Glow up for summer - girl in sun in white dress

I don’t want to tempt fate, but it looks as if we might finally be getting a little bit of freedom back this summer! After more than a year of restrictions in the UK, it’s fair to say we’re VERY ready for it. All this time spent indoors can – and has – taken a toll on our bodies, so it’s no surprise that some of us are not feeling physically at our ‘best’ just now!  If you’re like me, you may want to do something about it in time for the better weather. A ‘glow up’ for summer is just the ticket!  Depending on where you live, it could still be difficult to get your usual salon treatments and workout classes at the moment, but there’s still plenty you can do for yourself.  Here’s a list of easy fixes and treatments you can do to glow up for Summer 2021!

1. Add a Pop of Colour to Your Nails

Glow up for summer with bright nails

This one’s a no-brainer, and also a quick fix!  

I’m lucky enough that my mum is a beauty therapist, so I’ve learned from her how to do gel nails at home. If you’re not in the same boat though there are still plenty of easier options available.  Last year saw the renewed popularity of stick-on nails, and let me tell you they’re a LOT better than they used to be.  Nothing says ‘summer’ like a bright orange or coral, and there’s some really fun nail art options too. Here’s my favourite finds so far:

2. Smooth Yourself

Smooth legs in the sea

I’ll be honest: hiding away under layers of loungewear, over-indulging in alcohol, and baking in central heating during lockdown left my skin looking less-than-fabulous!  If you’re the same, now’s the time to get on top of your exfoliation game, and make sure moisturising is a firm part of your daily routine. You’ll start to see a major difference in the tone and condition of your skin quite quickly once you show it some love.  In particular, focus on the parts that you’re likely to have out on display in your Spring/Summer outfits. After all, what’s the point in doing a glow up for summer if you can’t show off your gorgeous legs at the end of it?!

My current favourite body scrub is Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow, which leaves a beautifully scented oil on the skin after use.

For body moisturiser, I love Bondi Sands Tropical Rum Body Moisturiser; mainly because it smells of cocktails by the pool!

3. Self-Massage

massage oil for a glow up with massage

As a regular gym-bunny I love nothing more than a good sports massage, but they can be costly and most close-contact services are still facing a certain level of restrictions at the moment.  But did you know that regular massage breaks down fatty deposits under the skin and can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite?  What’s more, it can help to release toxins from the body and has proven stress-reducing benefits.  Even better – you can get all of these benefits from massage at home, too!

You can incorporate self-massage into Step 2 above – when you’re moisturising, focus on sweeping the hands firmly upwards towards the heart (check out YouTube for some great self-massage tutorials!)  

If you want to get a little deeper though, you might consider a massage gun. When these first arrived on the market a few years ago, I have to admit I was sceptical. However as time went by athletes everywhere began recommending them for faster recovery, a decrease in muscle soreness and getting rid of tightness/knots.  There’s a lot on the market at varying price points, but the one I use is a great mid-range and I’ve see all the physical benefits by using it regularly. Well worth the initial investment in my opinion! Check it out for yourself below:

4. Bronzed Goddess Vibes

Tan luxe facial oil drops for a tan glow up

Although some English Rose types look amazing with glassy porcelain skin, most of us would probably agree we look better with a summery glow!  I personally love a natural tan but as we all know UV is bad for us, so it’s generally better to fake it.  Remember to follow good skincare first (see above) for best results.

My favourite self-tanner is Fake Bake Tanning Water.  It’s one of the most moisturising tans I’ve found, and because it’s clear and therefore it wont transfer onto your clothing or sheets.

Lately however I’ve been opting for a gradual tan – I bought this to try recently and wow am I impressed. The colour is lovely, and there isn’t any streaking whatsoever.  Gradual tanners, like many products in the beauty world, have come a long way since their beginnings. If you’ve not tried one since 2009, give them another go and see for yourself!

For my face I add a few drops of Tax Luxe The Face to my SPF. It produces a lovely colour within 8 hours to match the rest of my body.

5. Glow From Within!

strawberries on blue background

We’ve all heard that true beauty is on the inside…

The easiest way to get the full range of nutrients your body needs to glow is to eat a balanced diet.  This means not cutting out food groups or worse, an entire macronutrient, but equally watching your intake of salt, refined sugar and alcohol.  Fruits and veggies are key to getting in the majority of vitamins and minerals we need, so load up on leafy green veg and try to eat the rainbow.

