Winter is almost over and for many that means a long-awaited March break vacation. And even if your getaway means taking the kids or grandkids south for some beach time, don’t neglect yourself in the mix. Some easy prep will make your own vacay on the sand more glam.

While I won’t get away for March break, I did escape the winter blues in January when I went on my first ever resort vacation.  I did some beauty prep to make the most of it, here are my picks:

1. Body Smoother: I don’t care how old you are, skin can still use a bit of firming for swimsuit debuts, particularly in the upper thighs and around the stomach. I was always a bit skeptical about the claims made about skin firming products. Then a fellow editor recommended  Strivectin’s Tightening Body Cream. I smeared it on morning and night and after a few weeks (the website says 8 weeks is optimal) I did notice a change. The cream’s ingredients include caffeine and peptides to help visibly tone skin, while hydrating and softening skin.  The brand’s patented NIA-114 technology strengthens and nourishes the moisture barrier. And it just plain feels good on the body.


2. Darker Shade of Pale: Despite my part Italian heritage, the English side of the family won out in the skin tone department. The idea of walking onto a beach with legs that glowed with whiteness was too much for me – and I never tan – so for me the only option was to go fake. I’d never tried spray tan before so I trusted my first time to the  Benefit Boutique in Toronto. The product they use is from Vita Liberata, the brand that created the world’s first odourless tan and since 2011, they became the first completely non-toxic spray tan brand free from parabens, perfume, alcohol and all chemicals of concern.

To be honest, the experience was a bit like what I imagine a woman’s prison would be like: I stood naked and was hosed down with a cold wet substance. Fortunately, the young woman wielding the hose – I mean spray bottle – was sweet and supportive when it was clear I was terrified of ending up like Ross Gellar on that Friends episode where he emerged looking like an Oompa Loompa (or President Trump).

I waited the prescribed 8 hours and showered and was pleased to step out with the perfect sun-kissed glow. It lasted the whole trip.

3. Peel Away:  I decided that my face also needed major exfoliation after a couple months of indoor heating that no humidifier could rectify. It was time for the big guns: a lactic acid peel. I wanted a glycolic acid peel but my skin proved too sensitive so I opted for this gentler version. I went to the Miracle 10 boutique and spa in Yorkville and let the expert aesthetician work her magic. My skin felt smooth and moisturized but what to do to keep up at home? The Miracle 10 AHA Cream used at night before moisturizing leaves skin brighter and smoother. Of course sunscreen is an absolute must – always.

4. Hands Up: I wanted a bright coral for my mani/pedi that would last for the seven days on the beach, and Essie’s gel couture polish in Style Stunner did the trick. Two coats on my nails followed by Essie’s platinum grade finish top coat and the look was brilliant bright shine that stayed put – not a chip in sight – for the whole trip.

5. Complexion Perfection:  Even though I’d never gone to a beach resort before, even I knew that wearing foundation was a step too far. But I wanted my complexion to look even and be protected. Enter Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 50. It’s lightweight feel and texture made my skin glow and it offered the right amount of sheer coverage, while also moisturizing. As an added bonus, it’s formulated with Vitamin C, which is one of the key ingredients to help clarify and brighten skin tone overall.