Prepping for a bikini (and/or figure, fitness, physique, bodybuilding) show is stressful and show-day can be a whirl wind- especially when you’re carb depleted, tired, and up at 6 a.m. for hair and make-up!
Here’s my “go-to” bikini competition checklist to make sure me and my clients don’t miss anything when packing for show-day (you don’t want to be that girl who shows up at the show venue with everything BUT her bikini!)
1. Suit, Shoes, & Jewelry
First things first-before you pack ANYTHING else make sure you have your bikini, shoes, and jewelry. If you’re flying to a show pack these three things on your carry-on so that no matter what you have what you need to get on stage, everything else is replaceable!
If you have an extra bikini and extra shoes I recommend bringing them too- you never know what might happen last minute and it’s always nice to be able to lend a helping hand if someone else has a wardrobe malfunction back stage!
I recommend getting a cup case to protect your suit, it’s worth the investment especially for a custom suit.
2. Hair and Makeup Kit & Mirror
Often hair and makeup is hours before the show even starts and competitors don’t get on stage until mid-afternoon. That’s a lot of time sitting around with stage hair and makeup and trying to keep everything in place, so make sure you pack a touch up kit with the essentials.
Ask your makeup artists for a sample of the lip color used or pack an extra to touch up with yourself. Make sure you have powder and/or blotting papers to absorb any shine and eyelash glue to fix any mishaps- no one wants to lose an eyelash on stage!
When packing your makeup kit keep in mind the foundation color will be much darker than your norm (MAC NW 42)- most makeup counters will be willing to give you samples of these colors so you end up with just the right amount for any backstage touch-ups and don’t have to purchase full-sized bottles you can’t use daily.
With most shows having bikini, figure, fitness, and physique women all in one change room it can be a challenge to fight for mirror space so if you can bring your own, at least a compact for touch ups before stage.
3. Sewing Kit
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. I’ve never had to use mine (knock on wood), but I always take a comprehensive sewing kit ($10 max from any Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) with scissors, safety pins, needle & thread, fabric glue, the works- just in case!
4. Robe or Sweats
For post-tan and backstage I recommend a loose silk robe or loose sweats. I want to be comfortable and make sure I’m not sweating or rubbing on my tan- opt for a darker color so the tan doesn’t rub off.
Avoid tight clothing like leggings, etc. backstage as they can leave seam lines/indents on your skin!
5. Pump up Weights
Some shows provide a weight area and equipment to pump up before the stage and some don’t, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own just in case.
A simple resistance band or light dumbbell will do- remember it’s just a pump up, not a workout, before stage isn’t the time to go full Hulk mode!
6. Food & Drink
This will vary from competitor to competitor based on your coach/carb up/water load, etc. but make sure you ask ahead of time and pack whatever you might need. I always take more than enough and lots of variety “just in case.”
Remember to focus on what your coach told you regarding pre-stage food and drink as everyone backstage will be doing something different, from sweet potato to cupcakes!
7. Yoga Mat/Pillow/Blanket
When I say show-days can be long, I mean it. I’ve done three shows where we arrived at the venue before 9 a.m. and didn’t get off stage until after 10 for the evening show so I DEFINITELY recommend coming prepared with a yoga mat or foam pad as well as a pillow an even a blanket.
The more you can relax and rest backstage the better- I wish I would have packed these things my first couple of shows!
8. Bikini Bite
Not a total necessity as most show tanning-providers will be available backstage to provide bikini bite and glaze, but I always feel comforted knowing that I have my own in case of emergency. I purchased a roll-on bikini bite for my first show three years ago and it still does the trick today!
9. Phone, Camera, Headphones, & Charger
You’ve worked your booty off to get to the stage so make sure you document it! I’m not one for spending ALL day glued to your phone on show day, but I do recommend making an effort to snap a few backstage pictures with the girls, your friends/family before/after the show, and making sure you bring your charger in case the show runs late.
I prefer to relax back stage and find somewhere quiet to hang out so I always bring headphones to listen to some pre-show playlists ☺
10. Post-Show Necessities
Last, and LEAST (really, this should NOT be at the top of your list, focus on the stage first!)- everything you’ll need for a post-show celebration. Take advantage of the spray tan and newly carb-filled muscles and celebrate with your friends and family.
A cute outfit and shoes to show off what you worked hard for! Leave the post-show junk food at home- right after the stage it’s so easy to over-do it I recommend going for a restaurant meal with friends & family so you don’t pig out post-stage!