Buff your way into skimpy mini

Lisa Haynes finds out a quick fix to get back in shape after an indulgent Christmas for New Year.

Lisa Haynes finds out a quick fix to get back in shape after an indulgent Christmas for New Year.

IF you’ve been keeping your finger on the fashion pulse, you may have noticed body-conscious fashion is back in a big way. That means curve-skimming styles that do little to disguise lumps and bumps.

But you don’t have to deny yourself that extra mince pie or Christmas tipple to squeeze into your favourite cocktail dress. Help is at hand for party season dressing with the beauty world’s vast choice of toning solutions.

Buff your body into shape with our guide to the best cheat’s-must-haves for the bathroom cabinet. You may not lose pounds but your skin will feel tighter, toned and party-ready.

SHOWER AND SHAPE

Forget about cutting back on breakfast. Start off your day the right way with a toning shower or contouring bath soak. Pairing active bath or shower gels with exfoliation or body buffing can help stimulate blood and lymph flow in cellulite-prone areas.

If you want to kick back and relax, try Spa NK Seaweed Bath Soak, £20 (0208 740-2085/www.spacenk.com), to help firm and contour. Lather up in the shower with Dove Firming Beauty Body Wash, £2.28, or Lush Buffy Skin Conditioner, £4.25 for 90g bar (www.lush.co.uk).

Scrubs also stimulate and nourish your body to improve skin tone and texture – perfect if you’re planning on flashing the flesh. Try out Champney’s Aqua Therapy Refining Salt Scrub, £10 (available at Sainsbury’s or www.champneys.com). Get the whole toning shower package with Tesco Body Therapy Spa Smooth & Svelte Silhouette Kit, £8.99, containing exfoliating scrub with seaweed, svelte body gel and massager to stimulate cellulite-affected areas.

MAGIC POTIONS

Say hello to skimpy party frocks and lose the fear of exposing your limbs with the best in body-toning gels, creams and oils. If cellulite’s a big problem, blitz your bod with Indian Infusion Cellulite Guzzler, £32.90 (www.indian-infusion.co.uk), or Bliss High Thighs Cellulite Fighting Serum, £29, available at Boots.

To achieve fabulous legs, bums and tums, target troublesome areas with toning and firming potions such as Elemis Body Sculpting Lipo Refining Serum, £40 (www.timetospa.co.uk), RoC Retinol Body Modelling gel, £14.99 (0845 600-4477) or try Givenchy No Complex Body Contouring and Firming Cream for Buttocks and Thighs, £38.50 (01932 233909). Prefer easy-to-apply, oil-based products for toning up? Try out Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Detox Toning Oil, £12 (www.nealsyardremedies.com), or Darphin Hydroform Toning Body Oil, £35 (0870 0342566).

Put Christmas present wrapping on the back burner and focus on your body instead. Wraps are a great quick-fix treatment for all those body-baring mini dresses. Mummify problem areas with Body Boutique Wrap Factor Kit, £39.99 (0870 042 9573/www.bodyboutique.info).

SLIMMING TECHNIQUES

Don’t get baffled by specific techniques for applying slimming lotions and potions to your troublesome bottom half. Get your bathroom routine into shape, along with your body, with these step-by-step instructions from Givenchy Spa.

Massage your toning cream into the buttocks and thighs in the morning and/or evening.

Massage the inner and outer thighs with circular movements (three times) then rub with pressure from the knees to the top of the thighs.

Massage with circular movements from the top of the thighs to the buttocks (three times).

Finish with horizontal and vertical stroking and rolling motions, making sure to lift the skin to facilitate drainage.

TIME FOR TEA?

Put the mulled wine on ice for now and get your body party ready with a refreshing cup of tea. Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is reported to sip on slimming brews to squeeze effortlessly into her body-conscious couture wardrobe.

Sip on Neal’s Yard Remedies Dandelion and Red Clover Tea, £2.95 for a 50g packet, which increases the power of the liver to help with the elimination of fats and toxins from the body.

Dandelion is also a diuretic that will help reduce bloating, which can be just what you need to squeeze into that LBD. It’s recommended you drink three cups a day as part of any general slimming or detox plan. Call 0845 834634 or visit www.nealsyardremedies.com.

Wu Long tea, £22.99 for a pack of 100, is a non-addictive “weight loss” tea that claims health benefits including a reduction in appetite and a strengthened immune system. Visit www.wu4u.co.uk for more information.

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