Keep It Short: Prep Your Legs for Their Best Summer Yet

Keep It Short: Prep Your Legs for Their Best Summer Yet

As hemlines rise with the temperatures, it’s time to focus on your two best summer accessories…

This post comes to you from contributor Arden Andrews.

As spring finally gives way to summer this month, it’s officially time to consider your two most important warm weather accessories — that set of stems you’ve been wrapping in denim and lycra for the majority of 2017. Swapping ankle-grazing hemlines for leg-baring looks is all about preparation, which is why we’ve put together your DIY guide to buffing, hydrating, and protecting your gams for a season in the sun. Below, the necessary steps to letting your legs live their best life this summer:

Step 1: Polish to Perfection

Dryer times leave your legs dull and ravaged of moisture, making circulation-boosting exfoliation the key to bringing the life back to your lower half. Buff away dead skin cells with a nourishing salt scrub, or pair your favorite body wash with a sisal bath brush to slough off dull spots while encouraging blood flow—a must for maintaining youthful skin long term.

Step 2: Elevate Your Routine

Toss your plastic pool toy of a razor for this glam upgrade that’s designed specifically to minimize irritation and ingrown hairs. The nourishing neroli oil acts as an equally modern alternative to notoriously drying shave foam, replenishing skin with vitamins and fatty acids as it allows the blades to safely glide across the surface.

Step 3: Build Up to It

There’s a reason chic French visionaries like Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker popularized the suntan—a bronze glow has the uncanny ability to hide imperfections and sculpt limbs, especially when it doesn’t come at the cost of aging UV rays. With a paraben-free gradual tanning lotion or organic tan extender, you can build that flattering shade of color at a believable rate — no pretend trip to Bali required.

Step 4: Protect Your Assets

It may feel as though you don’t need to block up your legs because they seem to burn at a slower rate than your face and neck, but get serious — the most common place for melanoma on women is their legs. And if that doesn’t scare you straight, the photodamage from extended bouts of unprotected sun should — no one’s trying to rush into crepe-y knees and sunspots faster than they’re fated. This organic, water-resistant SPF formula sprays on consistently sheer, so you won’t have to waste a minute rubbing it in.

Step 5: Let It Gleam

Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a turn on the dancefloor, a little luster never hurts. Shimmer products not only dazzle our senses, they also camouflage (or shall we say, enhance?) problem areas with the help of light-reflecting particles. And as if a superfine dusting of rose gold wasn’t tempting enough, this formula adds the healing powers of bentonite clay into the equation, plus leaves behind the soft scent of lavender as you march confidently toward the next heat wave.

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How to Spritz Your Vitamins: A Lesson from Linné

How to Spritz Your Vitamins: A Lesson from Linné

More than your average mist, Linné’s new formula is changing the skincare delivery game…

What do you get when you combine the ingredients of a multivitamin, the energy of a crystal garden, and the ease of a hydrosol? The answer is Linné’s clever skincare hybrid, Refresh Facial Mist, which is fast becoming a favorite of fashion’s elite, with style stars like Kate Foley, Michelle Violy Harper, and the Hadid sisters (Alana gifted it to Gigi and Bella this past Christmas) amongst its earliest adopters. And in a time where it’s hard to decipher which products are truly beloved and which are funded celebrity advertisements, Linné cuts out the guesswork by doing zero paid influencer marketing—meaning their fans are as organically grown as the ingredients in the bottle.

Jenna Levine, Founder & CEO, launched the brand just last year after decades of making her own skincare products from natural and edible ingredients, and over a year studying native plant botany and herbal medicine. In an effort to manage her own psoriasis and the cystic acne her sister struggled with at the time, Jenna explored a new delivery system for the ingredients she studied. “I love hydrosols and regularly distill my own, but I wanted to formulate something less familiar and address some sort of need,” she explains. “I learned that most Americans are deficient in magnesium, an element better absorbed transdermally (through skin) than via digestion. I saw this as an opportunity to create an easy-to-apply dermal multivitamin that combined a synergy of minerals to support cellular health.” With her careful blend of organic botanicals and raw minerals, Jenna’s recipe boasts the ability to remedy a slew of complications in the body and the spirit. “I think people are taking better care of their skin than ever before,” says Jenna of her logic. “Mists provide an affordable and easy delivery system that can be administered any time of day, making self-care super simple.” Below, the mastermind breaks down a few ingredients from her powerful list, and what they bring to the table:

Organic Sulfur: “softens the skin and improves permeability to clear the pores and allow products to absorb more readily. Additionally, it is known to prevent acne by controlling the rate of keratin production and improving the strength and elasticity of the skin.”     

Aloe Vera: “has 18 amino acids that work in association with other compounds of the human body to deliver numerous health benefits. The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is one of the best natural remedies for sunburns, skin abrasions, wounds, rashes acne and psoriasis.”

Vegan Hyaluronic Acid: “for mists to actually hydrate, they have to contain molecules like hyaluronic acid that attract and bind to water molecules. Some hyaluronic acid comes from rooster comb, ours comes from the fermentation of yeast. It is vegan, gmo-free and like all of our products 100% cruelty free.”

