Bodies. Like snowflakes, grains of sand, and North West’s collection of Alexander Wang handbags, no two are alike. Yet for so long, there’s been only one type lifted up as the ultimate ideal. It’s the one we see in most swimsuit and lingerie ads; the one that gives us a confusing twinge of admiration, jealousy, and self-doubt every time we see it across our Instagram feeds. Words used to describe it often include toned, slim, or fit—and the idea is if you’re not part of this club, you should be striving to be in it.
It’s no wonder we find ourselves spending so much time analyzing, obsessing over, and scrutinizing the vessels we exist in.
Here’s the thing, though: Achieving some sort of outward physical goal won’t suddenly make those complicated feelings go away. Loving and accepting our bodies comes from within, and those who do get to that place don’t all look the same from the outside. And isn’t that a beautiful thing? In the nature of celebrating the fact that we’re all on the same journey—no matter how many curves, dimples, or stretch marks we possess—we’re showcasing our favorite new glow-giving body products on four Byrdie readers who are the epitome of #bodygoals because they radiate confidence from every pore (having seen them in person, we can attest).
We gathered these women into our studio and spent a day swiping, scrubbing, and slathering the season’s buzziest new body goods, and the results were—dare we say—stunning. From bronzing oils to holographic scrubs, keep scrolling to see all the best products to bring your glow to the next level.
ON ADELFA: THE EXFOLIATORS
Frank Body Shimmer Scrub ($20): This exfoliator has holographic particles that leave behind a soft sheen. Did we mention it's sugary-sweet and shimmery?
Dove Exfoliating Body Polish ($6): Light as air and slightly whipped, this creamy exfoliator sloughs off dead skin cells in the most satisfying way—without scaring your wallet.
"After having a baby, I had to relearn to embrace my body and the new marks, curves, and softness pregnancy brought on. I yearn for representation and I'd love to be that for other young, Afro-Latinx mothers that are out there who look like me and have bodies and skin that are far from 'perfect' but still beautiful." — Adelfa
ON LAURA: THE SKIN PERFECTORS
Tan Luxe Instant Hero Illuminating Body Skin Perfector ($33): Use the soft, sponge-tipped applicator to swipe this hydrating tint across your limbs, and then blend in with your hands. Easy.
AllEven Tinted Airbrush Body Concealer ($80): Fake a week in the Amalfi Coast with this blurring, perfecting spray-on body concealer. Sunflower seed oil and shea butter give an added hydration boost.
"For many years, I have struggled with loving my body. Throughout the years, I have been self-conscious about being curvier than other girls my age. In college, I learned to love my curves, especially as I learned to accentuate them with my fashion choices. Fast-forward to 2018—I have been living my best life. I am surrounded by amazing friends, family, a loving boyfriend, and I am dedicating time to myself doing yoga. As a result, I'm truly feeling like I love my body. I'm still working toward my fitness goals, but I am so happy!" — Laura
ON HANA: THE SHINE SQUAD
Herbivore Botanicals Illuminating Rose Quartz Body Oil ($48): A little shine never hurt anyone. Moroccan rose and camellia extract are just two of the botanical ingredients in this body oil that make us want to slather it from head to toe.
MAC Strobe Body Lotion ($30): A twist on the original Strobe Cream, this version for body gives a pearlescent glow wherever you apply it (we recommend doing so copiously).
"When I was younger and everyone was getting boobs and curves, I was so bummed out that mine never grew in (and still haven't!). But then I discovered sample-size sales, and everything changed." — Hana
ON ELLIE: THE TANNING GAME CHANGERS
St. Tropez Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse ($20): It doesn't get easier than this. Lather this on before you shower, and then rinse off just one minute later. Reapply daily, and watch your glow grow.
Isle of Paradise Tanning Mousse ($29): The color-correcting technology in this new tanning line is no joke. Swipe on with a mitt to look like you just came back from Ibiza.
"I started dancing when I was 8 years old. As a young girl in a strict ballet environment, I didn't notice that I was being trained to think about my body in a very specific way. It only came to my attention that some of the habits I formed weren't healthy when I didn't get my period until I was 16. Around this time, I got into modeling and was told by my agency to lose an inch and a half around my bum. I was dancing upward of 40 hours a week, so I was confused how to even accomplish this task. For years, I struggled to keep up with the standards of the ballet and modeling world, thinking that once I achieved what both were asking of me, I would be happy. Toward the end of high school, I slowed down on both substantially. This time was difficult for me, especially during my first year of university, because my body was transitioning from when I was on a strict diet and constant exercise. I notice stretch marks and my thighs getting bigger. After about three years of eating and exercising for me and no one else, I have established a balance in my life where I prioritize mental and physical wellness. I am still an extremely active person, but I do it now because I love the energy it gives me! I indulge and now look forward to adventures and midnight In-n-Out runs. I still take ballet classes and do freelance modeling. However, I do not have an agent. I want to use my experiences to show women and men that you can still be a part of the things you love without putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Prioritizing wellness and indulgence is so much more rewarding than trying to achieve a preconceived idea of perfection." — Ellie
Photographer: Paley Fairman
Stylist: Robert Ziemer
Photographer: Paley Fairman
Stylist: Robert Ziemer