We can’t always be perfect with our diets though, so you could also consider adding a supplement.  If you live in the UK or anywhere that’s generally on the colder side, you are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D – so this can be a good place to start.  Vitamin C has excellent SPF and brightenting qualities, vitamin E supports skin elasticity and moisture and vitamin A is brilliant for clearing breakouts.  Do your research and look into your own needs (you may even consider some blood tests to check if you have any medical deficiencies) or opt for a good overall multivitamin supplement to cover your bases.

My favourite is Bioglan Vitagummies Women’s Multivitamins, because I’m a big kid and love a chewy sweet!

6. Flutter Your Lashes at ’em

pair of false lashes

Nothing makes me feel more glamourous than long, fluttery lashes.  Alas, my natural lashes are blonde, short and straight, so I opt for falsies.  There are a million styles and lengths available.  I use natural length ones for every day and play around with more dramatic looks for photos and special occasions.  Here’s a few of my favourites right now:

7. Find Your New Fitness Bug

woman walking up stairs in trainers

No glow up for summer is complete without getting a sweat on, but I am SO BORED of the same old walks and online workouts.  If you’re finding it difficult to stick to – a fitness routine, I’d encourage you to scrap what you’ve been doing and find something new! 

Last year, as indoor pools were closed, I discovered wild swimming.  It was quite an adventure – not to mention a calorie burn! I cannot wait to return to once the Scottish waters are warm enough this year!  

Fitness really can and should be something you enjoy, so as we move out of a pandemic there really has never been a better time to discover something you love!

Stuck for ideas?  If wild swimming isn’t your jam, why not look into dance, roller skating, badminton, barre, spin or even a team sport such as basketball?  Our bodies are designed to move, and there’s a million ways to do it – find the one that’s right for you!

8. Correct Your Posture

Upright Go Posture Tracker on back for wellness

You might want to focus your glow up for summer on the more glamorous beauty treats and treats, but working from home (and Netflix-ing from the sofa) take a huge toll on our spines. Slouching is never stylish! My 9-5 was never particularly active before, but these days it’s even worse – I can literally open my fridge whilst I sit at my laptop!  I know a lot of people with the same struggle. What’s more, the time I spend bent over my phone on social media means I’m looking more like the hunchback of Notre-Dame each day.  Not so glam – but there is hope!

Regular stretching is by far the best way to gain long-term postural benefits. Adding yoga or a simple post-workout stretch routine into your week is a brilliant start.  Unfortunately though, that doesn’t always help with the subconscious slump we’ve developed over the years, and it can be very difficult to ‘just remember’ to sit up straight when we’re in the middle of a Zoom meeting. 

Enter: Upright GO.  I purchased this nifty pebble-sized gadget a couple of years ago when I noticed I was getting neck pain, and it’s like having a miniature physio stuck to your neck.  Connect it to your phone using the app, and it will vibrate any time you slouch, reminding you to stand tall and reinforcing good posture.  I’ve seen definite improvements in my subconscious posture and love the way it trains me to do better. It’s genius that works!  

9. Love Your Feet

feet in the sand with blue pedicure

Your feet deserve a glow up for summer, too! Paint your toes by all means, but don’t forget those cracked heels if you’re planning to set your feet free in some pretty sandals this summer.  You can use a heel rasp or foot file to remove dead skin first, and then indulge in a moisturising foot mask whilst you put your feet up at night.  I love these single use moisturising socks that you can leave on whilst watching an episode of your favourite show, and then massage in the excess for soft and sweet smelling feet:

10. Make Some Plans!

a glow up doesn't have to be physical - make plans with your friends!

A glow up for summer doesn’t have to be only aesthetic!

Nothing puts a spring in your step or a sparkle in your eye quite like having something to look forward to!  As restrictions begin to lift, keep an eye on the venues opening and activities resuming in your area, and reserve yourself and some friends a space before they book up!  I’m planning my first ever trip to a Michelin-starred restaurant next week (if you happen to live in Scotland, check it out here!), and some rooftop bars in the meantime!  

What are your plans for the summer? Are you doing a post-pandemic glow up? Leave me a comment or drop me a DM to chat.


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