For most of you who are reading this post, summer is in full swing and you've adjusted your wardrobe accordingly (i.e. with plenty of shorts, skirts, and dresses).
But for me, dressing like this is fairly new. I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my body, and for a long time I refused to wear anything above knee-length. Sure, I was miserable, but my insecurities were so strong that I was willing to overheat to keep my legs covered.
Then, a few years ago, I had a disgustingly early outdoor work appointment on Coney Island. It was a hot summer day and I knew I'd be miserable if I wore jeans, so I made myself some cut-offs and headed out.
It was only when I got to work that I realized just how short my shorts were, but there was no going back--and guess what? No one said a thing, I didn’t die of embarrassment, and most importantly, I didn’t overheat. Since that day I've never thought twice about showing leg.
A big bonus from my leg liberation (aside from being way cooler) was MORE PRODUCTS! I mean, if I'm going to show off my gams, I need to make them as fly as possible.
Here's the three-step process I use to prime and play up my legs for summer.
1. Prep Legs With An Exfoliating Body Scrub
I am not usually one for DIY, but I can handle making a scrub. All you need is oil--almond and coconut are my go-to--and sugar. (Some people use salt, but salt draws out moisture so I steer clear.) Mix them until they form a paste and scrub away.
For non-DIYers, I recommend Lather Almond Crème Body Buff. I've loved every Lather product I’ve tried, so I was stoked to give this a shot. It's creamy and packed with oils for a hydrating, mess-free application.
My legs are quite dry, so I like to smooth oil all over as soon as I get out of the shower. You can use any oil you like, but I reach for Aura Glow in Almond (which Danielle also loves), because it smells amazing and reminds me of my hippie roots.
2. Prime With A Lightweight Lotion
I add lotion on top of the oil for multi-layered hydration. The trick is to use something lightweight, like Tata Harper Fortifying Body Lotion, which, at $68, I really did not want to like. But I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and my skin is crazy-smooth and super hydrated. I don’t have full-blown Keratosis Pilaris, but I do have annoying bumps on my knees and elbows, and this stuff has nearly erased them. I’m not saying you NEED it, but if you’ve got the funds, you won’t be disappointed. I’m certainly going to restock.
My other favorite? Good old Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion. It’s super cheap, smells incredible, and is reliably hydrating. Also, Palmer’s recently reformulated many of its products (including this one) to be paraben-free, if that’s something that’s important to you.
3. Add Shine And Contour
I’m not really into self-tanners (if you are, check out Alle’s awesome product picks), but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in tricking out my legs! Jao Goe Oil (which I've talked about before) has a delicious smell, thanks to monoi oil, and gives legs an amazing glow.
If you're looking for bronzing power, I love Caudalie Divine Legs. It evens out my legs and imparts a subtle, light-catching shimmer.
You can also pick up The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil for a little less money and a similar effect.
Without getting too Liberace bronze, I will do some SUBTLE leg contouring by applying Divine Legs all over and then highlighting with Lorac Tantalizing Body Bronzing Luminizer. (I buy the travel size since I use it so rarely.)
Contouring is easy: just flex your leg and apply luminizer on the high points. Use a light touch and, as with all makeup application, make sure to blend!
These days, I enjoy my leg routine so much that I get legitimately excited about wearing short-shorts and skirts. In my opinion, beauty should always be about celebrating our magnificence, rather than hiding things. So put on a mini skirt, sparkle up those legs, and shine on you crazy diamonds!
How do you keep your legs looking lovely for summer?