Summer is a time to enjoy the pool, beach and cottage

5 Tips to Help Rock Swimsuit Season

Did you hear? At age 81, Martha Stewart has become the oldest ever cover model for Sports Illustrated’s Annual Swimsuit Edition. And she totally rocked it! Well, the Gucci sunglasses may have been a bit much for my tastes, but everything else was spot on. And now Martha has me totally inspired to get myself ready to rock swimsuit season.

Martha Stewart - cover model for Sports Illustrated's Annual Swimsuit Edition

This weekend is the May long weekend, which traditionally marks the beginning of summer here in Canada. You may find us lounging by the pool, splashing in the waves as they hit the beach, or chilling in a Muskoka chair on the dock. But wherever we are, there’s a good chance that we’re going to be sporting a swimsuit this weekend. Even if the weather isn’t ideal, we’ll find a way. Our summers aren’t long and we need to maximize our fun!

So this doesn’t give us a whole lot of time to get ready. The reality is that there’s no way to drop 10 pounds or carve ourselves a six pack before the weekend. And by now, I think you know I’m going to tell you that we need to drop the dysmorphic view of our bodies anyway. We’re not 20 any more. Let’s forgive our bodies for the extras that perimenopause has introduced.

All that said, there’s still lots we can do so that we’re feeling our best in our swimsuits this weekend and this summer. But there’s no time to waste. So let’s dive in. Here’s my go-to, quick-fix to get ready to rock swimsuit season…

1. Rockin’ the right suit

Try on lots of different styles and colours.

I think we can all agree. Finding the perfect swimsuit (or these days, really just any swimsuit that I don’t feel completely gross in) is not easy. And I haven’t quite figured out why with all of the amazing technology in the world today, swimsuit fitting rooms still have the most unflattering lights and mirrors around. Seriously!

So when it comes to finding the perfect swimsuit this year, I’m probably not a whole lot further along than you. I know that when I’m looking for a new suit I should consider: My body shape. Where I’m going to be wearing it. If I’m swimming a triathlon or just lounging on the dock. And my personal sense of style.

But knowing what I need to consider, doesn’t make the task any less daunting. What I’ve figured out over the years is this:

  • Try on lots of different styles and colours. Get outside your comfort zone. Summer is a time when we can have a little fun, so indulge yourself.
  • That said, don’t just go with the latest style. Just because the Kardashians are sporting a Brazilian cut, doesn’t mean we all should. Understanding your body type and which body parts you should highlight is super important.
  • Don’t necessarily err on the side of ‘bigger’. Swimsuits tend to stretch a bit when they get wet. If your swimsuit starts off too big, it could quickly become unflattering and down-right dowdy.
  • When in doubt, ask a professional. There are lots of shops that specialize in swimsuits and they can help you chose the best bathing suit for you.

Whether you’ve got a gorgeous hour glass shape, a long torso, a big chest or a small chest, or are trying to hide your tummy now that you’re pushing 50, there’s a swimsuit out there that’s going to make you feel like a goddess. Take your time. Try a bunch on. And don’t lose hope. You’ve got this.

2. Show-stopping glow

Shred the dullness

dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate your skin

It’s time to kick dullness to the curb and let your skin shine with a sassy glow that will make heads turn! Say hello to exfoliation. The badass technique that will have your skin gleaming like a golden goddess.

Our skin naturally sheds cells every 30 days or so. Exfoliation helps speed up this process by scrubbing away those dead skin cells that have been accumulating over the dry, harsh winter. What’s underneath? A fresh, smooth, silky soft you.

Of course, there’s a ton of options to choose from.

I am a huge fan of physical or granular scrubs. I absolutely can’t get enough of dry brushing. It not only sloughs off the dead skin, but also promotes lymphatic drainage. I’m not 100% sure that this drainage thing works, but I drank the Kool Aid and I figure it can’t hurt.

My next favourite go to is a sugar scrub infused with coconut oil. I slather it on before I get in the shower, let it sit for a minute or two and then let the hot water rinse it away. I’m always blown away by how silky soft my skin feels afterwards. It’s the best!

There are also a ton of chemical exfoliants on the market. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about these. They are apparently gentler, so really great for ladies with sensitive skin. Using chemicals like Alpha hydroxy acid, these exfoliants loosen the dead skin cell bonds leaving behind the new healthy cells. A quick chat with your Sephora Beauty Insider and you’ll be ready to go.

I know there are also a ton of exfoliator recipes online. With a few coffee grounds, sugar and honey, you can make your own invigorating scrub. This is not my jam. Every time I’ve tried, all I get is a huge mess in my bathroom that takes hours to clean up. If you’re into this, please go ahead. You do you, girl.

Remember, choose an exfoliator that suits your skin type and sensitivity level. If in doubt, consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized recommendations.

