How To Look Great In A Strapless Dress

Whether you’re opting for strapless, backless or lingerie-inspired pieces, skin on show is trending for party season. Here, MALENA HARBERS discovers the products, devices and beauty hacks to know when it comes to feeling your best on the dance floor

For a standout strapless look, turn to Laura Harrier, Simone Ashley, Gigi Hadid and Gemma Chan for inspiration

Power up your prep

“Many women are so intent on treating their face that they don’t step back and look at the whole tapestry,” says LA-based dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer. “I have patients who have spent $100,000 on their face, but put them in an evening dress and the texture of the skin on their bare shoulders, arms and hands doesn’t match. It’s like setting your dinner table with all the flatware and stemware mismatched.”

To rectify this, A-list experts start their clients’ red-carpet prep with a beauty tool that supercharges the results of a good skincare routine. But consistency is key when it comes to firming skin (especially on arms), and the NuFace NuBody Toning Device delivers painless microcurrents to help tone and contour – use it pre-event after applying a hyaluronic acid-based serum, or Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Aloe Vera Gel, to give you a post-spa glow that will last throughout the evening. Consider pairing it with an LED device, too: while the collagen-boosting effects are cumulative, this combination will reduce redness and inflammation, and plump skin in just one session. We love The Light Salon’s targeted Boost Advanced LED Light Therapy Bib, which works across the chest, back, shoulders and neck.

Target texture, not color

When it comes to creating a seamless look between your face and your upper body, matching skin texture is key. “Addressing texture and tone will boost skin quality,” says Dr. Lancer. Indeed, dead skin cells are much slower to slough off when you get below the collarbone, so a thorough all-over exfoliation is essential – start by polishing skin in the shower with a scrub before cleansing. Remember, the skin on your décolleté is thinner and has less elasticity, so if you’re prone to sensitivities, try a gentle chemical exfoliant, like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment peels, instead. Don’t underestimate the effect of proper hydration on skin texture, too: “Multi-layer moisture loss ages skin,” says Dr. Lancer. To counter this, apply a nourishing mix of nutrient-rich ingredients paired with potent anti-aging compounds to damp skin. Lancer’s The Method: Body Nourish and U Beauty’s Resurfacing Body Compound, for example, both contain glycolic acid, which gives an immediate blurring effect but also smooths fine lines and nixes any crepiness, which is particularly good for hands, arms and shoulders. “[Apply it to] the sides and back of your neck, too, as these areas are often neglected,” adds Dr. Lancer. We also love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Super Anti-Aging Body Serum, a hydrating hyaluronic-acid and skin-firming peptide treatment for your body with a gel-like texture that absorbs quickly. Use it under a moisturizer for softer, smoother, plumper skin in minutes.

Add a subtle sheen

A little extra glow on bare skin can have the most transformative effective, but it’s more than simply putting on a bronzer – you need to be strategic, so opt for a lightweight oil that gives a natural-looking luminescence rather than obvious color. You can mix a few drops of Nécessaire’s The Body Oil into your hyaluronic-acid gel for a sheen-like finish, or try Augustinus Bader The Body Oil to add an instant radiance to the tops of shoulders and along collarbones, which helps repair and nourish skin at the same time. If you like a little more color, mix 111Skin’s Rose Gold Radiance Booster into your lotion or HA gel instead – it gives a natural, slightly rose-colored glow that looks gorgeous both IRL and photographs.

Tackle puffiness

Puffiness isn’t just a lower-body concern, so spend a few minutes dry-body brushing – top to bottom – every day before showering. “It unclogs pores in the exfoliation process, helps to detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation and will drain the lymph nodes under your arms,” says London-based beauty therapist Sana Kirse. If you have sensitive skin, Kirse suggests using a gua sha tool for lymphatic drainage instead: “Using long strokes, massage from elbow towards armpits.” If you have time, she also suggests doing a lymph-drainage treatment once a week in the run-up to any event for enhanced results. Endospheres Therapy, for example, uses compressive micro-vibrations to target lymphatic nodes directly (rather than lymphatic flow from manual drainage) for dramatic de-puffing results. We also love Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Bodylift hand-held rolling massage device, which is great for maintaining results at home – use it on the back of arms, rolling from elbow to armpit, as you would with a gua sha tool.


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