• Swimsuit season is stressful enough when women are tasked with finding swimwear that's both fashionable and flattering. But what does he think about all your hard work? Marie Claire asked 100 random guys about some of the most popular swimsuit trends - and their answers may have you reconsidering that new bikini in your beach bag.

    The String Bikini One of the most popular swimwear styles on the market happens to be the one with the least amount of fabric. But what do men really think of the skimpy suit? 74 percent were fans of the triangles-and-string ensemble, while 26 percent thought it looked too revealing and left little to the imagination.

    The Standard Two-Piece
    Guys' most favored suit was the basic two-piece bikini. A bit more material - while still showcasing some serious skin - meant a whopping 91 percent approval rating among men (and several said the look most closely resembled women in bras and panties...). Only 9 percent didn't like the cut.

    The Monokini
    Women wanting to

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  • If you love Madonna's abs almost as much as her music follow the expert's advice.
    - Sarah Polonsky, BettyConfidential.com

    Summer is thisclose. And it's never too late in the season (or your life) to start working on your physique. In celebration of the warm months ahead, we have brought in fitness expert, Andrea Metcalf of Better TV, NBC's Today Show, Oprah.com and More Magazine to give us some tips on how to get Madonna's abs. Andrea's book, Naked Fitness, comes out January 2011.

    At age 51-very much like her songs- Madonna's abs haven't missed a beat. Her toned tummy is as flawless as it was when her career began three decades ago. And while most of us don't have six hours a day to work out like the pop icon reportedly does, it is still possible to achieve a hot midriff like Madge's.

    Read Can We Get Rid Of Cellulite

    Just follow these steps.


    "Start on your back with your legs slightly extended," Andrea says. "If your lower back is arched,

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  • How to Rock That Plus-Size Bikini!

    Are you hearing a "should" echo?

    (The sentence would be: "Should I rock a plus-size bikini?")

    We at Shine passionately believe there's no "should" or "could," about who sports the iconic beachwear. This is no swimsuit contest. It's more important how a bikini fits your personality style than your figure.

    "A bigger body can look fabulous in a bikini, especially if you're fit," says Charla Krupp, author of How to Never Look Fat Again. "But pulling it off is really about confidence, no matter what size you are. It's really up to every woman to decide how much flesh she wants to expose. And when you go to the beach, the point is to relax, not worry about how you look."

    Whether you want to go itsy-bitsy, or almost there, Krupp has some great pointers on how to make the most out of the least.

    8 Ways to Sass Your Suit

    1. Separates But Equal. When possible buy your top and bottom independently. That way you can get the best fit for your particular body. "Swimwear is

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  • Don't be shy: We chat about updos, ponytails, braids, bangs, cinna-buns ... so why not these "hairstyles" too? (Don't worry--no NSFW pics are involved in this post!)

    To help alleviate the awkwardness of describing the, uh, look you want when you get a bikini wax, Bliss spa in NYC now offers this handy menu of options.

    Pretty funny, right? Yet also pretty clever. It certainly takes some of the guesswork--and rambling verbal descriptions--out of going home with the particular aesthetic you were looking for. How about we turn this thing into a fun Monday poll and see which style is most popular among our readers? Choose the one that best represents your ideal look, regardless of whether you wax, shave or laser. Click here to vote.

    For those of you who get bikini waxes, have you ever found it awkward to describe the look you're going for? And do you guys find that your bikini-area style changes or has stayed pretty much the same over time?


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  • Let's be honest...not all of us love swimsuit shopping. Okay, some of us hate it. It's especially tough when you have no idea which styles will flatter you. Go easy on yourself this summer and narrow your search before heading to the dressing room.

    Here are a few questions to consider:

    One- or Two-Piece? Bikinis certainly aren't the only options out there. Cute one-pieces are making a comeback for all shapes and sizes. If you're going the two-piece route, think about what style of top - halter, tube, shoulder straps - are most comfortable to you. Also consider what activities you'll be doing in your suit. If you enjoy swimming laps and playing beach volleyball, you may want a more supportive suit than someone who enjoys lounging and wading.

    Which Asset Do You Want to Accent? Depending on your shape, you may want to play up your bust, curvy shape, legs, or even tuck it all away. Check out our shape suggestions and hunt for a one-piece or bikini that you feel most comfortable sporting

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  • Want a bikini body in time for summer? Burn belly fat and lose inches with a diet plan that will get you swimsuit-ready but won't leave you hungry. Follow the guidelines below for a total of 1,500 calories a day. Combine this diet with a toning and cardio workout plan and you'll drop 10 pounds in one month.

