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We swapped rollneck jumpers and padded coats for summer dresses and sandals . . . but we were NOT ready.
As the weather cools this week, we are determined not to let a sudden burst of sunshine surprise us like that again.
Here, JENNY FRANCIS, SOPHIE BRONSTEIN and SIOBHAN O’CONNOR offer the ultimate summer prep guide to ensure we are poised and ready for flashing the flesh next time.
EXERCISE: Facial yoga can help tone the tiny muscles in your face and smooth out fine lines.
Press both middle fingers together in the inner corner of the eyebrows, then apply pressure to the outer corners with your index finger. Look up and raise your lower eyelids upwards to make a strong squint, then relax. Repeat six times.
FOOD: Scoff your way to a healthy glow by eating more tomatoes. They contain lycopene, a strong antioxidant that helps to protect against sun damage. And make sure you drink at least two litres of water a day.
FASHION: Give yourself a summer glow by wearing sunny shades close to your face. Bright hues will breathe life into your complexion, whereas dark tones can be draining. And a statement pair of earrings transform any outfit from drab to fab. Earrings (£12.99, Zara).
BEAUTY: Tinted beads of sweat on your forehead is never a good look – so when things start to really heat up outside, you will want to scrap your full-coverage base and opt for something a little lighter.
We are so hooked on Avene Tinted Mineral Fluid SPF50+ (£17.50, boots.com) which not only shields skin from ageing UV rays but gives a light, natural tint with a matte finish.
EXERCISE: Work on those triceps and biceps to be ready for sleeveless tops.
Pick up two cans of beans and while standing, turn them around so your palms are facing up.
Push your elbows into your sides and bring up the cans so they are level with your shoulders.
Slowly lower back to the start position 12 times.
Hold the cans together above your head then hinge at the elbows to slowly lower them behind your head. Bring back above your head, with straight arms, 12 times.
FOOD: No one food will sort your bingo wings but for arms like Michelle Obama, protein such as chicken or eggs is your friend. It will support muscle toning and feed your body to halt the wobbles.
FASHION: Jiggly arms? Fear not. Bardot dresses or cut-out shoulders will allow you to show a bit of skin, while keeping bingo wings safely under wraps. Dress, (£85.99, ownthelook.com).
BEAUTY: Keep your guns in good shape (or fake it, anyway) with a weekly 2-in-1 exfoliating and firming treatment like the Nip+Fab Upper Arm Fix (£13.59, superdrug.com) followed by a luminating gradual tan when you have a spare ten minutes post-shower – such as Tan-Luxe The Butter Illuminating Tanning Butter (£24, cultbeauty.co.uk).
EXERCISE: Planking might be the best exercise you can do for your tummy. Rest your forearms on the floor so your elbows are below your shoulders and form a straight plank by tucking your toes under.
Check your back and bum aren’t popping up or caving in. Hold for one minute.
FOOD: Pineapple, lemon and kiwi are great for reducing inflammation and keeping belly bloat in check.
Want something less sweet? Try adding more garlic to your dinner. It is a naturally occurring prebiotic that helps to keep gut bacteria in check.
FASHION: Clever details will help to disguise your midriff and can give the illusion of a slimmer silhouette.
Wrap ties will nip you in at your smallest part, while ruched details will cover any lumps and bumps. Top, £34, Topshop.
BEAUTY: A tanned, taut tummy might always seem like a long way off, but even if you are catching a few lunchtime rays, you will still want to feel confident enough to flash it.
Make sure you never get caught short again and use the Bliss Fabgirlsixpack Tummy-Toning Gel (£35, feelunique.com) around your belly area daily – its combination of caffeine, creatine and oat kernel extract will get to work on toning skin, leaving you with a flaunt-worthy tummy next time a heatwave hits.
EXERCISE: Nothing tones your bum like squats. You can do them anywhere. Stand with feet just wider than shoulder-width apart.
Keeping chest upright, slowly squat down, pushing your hips back and keeping back straight. Lower until your flexibility allows, hold for one second at the bottom, then slowly pulse up and down a few inches for 40 seconds. Take a ten-second break, then go again.
FOOD: Eat foods rich in nutrition to gain curves where you want them. Try oat-based foods – porridge, sugar-free muesli or Oatibix – for breakfast to feed your muscles without the additives. Bananas are a great snack to tone up muscle and feed the body.
FASHION: Keep your bum looking pert with waist-cinching trousers. Pulling in at your waistline, the higher cut will make your posterior look more rounded and it lengthens your legs too. Trousers, (£35, Miss Selfridge).
BEAUTY: Peach perfection is not just achieved in the gym – it’s definitely worth slathering on an antioxidant-rich cream every day too.
We love the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, (£18, harrods.com), which is packed with natural skin firmer acai and skin-smoothing cupuacu butter. It will perfect your posterior – and smells like a dream.
EXERCISE: Avoid bare leg dread and tone up for Abbey Clancy-style pins. Try a standing pulse – perfect for tightening the inner and outer thighs and improving posture.
Stand with hands on hips, feet together. Slightly bend your left knee and lift your right leg straight out to the side.
Hold it for one second at the top then lower it back to nearly touch your left foot before lifting back out to the side.
Repeat this 20 times, then switch legs. Rest for a minute then go again.
FOOD: Watermelon’s antioxidant lycopene can aid circulation and smooth cellulite. Green tea ups the metabolism and prevents fat absorption.
FASHION: Longer lengths will ease you into warmer weather. Look for an asymmetric hem with a subtle split that gives a glimpse of flesh. Green skirt, (£38, River Island).
BEAUTY: Work on flabby thighs with a weekly dose of Legology Exfo-Lite Stimulating Salts For Legs (£42, spacenk.com) paired with a body brush to up circulation and zap cellulite.
Make sure you have an instant tan in your bathroom cabinet. such as Isle Of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash Off Body Bronzer (£14.95, boots.com) so that you can add an instant glow to your shins.
EXERCISE: It isn’t easy to give your feet a workout but you can exercise your calves to help prevent cankles. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out to the side.
Bend your knees over your toes and lower your body into a squat. Stay in this position but lift your heels off the floor, keeping your abs tight. Now press your heels back to the floor, and back off the floor 20 times.
FOOD: To keep feet from drying out or going an unflattering shade of purple, you can help your toes look fab by adding some oily fish to your diet. Mackerel, salmon and sardines are all excellent sources of vitamin D and omega-3 oils, which keep the skin elastic and improve circulation.
FASHION: Mules will slide you into summer with ease. The timeless style can be worn with jeans or evening dresses – perfect. Orange mules, (£25.99, Bershka).
BEAUTY: Staying sandal-ready can be a struggle when your trotters are hidden for most of the year.
The solution? A DIY pedi. Use Footner Exfoliating Socks (£19.99, boots.com) once a month to keep heels feeling silky smooth and flake-free, followed by a slick of high-shine summery polish such as OPI Nail Lacquer in Living On The Bula-Vard! (£12.95, opiuk.com).
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