Body Makeup from Per-fekt, Miracle Skin Transformer, Sally Hansen, Vita Liberata and Becca.
I appreciate the fact that women have the freedom to wear skirts, dresses, or pants to work during the hottest months of the year– men can’t wear bare legs in a professional setting like we can. And I purposely said “bare” because no one wears pantyhose anymore. (I’m not talking about fashion tights, which we wear during the cooler months.) But believe it or not, we did ourselves a disservice by forcing pantyhose out of style and into the category of “frumpy,” “too dressy,” and “uncool.” I’m all for freedom as a woman, but this is a freedom that has been taken away by the fashion police.
So, my question is, why do some women act like bare legs in all forms and states are appropriate in professional settings? No one will think differently of you if your facial skin is blemished and flawed, because you can’t wear clothes over your face. But we (or I) tend to judge women who go to work with distractingly ugly legs. I’m talking about red bug bites, old or inappropriate tattoos, scratches from gardening, veins, stubble, bruises, lumps, etc. Even tan legs can show these flaws so this is not a commentary on paleness. My opinion is that females in offices and courthouses should pay attention to how their legs look before going bare. With this neurotic sentiment in my head, I have been mindful of my leg appearance for years.
Here are my tips to make your legs look the best: (How often have I wanted to stop women and tell them these things?…)
Remember modesty: Modestly cut skirts and dresses will probably make your legs look better than tight and short skirts will, regardless of your personal credo on showing skin. It’s also more professional looking.The right cut and length can take your legs from okay to good looking. Often, showing less thigh and more ankle is very flattering. Try wearing skirts that are longer in the back than in the front, so the backs of your legs are appropriately covered.
The right shoes: We know heels elongate legs and can turn bland into “wow.” But if you haven’t tried on a flesh colored pair of heels, you really should. It makes a difference on everyone. Nude or tan heels for girls with light, medium or tanned skin. Darker brown tones if you have deep or black skin.
Oil them up: No need to look like a body builder. But do consider using a dry oil on your legs for a last step before going out.
Wax/Epilate: Maybe you’ve always just shaved and never considered the alternatives, but listen up now. There are good reasons to look beyond shaving. Waxing and epilating are widely in use and not necessarily more expensive, time consuming, or difficult than shaving. Using one of the method that pulls hair out by the root will help reduce the look of those roots over time, and result in smoother and finer regrowth. This will lead to fewer razor bumps and dark stubble. (I started epilating when I was still in my teens, because shaving re-growth made me unbearably itchy. I could not stand to shave due to the pain and distraction it caused everyday. I bought an epilator and never went back.)
Exfoliate: Especially if you chose to wax or epilate instead of shave, you have to exfoliate your legs regularly. Shaving exfoliates for you, and leaves smooth skin (for a short time). So if you’re not shaving make sure to get a loofah and scrub you can use at every shower.
Regularly apply an aftershave product: This is important for both shavers and waxers/epilators. I like Tend Skin and have used it for years. It helps to reduce inflammation right after hair removal, no matter the method used. Tend Skin also smooths the skin between removals, by removing the top layers of your skin to prevent in-grown hairs. It now comes in a roll-on to make using it even more convenient.
Use lactic acid/ glycolic acid toners or lotions: Along with manual exfoliation, it helps to use a product that chemically exfoliates your skin (especially if you don’t use Tend Skin). Products with lactic acid and glycolic acid will act on the top layers of skin and renew the surface for smooth and pretty skin. Some options are Dermadoctor KP Duty Lotion, or Amlactin (I have gotten away from this because it contains mineral oil. But you can easily find similar products without it.)
Self tan: I almost hate to include this in my list because being pale is also beautiful. But using self tanner helps me feel more confident, so I include it here. If you chose to self-tan, do it the evening after removing hair. For example, shave/wax in the morning. Use Tend Skin and your regular lotion. Then at night, clean your legs off in the shower or with a good sponge and soap, and then apply self tanner to clean skin, letting it develop overnight. I think this is the best way to avoid streaks and irritation. Check out some recent posts featuring new concept self-tanners, here and here.
