Gwyneth: The secret of my perfect pins
Published 28/11/2012 | 06:00
You can get legs like the stars with exercise and styling tricks, says Deirdre Reynolds
Forget wrinkles – now it's 'kninkles' that could give away your true age. Knee filler is just one of the cosmetic treatments now available for legs here – as a plastic surgeon this week claimed he's cracked the secret to perfect pins.
Moroccan doctor Fahd Benslimane spent 12 years studying the stems of models, Greek statues and even Barbie dolls in a bid to find out what makes them beautiful.
And writing in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery journal, Dr Benslimane concluded: "Over the last 50 years, with the changes in women's fashion, legs have become an important element of seduction.
"[My] goal was to have an ideal aesthetic model and compare the disparity between this model and a patient's reality."
"The first common denominator of all attractive legs is their straightness," he explains. "Attractive legs are straight and in continuity with the thighs.
"This could prove helpful during leg sculpturing to get closer to this ideal."
As the average age for Irish women to hang up their minis hits 40 for the first time, perhaps it's no surprise that some are already splashing out on a nip/tuck to get legs like Cameron Diaz.
"We've definitely seen an increase in the demand for cosmetic treatments for legs among women from their mid-20s upwards," says Dr Peter Prendergast of Venus Medical in Dundrum.
"Focusing on anti-ageing for the face and forgetting about other areas like the legs of back of the hands only results in a look that isn't natural or harmonious.
"Recently, I had one 75 year-old lady who was concerned about a bit of fat on her inner thighs, so we did Vaser Lipo which tightened up the area nicely.
"She was delighted and was showing off her legs to everyone!"
"Macrolane filler for sagging knees and laser or sclerotherapy for thread veins are some of the other treatments we offer for legs."
Unlike your hair, lips or bust however, as Dr Benslimane discovered, ultimately you can't fake perfect pins – it's all in the bones.
"The thing about legs is you're born with them," agrees Stacy Keibler (33), George Clooney's Amazonian girlfriend.
"Anybody can go out and buy boobs – but you're either blessed with attractive legs or you're not. That's what makes them so sexy."
Legalicious Gwyneth Paltrow admits she works out for 45 minutes five times a week to keep hers in shape.
"I never thought that I'd be considered to have a good body," says the Oscar winner. "I was bony up top and kind of dumpy on the bottom. But my trainer, Tracy Anderson, completely changed my legs . . . so that I can do ridiculous things like be a 37-year-old mother of two and wear shorts."
"Genetics determine the size and shape of your legs and calves," says personal trainer James Murphy of Spartan Training & Fitness in Dublin. "But the right exercise will tone what is already there without adding bulk."
"For best results, I'd recommend a 20-minute workout which combines cardiovascular fitness with high intensity weight training.
"Exercises such as dumbbell squats and jump squats – great for the legs and bum – require minimal equipment and time and can be completed at home or in the gym."
Just like Kate Moss, you can also style your way to sexier stems.
"I always want everything shorter, shorter, shorter," the 38-year-old told Vanity Fair. "I got [personal assistant] Fifi to cut a £40,000 coat once because it was mid calf.
"I've got bow legs, so if I do a mid calf look, I look bandy. I know my lengths."
"Opting for a skirt or dress hides where the legs meet the torso, making them look longer," advises stylist Sharon Huggard of Style4You.ie. "The universally most flattering hem length is to the knee or just below it."
"Alternatively, high-waisted trousers worn with the same colour shoes will have the same leg-lengthening effect.
But not even supermodels can escape the curse of orange peel thighs.
Back in 2008, Rosanna Davison lashed back at a website that claimed she had cellulite on her legs.
"It's completely normal as far as I'm concerned," blasted Rosanna (28). "Maybe I have a bit, but doesn't everyone?"
'Unfortunately there's no cure for cellulite," says Dr Prendergast of Venus Medical. "However, treatments such as Kontur MD [radio frequency device] can improve the appearance."
"Even if you've been dimple-free until mid-life, the breakdown of collagen and elastin which leads to lines and wrinkles in the face can become all too apparent on the thighs in the form of cellulite," according to Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, authors of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.
"Apply an anti-cellulite product both morning and night, giving the active ingredients twice the opportunity to tighten and drain. If you apply just once, do it before bedtime – loose night clothes are less likely to rub the product off again than tight daytime clothing.
"Flaws of all kinds are infinitely less visible when the rest of the leg is sun-kissed."
Meanwhile, proud owner of the world's loveliest limbs is Jennifer Aniston.
Scientists working for Braun Electronics Company reckon "the proportions of the leg and thigh as well as the texture of the skin" give the star the best legs in Hollywood.
Her secret? "High heels," reveals bride-to-be Jen (43). "I'm a bit of a shrimp, so anytime I can look a little taller in heels, I'm happy.
"I love the way the calves and legs look in heels. Even when I'm barefoot and trying on an outfit, I'm constantly standing on my toes."
"If you're planning to get your pins out this winter, opaque or nude tights like Kate Middleton are a girl's best friend," adds stylist Sharon Huggard. "And, needless to say, wear the highest heels you can manage!"