Zinc, Copper, and Magnesium: “inhibit free radical damage caused by the sun making them a welcome beach trio. Our copper is sourced from malachite, our magnesium from olivine, and our zinc from smithsonite. Beyond increasing cellular energy, oxygen, and promoting elasticity and firmness, these gems have metaphysical properties:”

Malachite: “is known to clear and activate all chakras, and is often called the ‘stone of transformation.’”

Olivine: “is celebrated for its anti-fatigue properties and for stabilizing emotions. It is also known to reduce anxiety and strengthen the immune system and metabolism.”

Smithsonite: “can relieve stress and boost the immune system, and moreover represents charm, kindness, positive happenings and auspicious new beginnings.”

+ Spritz away, and shop this game-changing dose of vitamins today

Lead photo by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

Golden Opportunities: Why Sunless Tanning Has Never Been Healthier

Golden Opportunities: Why Sunless Tanning Has Never Been Healthier

Modern sunless-tanners are embracing a natural route to a golden glow, turning the ritual of self-tanning into an experience in health and self-care. 

Gone are the days when a “healthy” sunless tan meant slathering chemicals across your bare skin, plugging your nose, and crossing your fingers in hopes that whatever shade you turned the next morning would veer closer to Golden Grahams than Cheetos Puffs. Modern versions have cast aside the old stereotypes, infusing formulas with skin-friendly ingredients, intuitive color technology, and scents that evoke a breezy beach party (rather than leaving you breathless).

For a lesson in embracing a self-care approach when practicing the art of self-tanning, we turned to Madame LA LA founder Nicole Dash Jones, who dreamt up the forward-thinking bronzing brand while lounging poolside at The Mondrian in West Hollywood (so chic!). With A-list clientele like Gigi Hadid, Olivia Palermo, and Blake Lively, Madame LA LA’s cruelty-free collection is on the short list of futuristic formulas putting natural ingredients in the spotlight. “Everything must be in balance when it comes to achieving a healthy glow,” explains Jones. “As much as laying out in the sun is appealing, it’s not going to do much good for your skin.” Below, five steps to achieving UV-free, Gisele-inspired summer color:

Nourish Your Skin with Good-For-You Ingredients 

Fusing a variety of unique anti-aging and hydrating ingredients like coconut water, green tea and vitamin E with an innovative form of organic DHA, Jones created a tightly edited tanning range of complexion-perfectors in the form of body mousses and a wrinkle-fighting face serum. “When you’re using a self-tanner, you don’t really want to be putting harmful chemicals on your skin all the time,” says Jones of her logic behind harnessing organic plant extracts that contain the caramel color that gives DHA its power. “If you can do it naturally, why not take that route?”

Polish Up Your Prep Work for Easy Application 

“Make sure to exfoliate the skin before applying,” says Jones, who recommends a salt or coffee scrub to slough off dry patches, preventing any blotchiness in color. She suggests smoothing self-tan mousse directly onto freshly scrubbed skin and blending with a pair of latex-free gloves to “really make use of all the formula without it sinking into a tanning mitt.”

For the West Coast face serum, Jones shares her trick to nailing down a streak-free, soft-focus glow. “Apply a pea sized amount to the forehead, cheeks, and chin, then blend with a bronzing or foundation brush for a perfect finish!”

Relish The Dreamy Aroma of Old-School Sunbathing 

Put off by the “unbearable, horrific chemical smell” of other tanning formulas, Jones set out to mimic the sensory experience of sunbathing, minus the UV damage. “We wanted to have a fresh coconut scent so that you have the same sensation that you have from using a tanning lotion on the beach,” she says of the line’s now-iconic aroma. “It adds to the experience— you’re at home, but you have this coconut fragrance drifting around that immediately makes you feel more relaxed—like an exotic holiday vibe.”

Enhance Your Actual Color 

For anyone that’s woken up after a professional spray tan and blushed at the shockingly dark transformation, Jones found an at-home solution via lower levels of DHA blended with natural ingredients. “It actually customizes to your complexion—as soon as it hits your skin, you know what color you’re going to be.” The brand’s mousses and serum fully develop over just three hours, and for any fair-skinned beauties who shy away from heavy formulas, Madame LA LA Light has one of the lowest tanning agents on the market. “There are no surprises! You won’t wake up the next day and look like you’ve been to Barbados for two months.”

Ease into An Iconic (and Temporary) On-The-Go Glow 

Who says a copper complexion has to come with a side of commitment? When designing the cosmetic Bronzing Ball, which adds a universal gleam to lids, cheeks, and limbs in the form of an aerodynamic highlighter, Jones drew inspiration from the pros. “I was really inspired by the glows that the Victoria’s Secret models always had–like a late 90s Gisele Bundchen,” she explains. “It’s shimmery, but not glittery- just healthy.” The dome-shaped cream formula washes off at the end of the day, and offers stress-free travel potential for a night out. “It’s super easy to throw into a handbag as an alternative to breakable bronzers.” The end result? “The kind of subtle, sun-kissed look you achieve in LA, without the burn!”

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