Ever since the first cut of Kate Moss’ bare-all ad campaign for St. Tropez have hit the net, we mere mortals are suffering from a baaaaad case of body envy. The woman, after all, is 39-years-old! 39. Seriously. Would you believe it? And if I use St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, do I have a shot at looking a little more like her? Frankly, I doubt it very much. Hence, the need to bring out the big guns and dig a whole lot deeper into the look-good-naked strategies of the glam squad.
Unsurprisingly, they all have a lot in common. So, whether you’re shedding some layers to hit the beach or stripping down for some bedroom action, here’s how to make your hot bod look especially hot – without having to hit the gym or resorting to plastic surgery!
Give yourself a good brushin’
Kate Moss makes her skin smoothing routine even more effective by adding dry body brushing to the mix. This not only leaves skin super-soft but also gets the circulation going and boosts lymphatic flow, thereby encouraging cellulite deposits to disperse. Plus, the process boosts metabolism, eliminates dead skin cells and helps the body’s natural detoxification process.
You absolutely need to scrub off dead skin cells in order to look radiant in the buff. And there is no better way to do this than Mandi Lulur, the traditional beauty ritual reserved for royal brides in Central Java. Renown for its skin softening qualities, this potent body scrub stimulates circulation and helps eliminate toxins from the lymphatic system. At the same time, it lightens the skin tone and sweetens skin aroma.
The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts offers up this recipe: Blend 3 tablespoons rice starch, 2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon sandalwood powder, 1 tablespoon dried jasmine flower powder (or 3 drops jasmine essential oil) and 3 drops each of ylang ylang and sandalwood essential oils. Add a little tepid water to make the mixture smooth and creamy. Apply all over the body (except the face); rest for around 5 minutes until the scrub dries. Gently rub the skin to remove the paste and apply 1/2 cup plain yoghurt. Leave on the yoghurt for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off in the shower. Yoghurt helps remove the slight yellow color left on the skin from the turmeric, while its lactic acids soften the skin.
Clean it up… clean it all up!
Another reason to love super-clean skin (besides zapping those zits): tiny pores equals a youthful looking complexion. When summer temperatures are hot, pores can look larger because of sweating. Deep cleansing makes them look smaller and tighter.
Put on the mask
One thing that sets us apart from those gorgeous models with their perfect skin? They don’t restrict beauty masks just to the face. Rather, they make them work for every inch of the body, especially this Cucumber and Milk Mask, which is superb for cooling, soothing and moisturizing the skin. Native to India, cucumbers have been embraced worldwide for their cooling properties. They are a natural source of enzymes and vitamins, while also being natural hydrators. Milk powder is full of natural emollients and vitamins As and Bs, thereby helping restore lost moisture to the skin.
And it’s easy: puree 6 cucumbers in a blender until smooth (remove the skin beforehand). Stir in 2 cups powdered milk until thoroughly mixed. Add 4 drops each of lavender, lemongrass, geranium and lime essential oils, then mix again. Apply the mixture directly to your body and lie down for 20 minutes (you may want to envelop your body in a sheet). Finish with a cool shower.
Dial down the hot water
Talking of cold showers, switch to the coolest setting you can bear for a couple of minutes at the end of you bath. According to skincare guru Ole Henriksen, “It’s a little uncomfortable, but helps to further tone and firm the skin.”
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that work best and you don’t need any super-expensive lotions to see results either. Simply substitute your regular moisturizer for one with a sexy sheen (like Carita Fluide de Beauté 14 Gold) or, better yet, for baby oil. It seals in the moisture and is great for your skin.
Hide & treat
Stuck with body blemishes? You can speed up the healing of bruises by using an arnica cream. For zits, on the other hand, the best approach starts in the shower: use a body wash with at least 1.25 percent salicylic acid (Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash Pink Grapefruit is superb). Once you’re dry, add a layer of benzoyl peroxide or a prescription antibiotic lotion.To camouflage either bruises or blemishes, apply a cream concealer and set it with translucent powder.
