I remember the first time I saw them. This incredible pair of absolutely flawless legs, sitting right next to me - in real life. Of course, we see them all the time in magazines, those cartooned versions of people, nothing to take seriously. So when I saw them attached to a real live person, I understood for the first time that silky smooth, practically poreless legs might actually be achievable.
I just want to look like I stepped out of an old Hollywood movie, is that too much to ask?
That was the day I set out on a quest to discover how to achieve magazine quality, airbrushed looking legs.
And here's what I found..
5 TIPS TO TAKE YOUR LEGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Tip #1 NEVER GO TO BED WITHOUT WASHING YOUR LEGS
Okay, so you don't actually have to 'wash' your legs with soap and water. I mean, this is definitely a yes if you have the time, but if nothing else, use a generously doused cotton ball with toner (witch hazel will do the trick, click here for the one I use) to scrub off the ingrown-inducing pollutants. This will keep your legs smooth and bump free. Witch hazel is moisturizing as well, so I don’t even need to apply lotion afterward.
This step is especially important in the summer when your bare legs are more exposed to environmental toxins. Washing your legs with soap in the shower, and at night after exposing them to the elements, as well as using a natural toner to remove the last traces of impurities, will keep your legs bump free and smooth as silk.
Cleansing and toning are a gentle and effective way to exfoliate. Beware of harsh scrubs and exfoliating gloves which can actually open your pores, making them appear larger and more noticeable.
Tip #2 GIVE YOURSELF SOME SUGAR
Sugaring and waxing are much better methods of hair removal than shaving. I feel like anyone who tells you shaving doesn't make your hair grow back in darker is selling something. Just look at your legs after shaving. Do your pores look larger? Is the hair darker and more prickly as it grows back in? This is not rocket science, ladies, it's a toddler sized observation. And, it does NOT have to be your reality.
Sugaring and waxing both grab ahold of your hair and pull it out by the root. This means it won't grow back for a week or more (depending on your hair growth pattern) and when it does, it will be softer and finer, lighter and more sparse.
Sugaring is actually the most gentle method of hair removal I know. Now, before you can say 'how is ripping hair off your body gentle?' listen, sugar is an all natural, ancient method that pulls the entire hair out, moving with the natural direction of the hair growth instead of against it.
Sugaring is also cleaner than waxing. Unlike hot wax, which is double and triple dipped back into the container, sugar is formed into an air temp ball and only one is needed for the entire process. Did I mention you could eat it. But don't. It goes straight to your thighs.
My favorite Sugaring Salons in Seattle, WA Baby Face Spa
NOTEWORTHY MENTION: Scotty Cunha, the Kardashian's stylist, recommends Women's Nair for Sensitive Areas (small white bottle) for getting the bikini area and between the cheeks. Less expensive and one thousand percent better than shaving the hair there.
Discovered this on The Skinny Confidential Podcast, which if you don't know these guys - click here
photo stoned immaculate
Tip #3 EPILATORS ARE YOUR FRIEND
You can't always get to a spa, but instead of shaving, epilate. Epilating at home is much less expensive than sugaring and waxing and it's perfect for a quick fix. It's also good for keeping up with your lady parts and underarms. You can do your legs too, but it requires a LOT of patience. Not to mention pain management. I've found that the more you do it, the less you feel it. That's because the hair keeps growing in finer, softer and easier to pull out.
Invest in a good epilator and it will make you happy for a loooong time. This is the epilator I use. It's cordless and comes with extra sheering attachments if you want to get fancy. Use your imagination.
Tip #4 CELLULITE - BUILD A THICKER SKIN
Ugh. One of my least favorite features. My first advice: Steer clear of groupons promising inexpensive cures. I've tried a couple that have actually made it worse! Thanks to cold, painful suction rollers and ultrasonic radio frequencies, I now have cellulite on the front of my thighs. Smh. Since these quick tricks didn't work, I needed to find what is actually causing cellulite in the first place.
Cellulite is simply lumps of fat pushing up through bands of connective tissue, that loosen as we age. Thicker skin covers it better, so here are a list of ways to develop thicker skin.