Use body makeup: Even when I was in my mid twenties, with muscular, tan, smooth legs, I applied leg makeup before heading to the office or appearing in court. I am sure it was unnecessary back then, but I always feared that I would seem disrespectful of my clients and colleagues if I showed off an obvious bruise or vein. I am still a user of body makeup even if I’m not heading to court or to a job interview. Frankly it makes me feel good to have smooth and pretty legs. I have opinions on the best makeup for you to try too.
The first thing to know is that there is leg makeup that “bronzes” or “highlights” and there is leg makeup that “covers.” There are some that do both fairly well. Let’s explore:
Per-fekt Body Perfection Gel: I use the shade “exotic,” which is the deepest shade of the three available. There are also Brilliant and Golden shades. Per-fekt Gel is a high silicone, sheer coverage product. It comes out in a mousse consistency, which is strange at first. The proper way to use it is to warm it between your palms and spread it lightly on your legs. Per-fekt’s website actually had instructional videos on this topic when I last checked.
Per-fekt Matte Body Perfection Gel: Tan (comes in one shade) This is the same product as above, except that it promises a matte look. The original formula does contain some mica particles for an iridescent look, but it’s not shimmery.
Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20: This product is in a white tube, and is the older (original) version of Miracle Skin for body. I like it better than the new version, which comes in a bronze tube. If you can find this old formulation I recommend trying it. Note that the SPF in it may have expired, so the tube may be technically past the expiration date. But as long as the tube is still sealed, this doesn’t matter to me because I am not using the product for sun protection. (Anyhow, if you are covering your skin with color, the sun if effectively “blocked” as it is.) The product is a thick lotion, with some mica particles in it. It spreads well once it’s warmed up. It provides intermediate coverage for the legs. Things like tattoos won’t be covered up, but it will help reduce the look of veins and dark hair follicles.
Miracle Skin Transformer Body Balm: The new formula as mentioned above. This seems more watery than the original, and seems to provide less coverage. It also contains mica particles.
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Spray: This is one of the first leg makeups I ever tried, and I still use it today. It’s available in six shades, and is meant to provide full coverage. The product was reformulated at some point to include a bit of glow. But it’s not shimmery. You should pick the shade closest to your actual skin tone, and plan to cover every inch of skin on your legs so you don’t look blotchy. Once you get the hang of the spray and spread technique, your legs will look pretty close to perfect. However, this product tends to make my legs feel dry during the day. That may be the biggest drawback to it. It is the most transfer resistant of the products I’ve tried over the years. This makes a huge difference in wearability and the need to dry clean or stain treat your clothing.
Vita Liberata Body Blur HD: This is a new release for Summer 2016. I bought it to try out, and found that it is similar to the new formula of Miracle Skin Transformer. One thing I like though is that the product insert says you can use this on your face. By promoting it as a dual use product Vita Liberata made a smart move. As a facial product this would end up giving you a HUGE amount of product in one tube. I tried it on my face, and it gives the effect of a very sheer tinted moisturizer.
Becca Luminous Body Perfecting Mousse: I started with the Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector for my face, and was interested in the body version. While I love the facial bronzer, the body mousse is less impressive for what I want. The body mousse is more sheer than the other products I mentioned. It has a comparatively high shimmer factor too. It would work well layered over Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Spray, for a some bronze effect on covered skin.
I am always on the hunt for the next best leg lotion that will cover and make me look great. If you know of any products that fit the bill, please chime in!
–The product or products featured in this post were chosen, purchased, and paid for in full by me, Jackie. However this post contains an affiliate link or links that direct you to a third party site where you may purchase the product(s). Out of that third party purchase I may make a small commission, not visible to you. For more information please see this page.–