Hide your stripes
There’s no way to erase stretch marks completely but you can make them less noticeable. The best quick fix: bring out the self tanner. This not only camouflages the pinky-white stripes and other imperfections, it’s also a great way to look thinner. Plus, there is that whole glow-y aura it imparts to your body. As Kate Moss puts it: “It makes me feel more confident, you just feel better when you look in the mirror and you look much healthier. Sometimes I think I feel terrible but I look great!”
And try some basic sculpting: for a chiseled face, sweep bronzer across the apples of your cheeks; or for Kate Moss-like legs, use a darker bronzer on the outside of the leg and blend with a lighter shade on the inside.
Every single model or actress – yes, including Kate Moss – puts in some light exercise on the day of a shoot or runway show. This gets the blood pumping in their muscles and leave them looking more toned. To quickly – albeit temporarily – tighten your jiggly areas, follow this advice from David Kirsch, Heidi Klum’s trainer: “Five minutes before you get in the shower, do 10 squats, 10 sumo lunges, and 10 push-ups. You’ll feel firmer and more confident, and stand taller.”
Beat the bloat!
While it might seem like a good idea to calm your nerves by having a mammoth bar of chocolate or downing a couple of glasses of wine for “liquid” courage, eat and drink only lightly before stripping down to the nude. Otherwise you will risk looking bloated.
Or try a Thai detox bath: Blend together 2 tablespoon cold pressed oil (such as grape seed, sesame or almond oil) 3 drops essential oils of ginger, 2 drops bergamot and 1 drop lemongrass. Get into a bath (or shower) and massage this blend all over your body with smooth strokes towards the heart together with kneading techniques to increase circulation. Leave on the oils for 20 minutes, then rinse well and towel dry.
Just because you are naked doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize! High heels are sexy and have the advantage of making your legs look especially lean – plus, heels give your butt an extra lift. Or, for a more playful option, don a feather boa or a rocking piece of dangly jewelry that rests on your best assets to emphasise them further.
Find the right lighting
I can bet anything that Kate Moss was surrounded by a gazillion different kinds of extremely clever lighting rigs to create that warm, rosy glow that seems to be radiating from right within her skin. While it’s unfeasible to aim for that level of paraphernalia, it is still possible to create a flattering effect within your own environment. Firstly, ditch the harsh fluorescents and opt instead for soft, glowing light sources – such as candles, uplighting or floor lamp. If the lamp is too bright, throw a sheer scarf or sheet over it. Position yourself so that the lighting is behind you, rendering flaws more difficult to spot.
For more spectacular occasions, borrow a trick from LA interior designers Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield, who recommend going amber, since “Amber light casts skin in a warm, rosy glow.” Their suggestion: place a red hued bulb in bedside lamps. I tweaked this a little by throwing on a red scarf over the bedside lamp and it worked brilliantly!
Opt for a warm fragrance
This is not the time to go all cold and icy. Instead, draw attention to your décolletage and wrists by dabbing on a warm, spicy fragrance such as Coco by Coco Chanel or Tom Ford Violet Blonde. It will keep the blood (and libido) flowing!
We all know that ‘nude’ rarely means literally nude in the makeup world (see the Kate Moss photo above!). Instead, aim for a you-just-slightly-better effect with a palette of spiced up neutrals – peach lipstick, taupe shadows – that mimic your natural skin tone. This is the perfect complement to your birthday suit.
Get into position
Ever noticed that none of the models in those photographs are ever standing/sitting/lying down ramrod straight? That’s because how you position your body directs the eyes to or away from certain body parts. Here are some suggestions:
- If you like your waist, draw the eye there by putting a hand on one hip. And twist your torso slightly to accentuate the the narrowness of your waist even further.
- Similarly, arching your back will play up the chest and butt, making them appear more prominent. If you need extra help, put on a pair of high heels.
- If you want to direct attention to your legs, keep your toes pointed and your legs slightly crossed, so that they overlap a bit. This will make them appear longer and smoother.
- To make your chest appear bigger, drop your shoulders and fold your arms around your waist, so that each hand lands on the opposite waist curve.