We all have our own preparation for a sunny beach day. Shaved legs, underarms and bikini area are no brainers. And at least painted toe nails but I don’t have to tell you that. Some people go to a hairdresser before they head to the beach and others need 30 minutes extra for a make-up session. Either way we all have our own routines to make sure we look good on the beach. And incase you don’t, here are my 6 tips:

1. Make sure the size of your bikini is right. Straps that are too tight are not an attractive sight and does nobody any good. On the other hand, don’t wear a bikini that is too big for you. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a bikini top that gives you ‘inside information’.

2. Create a good base with self-tanner. Of course, we all know, apart from relaxing and taking a dive every now and then the main reason we go to the beach is getting that perfect glow (right ladies?). But that doesn’t mean we can’t help mother nature a little bit. You can wear the best bikini there is but a pale skin will make you look  a little less … let’s say attractive. A good prep is essential and nowadays there are a lot of DIY-tools. So find out what works best for you but make sure you complete these three steps: 1. Exfoliate (scrub every inch of your body during a shower session) 2. Hydrate (dry skin + moisture = happy body) 3. Bronze (don’t overdo it, because it still has to look natural). And last but not least, check the mirror for the end result!

3. Pick a style and go for it. Take your bikini as a starting point and match your accessories with it. It doesn’t all have to be in the same color (matchy-matchy is too easy) but it’s nice to create a certain vibe. Does the bohemian style suit you completely? Go for a big hat, salty hair and a lot of bracelets around your arm. Or wear a high waist bikini and round sunglasses if you want to go for a 70’s look, but always make sure that your beach outfit consists of one certain style.

4. Always bring a cover-up with you to the beach. And please wear this when you want to take a nap in your cabana. You don’t want to unconsciously end up in an awkward position during your beauty sleep (read: legs open wide) and pictures of that appearing on Instagram…

5. Make sure to use sunscreen that doesn’t leave white stripes on your face. I’m sure a lot of us use sunscreen that is oil-based and doesn’t have high factor to get that tan extra fast (I confess). But it’s really important to protect your skin to that burning sun especially when you’re in the water a lot. So sunscreen with high factor is necessary if you want to enjoy beach days for the rest of your life like I do. But ladies please, test the product before you buy it and make sure your face doesn’t look like a white pancake. Especially when taking pictures. Not cute.

6. Be thoughtful when you’re eating and drinking. Try to stay away from food and drinks that give you a bloated feeling right before and during your beach day. This will make you feel uncomfortable. The last thing you want is for people to ask you “Are you pregnant?” when you’re not (oops…). So avoid products like bread and milk and replace soda with water to remain hydrated during the day as well. Two birds with one stone!

Happy tanning!

Melissa Odabash Bali Triangle Bikini (here)