.
Epilase have some pretty spectacular laser hair removal offers too – for only $150, ladies can have their lower legs or upper thighs lasered, and for an extra $25, they'll include the bikini line or underarms too!
STEP 2 | GET SCRUBBIN'
Step two of your 5-step bikini prep is to get the loofah or body scrub, and get scrub-scrub-scrubbin'! Regular exfoliation is absolutely key if you're after a bangin' summer bod as it not only removes dead skin, creating the perfect smooth canvas for fake tan, it also boosts circulation and can help tone any, errrmm, jiggly bits.
It's always so much better, not to mention more relaxing, when someone else does the hard scrubbin', so we highly recommend treating yourself to a full body exfoliation at one of Melbourne's best beauty salons. Take Off Skin & Body in North Melbourne is our pick, thanks to their invigorating full body scrub – $69 for half an hour of total bliss and you walk out with skin that you can't stop touching! Although, we kinda recommend that you do, lest anyone think you're a little strange…
STEP 3 | GLOW, BABY, GLOW
Nothing says summer like a glowing tan…faux, of course! To be honest, we're a little obsessed with our spray tans here at The Urban List – we instantly feel more confident after one – so it's no wonder we've included a good ol' spray in our 5-step bikini prep. No faux tan? No beach time for us!
That said, there's a difference between a glow that's all caramel coloured goodness and a tan that's, well, oompa loompa orange. Avoid the latter by booking in to see Anastasia at Maxitan in Prahran – the woman responsible for one of the best spray tans in Melbourne, hands down! Using industry-leading brands like St Tropez, Moroccan Tan and Eco Tan, Anastasia will have looking like a bronzed beach goddess in next to no time. Just make sure you follow the Tan Commandments and you're all set!
STEP 4 | BAT THOSE LASHES
We know what you're thinking – what do lashes have to do with the 5-step bikini prep?! Oh Urban Listers, the devil's in the details, donchaknow! Seriously though, who can be bothered dealing with panda eyes at the beach? Not us, that's for sure! The solution? A simple eyelash tint will add extra colour and depth to even the fairest of lashes, and will last for roughly 4-6 weeks. Yup, panda eyes will be a thing of the past!
When it comes to all things lashes in Melbourne, it's no secret that Miss Eyelash is the undisputed queen. With two salons open under her designer belt (one in Elwood and another in Mt Eliza), Miss Eyelash and her team are on hand to take your teeny lashes from drab to fab in time for a summer's worth of flirting.
Lash lift perming is another great service offered at Miss Eyelash (also home to the best eyelash extensions in Melbourne), and is perfect if you have annoyingly straight lashes that simply refused to be curled. The treatment, which includes an eyelash tint, lifts and curls the lashes with the bright-eyed look lasting between 10-12 weeks (in other words, aaaall summer long). Perfect!
STEP 5 | PAINT THE TOWN RED…OR PINK…OR CORAL…
The finishing touch in your 5-step bikini prep is to pay attention to your nails – both fingers and toes – because, really, what offsets a glowing tan more than some kick-ass coral nails?! Not to mention, having someone remove your old polish, look after your cuticles, and then scrubbing and massaging your hands and feet until you're almost asleep is too good to pass up!
For the ultimate in nails, it's hard to go past Ripponlea Nail Shop, tucked away on Glen Eira Road just near Ripponlea Station. Owner Melanie Lachal and her team have clients travelling from all over town to see them and there's a good reason why – their manicures and pedicures are legendary. Seriously, forget slapping on the polish yourself – after a visit to Ripponlea Nail Shop, you'll see the difference a proper manicure can make and quite possibly, will become addicted.
So there you have it, Urban Listers! Your 5-step bikini prep to help you achieve a bangin' summer bod!