Beauty Tips for a Bikini Competitor

Beauty prep for a competition if so important! You are putting so much effort into getting your physique and stage presence to the best possible state, you need to put 100% into beauty prep too.

This advice is specific to my experience in the WBFF and therefore targeted to girls who want to compete in FMG or WBFF, but a lot of the knowledge I am sharing will be applicable to anyone prepping for a competition with another federation, or a big event like a wedding, party, photoshoot or even a holiday. 

I've competed in 3 shows now, and won my pro card last year - it got easier each time I competed, but my first show was certainly a learning curve. I'm not a beauty expert, but I can speak from my experience and advise what worked for me. Normally I am a very low maintenance kind of girl, I don’t wear make up day to day, before I competed I had never gotten a set of acrylic nails or had hair extensions and I don’t regularly fake tan. The beauty prep for comp is something that really overwhelmed me. Luckily I had an amazing coach who taught me the ropes, but I understand not everyone's coaches cover this aspect of comp prep. So here's my top tips:

Skin Prep: Body and Tanning

I’m going to start with this one because people always freak out about the comp tan. The quality of your spray tan will come down to the condition of your skin. Body prep is something that you need to start thinking about early. The key areas here are exfoliation, moisturization, hair removal and diet/hydration. 

From 10 weeks out, I start dry brushing every second day. Before I jump in the shower I will spend a couple of minutes using a dry brush in circular motions on my full body. 

Twice a week I will use a full body scrub in the shower for exfoliation. The one I use is called Body Blendz which is a coconut oil and sea salt scrub from Chemist Warehouse or Coles, and I just scrub it on using a loofah, then wash off. 

The other thing that I do religiously from 10 weeks out is moisturizing. I moisturize my whole body twice a day, using the Nivea Q10 and Vitamin C body lotion - again this is from Chemist Warehouse or Coles. I leave my bottle of moisturizer right where I can see it in the bathroom so I don’t forget. This is so important for the condition of your skin and will make your tan go on smoothly. You will want to do this right up until the day before your base coat tan (nothing the day of your tan). 

The next thing is hair removal. You need to be 100% hairless everywhere on your body. I already get laser hair removal in some areas, which is a great option if you are far enough out from the show to start. Any other areas, I get waxed 7 days before the show. 

When I say you need to be hairless everywhere, I mean literally everywhere. Not just the usual areas, but arms, all the baby hairs on your stomach, back, glutes etc. need to go. I didn’t even know I had hair in some of these areas before competing. This will make you look incredible under the stage lights and waxing will not make the hair grow back thicker or darker. 

The tightness and glow of your skin will ultimately come down to the healthiness of your prep - a drastic or unhealthy prep will have negative impacts on your skin. I’m not a coach, so I can’t speak too much to this, but your comp prep coach should be able to help you. The development of your tan can actually come down to the ph balance of your skin, which can be influenced by the foods you are eating. I know my coach, Ally programme's specific foods in my final weeks of prep to help with this.

Now in terms of the actual tanning process, FMG have a team that does all of your spray tanning using an exclusive formula. This is owned by Fusion Tan and it is a really great product so no need to worry!

My first tip is not to stress! The team knows exactly what they are doing. When you register, you will book in your base coat tan time, which is always on the Thursday or Friday prior to the show. 

On the day of your tan, make sure you don’t wear any moisturizers, lotions, or deodorant. It sounds gross, but I actually don't wear any deodorant for the whole of peak week, because any residue can react with your tan and make it look green. 

Fusion Tan sells a skin prep foam, which helps with hydration and ph balance, I always use this for a few days leading up to my base coat tan. 

They also sell a base builder foam, which is great if you a really pale like me. I apply one layer of this the day before my tan. It develops over time and does have an orange undertone so don’t freak out. 

You also need to plan you hair washing etc around your base coat tan. Either wash your hair before getting your base coat, and wear a shower cap for your spray tan (especially if you’re blonde), or get your hair professionally washed at a salon after your base coat tan - this is normally what I do. 

