Get lovely legs – fast

By Amy Lawrenson


This morning I got my ankles out, cropped trousers and brogues. It won't be long before we’re digging out our shorts and summer dresses – cue a whirlwind of panic. Here’s my must-have list of products that will take your legs from unsightly to lovely in no time.


The Basics


Start exfoliating, like, now. I recommend Clinique's Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream, £18.50. It’s heavily granulated and has a refreshing menthol fragrance which cools tired legs.

Add to your arsenal Dead Sea Genuine Bath Salts, £6.99, which you can buy in a big box from Boots. Put a handful into your bath with essential oils (I like lavender if I'm bathing before bedtime). The salts draw out all the toxins, pretty powerful stuff.

On top of this you will need to body brush in long upward sweeps from your ankle to your waist every morning and night. This will boost circulation and force the toxins up to the liver and out of your body. If you do both of these every day for a week, plus drink copious amounts of water you should notice a drastic change in a short space of time - ideal pre-holiday.

The Moisturisers

Decleor's Baume Slim Effect, £41, is so powerful at removing toxins that if you slather this on before bed, you will actually need to get up at night to use the bathroom. I didn't believe it until I tried it and awoke at 4am (I never do) desperate for the loo.

For a purse friendly buy try Johnson & Johnson's reformulated 24 hour moisture extra rich body lotion,  with contain extract and oils it leaves your skin baby soft for just £2.99.

If moisturising is a bit too high maintenance, visit the Avon website and buy yourself the Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray, £5 (it's on offer at the moment for a tiny £2). You can spritz this over damp legs when you’re still in the shower - super time saving. The oil penetrates open pores for soft, sheeny legs in no time.

The Tan

A healthy tan will hide a multitude of sins including broken veins and blemishes. The three best tanners I can recommend for the job are -

Decleor's new Self tanning Milk, £22.50. It's a gradual tanner than can be applied neat or mixed with your body lotion and looks very natural.

Tantastic's Instant Tan, £20, is a liquid tanner. It’s by far the easiest tan I have used and as long as you don't moisturise right before application you'll be totally streak free and able to get dressed pronto.


Laura Mercier's Body Bronzing Make-up, £30, is a quick fix. It's an instant, wash-off tan that imparts colour and a hint of shimmer.

The Healthy Glow

For special occasions, add shimmer to your tan. If you work the sheen up the front in the middle of your shins and thighs your legs will actually appear slimmer. J-Lo's tip, apparently.

My top three are St Tropez's Skin Illuminator, £15, which gives a pretty pinky-purple sheen; Benefit's Body So Fine, £24.50, which is a favourite on shoots for evening out skin tone and imparting a pretty, subtle scent; and Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Body Oil, £26, which gives a soft sheen and has the most amazing coconut scent (on counter at House of Fraser from 29 March).

The Exercises

Sorry, but all manner of lotions and potions won't completely do the job. A little exercise will go a long way.

James Duigan, Elle 'the body' Macpherson's trainer ( recommends this regime for legs:

"Start with lunges specifically my ‘disco’ lunge for which you throw your arms in the air (in a Y shape) as you lunge.  This really helps to improve posture and burn fat.  Do 15 reps on each leg.

Then find a bench in a park or a chair and step up (bringing the other leg up to join each time) and down 15 times on each leg. To work the arms, hold them out straight in front of you."

Next, move onto squats with a twist: "Squat as if you are going to sit on a chair and twist your body to one side (alternate sides). This engages the abdominals and burns more fat. Do 20 reps.

Follow that with leg raises. Lie on your side and place a fitness band around your ankle and lift your leg upwards. The resistance of the band will work the muscles. Do 15 reps each side."

But to get the most out of your leg exercises James advises “Burpees, they’re best if you really want to smash calories. Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor, then kick feet back to a push up position. Immediately return your feet to squat position and repeat this for 10 reps."

If you do a couple of rounds of these, four times per week you should really notice a difference.

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