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April terrifies me. Why? As the mornings get lighter and the afternoons longer, this means that inevitably the weather gets warmer. I’m not against it getting hotter – I like the rest of the UK get seriously overexcited about the upcoming rosé and blossom tree season, but good lord my legs aren’t ready. I haven’t shaved since November – not an exaggeration, ask my boyfriend. I’m terrible at fake tan; so my legs are practically see-through. No joke, I think I can actually see ligaments? Or are they arteries? Whatever, my legs aren’t ready for an audience yet. The panic has already started. Workmates have had their ankles out for a while. A really good friend has been wearing shorts since January (I think she’s just really fond of her legs though and gets them out at the drop of a hat, but still.) For the past couple of weeks I have, like I’ve been told to by every fashion magazine and website, been wearing fishnets under ankle swinger jeans. But apparently this isn’t enough for April. It wants me to turns my back on tights completely, thrust them into a cupboard until October. And so readers, I embark on a mission to get my legs summer ready by April.
Here are the steps that I’m taking to get super tanned, super toned and super smooth legs. Join me won’t you.
Dry body brushing
This is something us beauty journos always tell you to do – ‘it’s great for circulation’, ‘it works wonders on cellulite’ blah blah blah - and we’re pretty sure you ignore it. Don’t worry, so do I. HOWEVER. I recently got sent one by Mio so decided to take it home and give it a proper whirl. I use it while I wait for my shower to heat up (FYI mine takes ages, you may need to start a bit earlier if you have a super duper boiler. Lucky you.). I start from my ankles as that’s what ‘the experts’ tell me to do and work my way up towards my heart. (I don’t actually go all the way up to my heart, obvs. I stop at my backside.) And I kind of make circular motions with the brush. I have to tell you, the first time it really really hurt. The bristles on this brush are not made of anything soft; they’re made of the devil’s fingernails. They scratch and scrape over my bare skin and my poor little limbs instantly rouge up. I suppose though that’s the circulation kicking in… There are also nodules on the brush, which apparently massage your legs. Anywhoo I do this for about five minutes, two and a half on each leg, and although I had to grit my teeth to begin with I have got used to it now and weirdly get some pleasure from the heat that emanates from my legs afterwards. It feels like it’s working. Then I hop in the shower.
You know what this is. I don’t really need to explain how to do this. However, a little side note: be careful which one you opt for. We’re against plastic microbeads here at Powder and hope you are too. Choose wisely, love the fish. The great thing about exfoliation is that the build up of dead skin cells on your legs – mmm tasty – is quickly eliminated and beautiful skin is revealed below. It’s good to do this a couple of times a week, to keep the roughness at bay and also to prep the skin for the fake tan that you’ll inevitably be applying like clockwork come summer. My particular favourite is Ameliorate. It’s a combination of natural granules that physically remove dead skin and lactic acid that encourages your skin’s natural exfoliation process, which is really clever if you ask me.
Ah razor, you’ve been underworked for the past couple of months. You’ve only really been tending to my armpits recently, but now your time has come and it’s going to be a big job. You might be waxer, an epilator or a hair removal cream user. Whichever you are, this is the time to really put some elbow grease into it. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably have a nice layer of fuzz that’s been keeping your lower half warm during the chilly winter months. This must now be removed, because a) I don’t think anyone really wants to see my legs in that condition and b) I don’t think I’ll get a shag if I continue to let it grow.
Ooh this is the really nice bit. Slathering on a hydrating cream/gel/oil to my thirsty legs. I like this bit so much, because it’s almost therapeutic. I could spend a lot of time applying moisturiser to my legs. I think it’s because it goes on so nicely and all I have to do is bend down. Don’t get me started on trying to moisturise my back. I have a couple of favourites that I rotate between. Kiehl’s Crème de Corps because it is THE BEST BODY CREAM IN THE WORLD. This is a fact, please don’t try and argue the case for another, because you would be wrong. However, and I hate to admit it, it doesn’t dry quite as quickly as would like it to. It’s wonderful before you slip into bed, but frankly it’s awful if you’re about to slip into anything woolly or silky. So for daytime, I like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil. Like everything else in this range, it’s excellent and absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave that greasy residue that so many body oils do. Plus it’s 100ml and in a plastic bottle, so marvellous for travel.
I am so terrible at fake tan that I don’t even bother. What I do do, is go and see a wonderful man called James Harknett at the Away Spa at the W Hotel in London. He makes me look like a Brazilian beauty in under 10 minutes with his spray tanning talents. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. However, it isn’t feasible to go and visit James every morning. We’d probably get a bit sick of each other after a while and I would hate for that to happen, as he’s the only other man apart from my boyfriend who gets to see my boobies and that’s a relationship you don’t want to get rid of. I needed to find an easy alternative and luckily the other day, I found it: Vita Liberata’s Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish. It makes my skin look seriously damn good. It smoothes out any imperfections, like obvious veins, and gives my legs a really nice tanned look, not the ‘when did you manage to fit in a four-week trip to the Maldives since I saw you last night’ look. Everyone keeps describing it as an Instagram filter for your body and now I totally get it.