When you get your base tan, it will be done in a little spray tan tent with a spray gun (yes you are fully naked) and then you will dry yourself off with the air hose for about 5 minutes before getting dressed again. I always wear a black loose, stretchy maxi dress (which was like $10 from Shein) and some black sandals to my tanning appointment so I still look presentable but don't ruin my tan. 

You need to let you base coat develop to 3-6 hours before rinsing it off in the shower. Sometimes they recommend leaving it on overnight too. Don’t use any soaps or anything in the shower, just a quick rinse with water until colour stops running off you and pat dry with a towel. 

Your top coat tan will be scheduled by the beauty team for show day. This is usually done about 45minutes before your makeup appointment. It's the same drill as the base coat, you strip off and jump into the little spray tan tent, get sprayed, dry off and then get dressed into something loose/black. The top coat is like a makeup layer, and it does dry pretty fast. 

Don't worry if you get any little marks or imperfections on your tan, the tanning team is always back stage for quick touch ups before you go on stage. 

Skin Prep: Face

This is something that is quite different for everyone depending on your skin type. The key is to find a skin care routine that works and stick to it consistently during prep to have your face in the best possible condition for application of makeup on show day. I use the Ordinary skin care range day to day which is super affordable and easy to tailor to your specific skin needs.

My skin gets quite congested so I always get monthly facials for a few months leading up to the show - I go for Microdermasions or Hydrodermabrasions depending on how dry my skin is at the time. I normally get my last facial 1-2 weeks before show day. 

I always get full face threading one week before the show which gets rid of any baby hairs for super smooth makeup application. 

Make sure you decide what kind of makeup you want on stage before show day. It's helpful to have a photo to show your makeup artist on the day - all makeup is done back stage by the beauty team. Lashes are provided too, so there is no need to get eyelash extensions before the show. 


My hair is long, but pretty thin so I get hair extensions put in for the stage. I purchased 300g weft human hair extensions from All About Braids and Hair Extensions in Sydney before my first show and I just get them reapplied for each show. They are an investment up front but you can reuse them up to 10 times. It really is a personal choice whether you get extensions or not, there are so many different types so do your research. Some girls just get clip ins and the beauty team install them on show day.

I get my extensions in 2 weeks before show day so I can practice posing with my new hair. 

1 week before the show I also get a gloss toner put through my hair to make it super shiny and a quick trim to ensure its looking healthy. 

Like I mentioned before, I get a wash and blow dry at the salon before rego night. The beauty team styles your hair the morning of the show, usually before makeup and you need to show up with clean, dry hair. 

I have always worn my hair straight on stage. I ask for shine spray, and no hair spray so that all of my hair flicks look good, and the hair doesn't set together.


Lots of girls get their teeth professionally whitened, which costs hundreds. I'm on a budget so I just use the Oral B teeth whitening strips from Chemist Warehouse for 10 days leading up to the show. 

I make sure I keep up to date with teeth scale and cleans from the dentist too. 

Again, it's a personal choice. Your dark show day tan will make your teeth look whiter anyways. 


Get these done a few days before your base coat tan. I always get a spa manicure with shellac and acrylic finger nails. It's up to you whether you go all out with glam diamonds and colours to match your bikini. I normally have photoshoots during peak week, so go for more of a neutral look. 

If you’re on a super tight budget you can get stick on nails.


It is absolutely essential to be organised with booking and planning all of your appointments to ensure nothing is missed and it's all done at the right time so you look your absolute best on stage! The Prep Diary has handy reminders when to book all of these appointments and a budgeting tool to make sure you have adequate money set aside. Often people forget to include beauty prep costs in the competition budget. You can also schedule all appointments in your prep diary because you will be super busy in the weeks leading up to your show.

That's all of my tips, I hope this helped you feel more comfortable with the process. If you have any questions at all, please clock the link at the bottom of this page to email me, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible!

- Sarah xx

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