    TRY IT: Start our complete 4 Weeks to a Bikini Body workout plan today, and be beach-ready by the first day of summer!

    A Sample Day on Our Bikini Body Plan

    BREAKFAST: About 300 Calories
    Broccoli and Parmesan Egg Scramble

    Whisk together 2 eggs; set aside. Coat a frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and saute 3/4 cup chopped broccoli florets 2 minutes; add eggs and scramble. Once eggs are cooked, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Serve with a slice of whole wheat toast.

    More 300-Calorie Breakfasts

    LUNCH: About 400 Calories
    Chunky Greek Salad with Chickpeas

    Mix together 1/2 cup each cucumber, chopped tomato, and red and green

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  • If you have any plans to wear a bathing suit this summer, one thing is for sure-you'll be looking to maintain your bikini line. Here are the two best methods to keeping your hair down there properly groomed-and the need-to-know tips.

    Best Option: Wax
    "The hair in the bikini area tends to be coarse and thick, which is ideal for waxing. Plus, since the hair is pulled out from the root, it grows back thinner over time," says Katherine Goldman, owner of Strip Bar Wax in San Francisco. Related: 8 Do's and Don'ts of At-Home Waxing

    Bikini Line: Expert Waxing Tips
    • Whether you have an appointment with a professional or you're going the DIY route, make sure that the hair is at least 1/4 inch long, says Goldman.
    • Avoid extreme heat or exercise for 24 hours postwax to prevent irritation. This includes sunbathing (a no-no regardless!), saunas, and hot tubs.
    • Do not shave between waxes, warns Goldman. Find out the trick to staying smooth between waxes.

    Bikini Line Runner-Up: Shaving

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  • Good news: If your midsection is feeling puffy, the reason may be bloat, not fat. Why is this good news? Because it's a whole lot easier to de-puff, quickly, than it is to lose actual body fat, which takes more time. Try these food tips and you should be flatter, sexier, and fitting more comfortably into your clothes in less than a week.

    1. Eat fiber-rich cereal

    Why It Beats Bloat: Constipation distends your belly, and one easy way to get rid of it is by starting each morning with a breakfast cereal that guarantees your body a daily dose of fiber. This gets the digestive system moving within a day or so and keeps it that way. Based on a recent study of cereals, University of Toronto researchers say that consuming two kinds of fiber at once is most effective. The scientists found that participants had an easier time staying regular with a cereal that contained both insoluble fiber (from bran) and gel-like soluble fiber (from psyllium). The two types work together to pull

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  • Reduce cellulite, boost confidence, and feel amazing when you join the 2010 NIVEA Good-bye Cellulite Hello Bikini! Challenge. Real participant, Jennifer, a long-time sufferer of cellulite and beach lover gives us a glimpse into her Challenge experience. Be sure to check out her documented progress video.

    Designed to keep you in drive and really pump up your workout intensity with intervals, the Challenge's second week works to turn you into a calorie-burning machine. With the help of trainer Jeanette Jenkins, Jennifer really got a total body workout via some great power moves.

    In the diet department, you'll be getting used to filling up on fiber-rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains, plus literally spicing things up to make meals even more satisfying! In fact, Jennifer enjoyed a special food shopping trip with the Nutrition Twins, where she learned simple ways to add extra veggies to meals in order to keep enjoying hearty meal portions.

    Also ahead for Week Two

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  • Where the Boys Work Out

    When you're looking for a reason to hit the gym, I say everything is fair game. Including man candy.

    But how many guys do you count in your Zumba class? Fat Blaster Express? Pole Dancing?

    "Not in a million years," says New Yorker Adam Kleinman, 25, when asked if he'd ever be caught dead in a fitness class. "One, I don't need somebody in short shorts and a tight tank top motivating me. Two, I don't think a class is as intense as my own heavy-lifting workout." Dan Powers, 26, who like Kleinman works in finance and works out at Crunch, says, "Maaaybe, if the rest of the class was good-looking enough I could be talked into it. But I wouldn't go willingly. "

    In fact, only 4 percent of students in high-impact aerobics classes are men, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the industry's trade organization, which represents about 9,000 clubs. Not a promising ratio if you were hoping to meet someone.The good news, says IHRSA spokeswoman Kara

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