Step 1: Hair Removal
Although it's always the root of debate, I simply don't feel prepared to let my legs loose unless they're completely hair free. Even the first signs of stubble leave me weak at the knees; the teeny tiny hairs may not be visible to anyone else, but if I know they're there I wither like a wallflower. Although shaving is quick and easy, during the summer months I find epilating, waxing or using laser to be far more effective and long-lasting. When you're regularly slipping into something a little slinky or leg revealing, you don't want to worry about whether or not you've got the first hints of re-growth. Epilating is my personal favourite as it grabs the hairs from the root to leave my legs smooth for up to four weeks; although it may be a little more uncomfortable than a razor, it pays off dividends when I feel confident for weeks on end.
Step 2: Exfoliation
It's not just our faces that need a little exfoliating - our limbs need just as much love and attention. Using a gentle scrub on legs twice a week will help to buff away dead skin, revealing a much smoother and radiant base underneath. Body scrubs help to create an even surface on the skin too, ensuring that you've got an incredible canvas to work with.... Adding a touch of fake tan always works much better when you've exfoliated effectively for up to a week before, as the colour clings to the surface and washes away with dead skin cells as they shed. If you don't have much dead skin on the surface your colour will not only look much more even, but it will last longer and require much less maintenance. (More time for cocktails!)
Step 3: Colour
Without a touch of fake tan my legs literally look transparent. Although I'm not too bothered about applying tonnes of colour to the rest of my body, my legs need a hit of bronze to look healthy and summer appropriate. There are so many sunkissed tanning products available now that offer a gentle glow and subtle finish, rather than the overtly orange colours of late; some even offer up to a three week tan, so you don't even have to constantly re-apply. If you're a little cautious of fake tan, then you may want to try a tinted gradual tanner or even a wash-off colour that can be applied daily exactly where you need it. Whatever your preference, adding a little bronze to your legs will give you the confidence you need to show off some limb.
Step 4: Hydration
No leg makeover would be complete without a serious injection of moisture and goodness. Dove's new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oils offer the benefit of Linoleic Acid, Omega 6 and Vitamin E: these natural fatty acids are known to soothe and nourish the skin, helping it to repair itself. The formula is non-greasy and perfectly suited for applying every morning; the Shea Butter & Vanilla variant contains sunflower seed oil and shea butter for a super luxurious finish, as well as a gorgeous golden shimmer. The nurturing ingredients mean that your skin receives long lasting care, leaving it looking and feeling beautifully soft. Adding a touch to the middle section of the front of your legs and leaving on the surface will also give the illusion of thinner limbs - something you can repeat throughout the day to leave your legs looking and feeling fab.
Do you love your legs or loathe them? Do you have any top tips for getting them out and feeling confident?
The Dove 'Purely Pampering' Week is sponsored by Dove.
The Purely Pampering Nourishing Oil is available in Pistachio & Magnolia and Shea Butter & Vanilla variants, priced £8.99 each and available from Boots, Tesco and ASDA.