COLLAGEN with HYALURIC ACID & VIT C
Collagen helps maintain skin's elasticity and firmness, hyaluric acid helps plump skin out and vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for replenishing collagen and helps protects cells from oxidative stress. I discovered this product on Champagne at Shannon's You can see by looking at Shannon that it also makes your hair and nails grow thick and beautiful.
VIT A, C & MAGNESIUM These vitamins are 'crucial in maintaining skin health. (They) have been studied extensively for their role in wrinkle reduction and for their anti-aging properties but are rarely studied in their effect on cellulite. This is likely due to the general lack of understanding surrounding cellulite: that cellulite is actually a result of the degeneration of connective skin tissues' Sarah Turner
When we’re young our connective tissue is tight. As we get older, the connective tissue loosens and the fat squeezes through. To find out why American women have more cellulite, click this link
Because poor circulation makes cellulite so much worse, it's important to keep moving throughout the day. You know what they say 'sitting is the new cigarette'. Jumping is especially good to get circulation going, so I put a mini trampoline in my living room. This way I can build better circulation while binge watching that decade old show I just found out about. #lifeasamom
Compression stockings may be good for circulation, but your skinny jeans could be making you fat. If your clothes are cutting off your circulation, opt for looser lighter fabrics. Poor circulation is one of the leading causes of cellulite. It makes it difficult to get nutrients to the affected area and weakens the skin’s connective tissue, causing more lumps. Not to mention varicose veins and poor digestion. Not a good look.
Body brushing helps get rid of cellulite by improving lymphatic drainage and releasing toxins. Make sure you use a soft brush that won’t tear your skin, and drink enough water afterward to ensure all the toxins flush out of your system. This and using a body roller are the top things I've done, outside of exercise, that's made a noticeable difference. Bonus, it also makes skin smoother. It works best for me when I'm brushing at least 4 times a week. Click here to see how it's done.
'Moving on a foam roller loosens and opens your muscle fascia [tight interwoven fibers] and causes more nutrient-rich blood to circulate through those fibers, which raises your resting metabolic rate and breaks up fatty tissues.' - Ashley Borden, Celebrity Trainer
Drinking water and eating foods primarily composed of water (cucumber, lettuces, fruit, etc..) should be one of your highest priorities in life. It elevates mood, plumps and hydrates skin, eliminates toxins, and helps control appetite. Among many, many other things. Also, avoid drinks that dehydrate. I'm not saying give up all caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are definitely dehydrating, I mean you've got to live. Maybe just moderate them in proportion to how much you actually care about getting rid of cellulite. And wrinkles. And aging in general. If you do drink caffeine and alcohol (raising my hand) make sure to drink extra water along with it.
photo 1 Hotel Miami
I’m currently writing a post about the best ways to hydrate. When it’s finished you can read it here.
For the ultimate resource in cellulite prevention and removal, check out 'The Cellulite Investigation'. Melissa has created a comprehensive & easy to read website dedicated to the subject.
As with all good things, it will take time to see the results. I’d give it a good 2-3 months. You will notice the difference.
Annnd finally ..
Tip #5 SELF LOVE
This one, above all else, is key. Because there's nothing sexier than feeling free in your body. Look at yourself in the mirror. Find all the things you love. Find your best angles. Buy clothes that accentuate what you love and hide what you hate. Take selfies that turn you on. Even if no one else sees them. And bask in the beauty of imperfection that makes you unique and sets you apart from all others.
- Mix a couple drops of vitamin E oil into your lotion for a radiant glow, and of course plenty of health benefits.
- If you bruise easily, start taking arnica (it dissolves under your tongue and tastes good). Pineapple also helps stop bruising because it contains bromelain. Garlic, on the other hand, can make you bruise easier.
AIRBRUSHING SCARS & STRETCHMARKS
- If you need to quickly cover scars, bruises or stretchmarks, you can apply leg makeup. Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs is inexpensive and popular. I've also heard good things about Prtty Peaushun's Skin Tight Body Lotion