Style Beauty

Saturday 23 August 2014

Legs do it: Get your pins in shape to show them off

It's time to get your pins back in shape so you can show them off, so here are the panellists' top picks

Sarah Caden

Published 01/06/2014 | 02:30

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Pictured from left: Boots No7 Silky Leg Oil; Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs Spray; This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil; Kiehl's Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub Grapefruit; L'Occitane Almond Tonic Body Oil

There are parts of the body that we pretty much pretend don't exist for most of the year. Then the sun comes out and, suddenly, we're forced into facing up to the toll of that neglect.

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The legs, which we are tackling this week, might be the easiest area to get in hand, so to speak. Having been entombed in tights and trousers for up to nine months, your newly bared legs will immediately tell a sorry tale of disregard. In many cases, they will resemble the surface of a heat-parched clay desert. Or a camel's hide.

To get your legs fit for public consumption, you'll need to exfoliate first, and, before you roll your eyes in anticipation of a bathroom floor made gritty with salt or sugar scrubs, let us point you to an in-shower, speedy option. Then, for the speediest route to supple, shiny pins, get yourself a good oil. And look for the words "dry oil" in the description, or you'll have slippery legs and grease marks on your clothes.

For lovely legs, persist with both steps for a few days – and no more ignoring. For a few months, at least.

BEST OVERALL

Boots No7 Silky Leg Oil, €14.95, Boots nationwide

The cost and the consistency of this product make it this week's winner. The price is very good for an effective leg oil that is composed of jojoba, grape seed and sweet almond oils, as well as Moroccan argan oil, which is rich in vitamin E. The texture feels thick and rich, but it's not at all slithery, with a dry-but-soft finish. "I like that this sprays on, that it is in a plastic bottle, and that it's small enough for carry-on luggage," said one panellist.

BEST TAN TINT

Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs Spray, €7.99, Dunnes Stores; Penneys; selected pharmacies nationwide

Tan that goes on fast and comes off just as speedily is ideal in the Irish summer, allowing you to show off your legs the minute an occasion arises, but not leaving you looking fake on the rainy day that follows. This is a spray-on, shower-off affair, in a week-in-the-sun shade. "Convincing colour and this is incredibly easy to use," said a panellist.

BEST GLOSSY GAMS

This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil, €49, Arnotts; selected pharmacies nationwide

An oil that is thick but not greasy, which is no mean feat in the crowded dry-oil department. Made up of rose, sandalwood and evening primrose oils, among others, it's fabulously rich, with a deeply nutty fragrance. It feels like a real treat. And it soon soaks into the skin, instantly leaving a dry but sheenily soft surface. "Weirdly, my legs looked like they were a tiny bit less milk-bottle-ish with this on," one panellist said. "And, pathetically, I love the packaging, too."

BEST SMOOTH PINS

Kiehl's Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub Grapefruit, €26, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts

You can do all the moisturising in the world, but those legs won't look much better than an elephant's ear if you don't give them a scrub, even just for a little bit. The problem is that dead skin cells are, by nature, dull and impossible to rehydrate, and you need to get your moisturiser to the living ones. "A little of this scrub goes a long way," said a panellist. "It turns richly creamy in the shower, which makes it feel gentle, too."

BEST TONING TREAT

L'Occitane Almond Tonic Body Oil, €41, L'Occitane shops nationwide

According to the makers, this almond-based and scented body oil will improve the appearance of cellulite with a month's use. Certainly, it produces a pleasingly energising tingle on application, and prolonged use most certainly makes for luxuriously smooth skin. "I love using this," a panellist said, "though, at first, the richness made me think that it would be a bit slimy-feeling. It's not. It's actually quite refreshing and zingy."

Email: thepanel@independent.ie

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