Also super important to remember, is that your skin is going to be way more sensitive to the sun after exfoliating. Which leads oh- so-nicely to my next point….

Amp Up Your SPF Game

sunscreen is essential to protect aging skin

Sunscreen is essential. We’re all old enough to know this by now, so I’m not about to lecture you. Instead, think of this as a quick review. Sunscreen 101, if you will.

Chemical Sunscreens – Think Coppertone, Sun Bum, Hawaiian Tropic. These are the ones we grew up with, but now there are only lotions and sprays. I’ve been told by my 16 year old that suntan oils have officially been cancelled. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing into our skin, then absorbing the UV rays, transforming them into heat and booting them back out through our skin. They take about 20 minutes to work and last for about 40-80 minutes if you’ve been in the water, or about two hours if you stay dry.

Mineral-based Sunscreens – Another options that’s been taking the sunscreen market by storm the last several years are mineral-based sunscreens. They sit on your skin’s surface like little mirrors, deflecting both UVA and UVB rays. This means instant protection, no waiting around. Plus, dermatologists give them a nod of approval for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

I used to complain that mineral sunscreens made me look white and pale. After all, I’m a 70s kid and I really do feel better with a tan. I’ve recently discovered tinted mineral sunscreens. And it’s been the greatest discovery of my life! Now I can look like I’ve got a healthy glow, but really my skin stays pasty white all year long.

Just like their chemical counter-parts, mineral sunscreens also need to be reapplied every hour or two. So set your timer.

3. Hair free harmonies

a little grooming goes a long way

There was a time when I was young and foolish. Or maybe I was tougher in my 20s? A brave and resilient warrior. I faced the torturous ordeal of waxing my bikini area with strength and courage.

But I’m not that woman anymore. I have enough stress in my life. Sure don’t need to pay someone to have my body overwhelmed by a wave of cortisol as hair is ripped out from my sensitive spots?

I also went through the hoops and expenses of laser hair removal treatments in my early 30s. But guess what? Mother Nature had other plans for me. Pregnancy decided to throw a hormonal party and undo all my hard work. Thanks a bunch, hormones!

So instead, in my 40s, I returned to the old school razor and shaving cream technique. And I haven’t looked back since.

Whether you’re a waxing enthusiast, a laser aficionado, or a proud member of the razor tribe like me, just make sure you take the time to clean yourself up after a winter of parading around like a 70s porn star. Trust me, darling, a little grooming goes a long way.

4. Nailed it

choose a fun nail polish for summer time

Flip flops go hand-in-hand with swimsuit season, ladies! And you know what that means. Pedicures!! I’m embarrassed to say I completely neglect my feet from October to May. Maybe a little polish around the holidays. But truth is that I’m always cold and so the only time I’m without socks is when I’m in the bath.

So every May, before the long weekend I treat myself to a fabulous pedicure. It’s my kick off to summer and it always puts a little spring in my soft, smooth, glamorous step.

What I adore about summer is that I feel like I can have a little more fun with my polish colour. Normally I’m a classic nudes kind-of-girl. But in the summer, I’m game for just about anything. From cheerful pastels in bubblegum pink, minty green, or soft lavender. To bold and vibrant corals, fiery oranges, and electrifying neons. With every flip of my hand or wiggle of my toes, I’m ready to turn heads, make waves and rock swimsuit season. Make sure you are too.

5. Rock star essentials

protect your skin with big floppy sun hats

When it comes to rocking my swimsuit with confidence, I know the right accessories can take my poolside look to a whole new level. For me, a few accessories are the key to kicking up my confidence at a time when I’m feeling really exposed.

I start with the cover up. Whether it’s a flowy kaftan, kimono-style cover-up, quick and easy sarong, or an oversized white linen blouse, cover ups are my absolute favourite accessory.

Next I layer on a little protection from the sun. A fabulous wide-brimmed, floppy hat and my oversized sunglasses. Look out Jackie O. I’m the ultimate in glamour, mystery and sun protection.

Lately, I’ve been absolutely addicted to poolside bling. I can’t get enough of anklets and bold chains. I just love the extra sparkle they add to my ensemble.

accessorize with some incredible bling

Finally, I complete my dock-side look with a stylish beach bag. Something big enough to hold all my essentials. And let’s be honest, all my families stuff too. It’s got to be large enough to fit sunscreen, beach towels, water bottles and a good book. Something bright, bold and effortlessly chic.

Mic drop

So, are you ready to rock swimsuit season, or what? We all need to take some inspiration from Martha Stewart. She’s showing us that with confidence and style, we can rock a swimsuit at any age.

Remember, it’s not about striving for perfection. It’s about embracing your unique beauty, celebrating your body, and having fun under the sun.

So ladies, let’s suit up with confidence, take care of our skin, glam ourselves up, and get ready to make waves and rock swimsuit season.

Time to get beach ready!