Your 12 week bikini contest prep is almost done. You’ve hit all your macros, you haven’t had any unprescribed cheat meals and you’re killing all your workouts. You’ve practiced posing and walking in those clear heels. Now all that’s left is to pack your bag for your first bikini competition! But what on earth do you need?
I’ve been there, stressed and drained and in a carb deficit fog (or possible rage!) and not having any idea what to bring with me to a bikini competition. So here’s a little list of what you’re going to need and how it’s all going to work the week before your competition!
Bikini Competition Peak Week Prep:
one to two weeks before: you’ll need to prepare your skin for your tan. If you’re a waxer you’ll want to get it done two weeks before so there are no bumps or inflamed hair follicles that will be highlighted by your tan. The week leading up to your tan you’ll want to be exfoliating in the shower, I used Jan Tana. A few days before the competition I would Nair my whole body (yes, it will smell, and yes, you will need someone to help…thanks barefootlouboutins!) to get rid of all the fine hairs, but not everyone does this. Just be really careful with this stuff, especially if you have sensitive skin. I left it on maybe a minute too long and got some nasty burns on my hips. Once you have your tan you can’t shower or use deodorant anymore, and you’ll want to be really careful about how you sleep. I ended up sleeping with my hand on my stomach and it wore off the tan right in that spot (ugh), so sleep fully clothed and even put socks on your hands. Your sheets will get dirty and any white clothes will be stained. And as for going to the bathroom, the last thing you want is streaks from drips going down your leg…see #6 for my trick!
the night before: the athlete’s meeting is usually the evening before your competition. These are long and boring and stinky and cramped. Everyone who is competing will be there and will have to show the panel their suits, get their numbers, and get measured for their height or weight category. It takes a loooong time. Bring your food, and something to do, and wear comfy shoes because you might be standing or sitting on the floor. Some people will already have their tans done, others will be going after. This is important: bring a backup bikini. It may not be as fancy as the one you plan on wearing, but there’s always the chance that the panel will think the glutes aren’t covered enough and won’t let you wear it, so have a second choice just in case. Better to have a plain, unadorned bikini that follows the rules than be disqualified for showing too much skin, right?! Some competitions are picky about the type of shoes you wear, so you may need to bring those, too.
Ok, you’re tanned and your bikini has passed inspection. Time to pack your bag!
Bikini Competition Packing List:
one: suit and heels. Obviously, pack your bikini and your shoes, and your spares (just in case!).
two: makeup and hair products. You’re going to need dark makeup for your face to match your tan. I went to makeup counters and asked for a little sample pots of their darkest shades rather than buying a whole tube of foundation. I did buy dark powder and the darkest/brightest blush I could find. Be careful with your lipstick choice too…bright pink colours can clash with your tan whereas something with a mauve/purple tone might actually look more natural. Style your hair in the morning before you go (or come in rollers and leave them in until you’re stage time is approaching!), and bring hairspray with you.
three: jewelry. Some competitions have regulations about what your jewelry can be. Pack whatever you plan on wearing and bring a backup pair of earrings.
four: diet food and water. You will be there ALL DAY. Literally. Competitions are long. You’ll have prejudging in the morning and then a second show in the evening where they’ll announce the placings. Make sure you have a full day’s worth of your regular program food and eat and drink according to how your coach has planned. Some people have peak week prep where their food is different and they do water loading while others eat and drink like normal. Do what your coach tells you, they know what they’re doing!
five: tan, sheen, and Bikini Bite. Not every spray tan is the same. Some are oily and some are more like paint. So make sure you find out from your spray tan boutique what sheen is safe to put on top, you don’t want to mix the wrong stuff together and ruin your tan. If you’re using self-tanner bring it with you in case you need to do any touch-ups. And bring your own Bikini Bite. There will be plenty going around to share but you don’t want to be the one person who didn’t get any. There will be people backstage to help you put it on when it’s your time. Just go to the bathroom first!
six: paper cups. Cut the bottoms out of a few paper cups so you have just a tube. Hold the edge of the cup up to yourself when you are going to the bathroom. It directs the liquid into the toilet rather than onto your legs, saving your tan!
seven: needle, thread, safety pins. You never know when a strap will break or a rhinestone will come lose. Have a little mending kit handy just in case.
eight: pillow, magazines, cell charger, camera. You will be there all day, and you will be bored. Even if you are nervous and excited and antsy, you’re still going to want something to do. You probably won’t have a lot of energy, and your fellow competitors may not be very talkative. So bring a pillow to sit/nap on, something fluffy to read, and a charger for all those tanned sexy selfies you’re going to be taking!
nine: mirror. I have noticed that there are more and more and more and more women competing in the bikini category with every competition. But there is usually only one bathroom…and one mirror. So bring your own. You could bring a full length one if you’re concerned about how your body looks or at the very least something small for hair and make-up touch-ups.
ten: treat. My amazing sister barefootlouboutins went on a wild goose chase for candy corn after my first competition. That’s what I was craving. I didn’t want cheesecake or a burger or pasta or chocolate, just candy corn. So if there’s something you’ve been excited to eat again once the competition is over, bring it with you (unless it’s wine; that may have to wait until you’ve left the competition).
Now you are ready for your first bikini competition! Don’t take yourself too seriously, and be proud of all that you have accomplished regardless of the placings. Let me know in the comments if there are any essentials you always pack when you’re competing!
Competition Bikini Suit: Saleyla
Competition High Heels: Pleaser