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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The Right Way to Shave

Make those legs baby smooth for days… leave behind the cuts and make shaving fun…

I’d bet a lot of money that no one in the world has ever uttered the phrase, “I love shaving my legs!” If you have, cool. And if you don’t shave your legs, more power to ya. But the vast majority of us who have regularly been removing hair from our lower extremities for years have a love-hate relationship with the practice (emphasis on the hate).

But maybe it’s so contentious because we’ve been going about it all wrong. Maybe there’s a better way to shave your legs, one that could simultaneously leave your legs baby smooth for days, not leave behind any cuts or ingrown hairs, and, dare I say it, make shaving fun?

Soften.

Taking your time in a warm shower shouldn’t be hard, but just a reminder to really take advantage of that soothing water and steam if you’re going to shave your legs. Not only will you be super relaxed, but that time in the warm water will soften hair and cause the follicles to swell and open, all of which make for a much closer shave.

Exfoliate. 

Remember that required shop class you took in high school and all the sandpaper you ran through, prepping wood to build your parents a birdhouse? Sanding was tedious, yes, but it was also necessary to make sure the wood didn’t give you splinters, and also so it was smooth and primed to receive paint. In this long-winded metaphor, think of your legs as the wood and a body scrub as the sandpaper: To get a super-close shave, you need to remove any skin obstacles the razor might come up against in its quest.

I’m guessing you already own an exfoliator for your face, and that’s great, but the skin on your face is different from that on your legs. Facial skin is thinner and more sensitive, so while that trusty exfoliator you use once a week is perfect for your delicate mug, you’ll need something with a bit more heft for your legs.

Living LibationsGinger Body Scrub is like a pumice stone for your legs, thanks to the fact that it actually includes bits of pumice stone, and Haconut’s Original Body Scrub is a great option for sensitive skin since the exfoliating agents (coconut shell powder, organic coconut palm sugar and coconut flakes) are gentler than many other body scrubs. And the Himalayan Body Buff from Osmia Organics is a seriously luxe way to soothe and soften your legs thanks to its blend of essential oils. Just be careful to only use this pre-shave as the Himalayan pink sea salt (master exfoliator) can cause some unpleasant burning on open pores.

Choose your tools wisely.

The countless commercials for conventional razors you’ve seen have undoubtedly instilled a belief that the more blades a razor has, the better it is. That blade quantity directly correlates to shave quality. But it’s all a big old lie.

Truth time? The more blades a razor has, the more damage it can do: Ingrown hairs, cuts and general irritation are all thanks to multiple blades that pull hair and cut them below skin level. Skin is delicate, and aggressively scraping so many blades against it over and over again will lead to issues.

So when it comes to picking a razor, opt for simplicity and quality. Why use six mediocre blades in a crappy pink plastic handle when fewer great blades in gorgeous hardware can do the job much better?

For your best shave, opt for something like the Charlotte Razor from Oui Shave. Not only is the two-blade razor great for all skin and hair types (yes, your leg hair has a type, too!), it gets the hair in one pass (no razor burn!), it won’t get gunked up easily, and it’s also heavier than your average disposable razor.

Why does weight matter? Well, the heavier the razor, the closer to the skin it gets, and the closer to the skin it gets, the closer the shave, and the closer the shave, the longer those smooth legs will last. Plus, you’re not actually supposed to apply pressure when shaving, and the weighted handle offers some serious help in that department.

Oil > Cream.

Just like with blade quantity, we’ve all been brainwashed to believe shaving cream is the ultimate in smooth legs. I mean, it even has the word “shaving” in its name. But if you’ve been reading any self-care content lately, you know that anything cream is SO 2015—it’s all about oil right now, and shaving is no exception.

By using an oil instead of something foamy, you provide your skin with a protective barrier from the blade that also offers a closer, smoother shave. Oil also acts as a moisturizer in a way shaving cream doesn’t, creating a well-moisturized surface for the razor to glide over without tugging at the skin whereas foams are often packed with toxins, chemicals and drying agents.

While you can use something like coconut oil, a better option would be something like Oui Shave’s Neroli or Santal Shave Oil, both of which are specifically designed to offer the closest, smoothest, most moisturizing shave possible. Packed with vitamins A and C to improve skin’s tone and texture, and omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 to rejuvenate skin, these shave oils need to be in your shower ASAP.

(And for those of us too lazy to moisturize post-shower, the oil you use in this step will stick around as a great long-lasting moisturizer.)

Take your time.

Everyone remembers the first time they cut themselves really badly while shaving. That moment you feel the razor move against your skin in the wrong way, when you can see the skin pale right before the blood comes to the surface, then flow in a seemingly endless torrent down your leg. I still have a visible scar just above my right ankle from my first serious shaving gash, and while I’d like to say it serves as a constant reminder to be more careful when pressing a sharp blade to my skin, that would be a lie.

But I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it to take your time. As someone who rushes through shaving her legs and ends up with bits of toilet paper stuck to niks all over my legs, let me serve as a cautionary tale. Take your time! Not only will you spare your gams, you’ll be less likely to miss any areas (is there anything worse than getting out of the shower to realize you left an entire hairy strip of leg behind?) and you’ll save a ton on bandages.

Moisturize. 

Alright, you’ve safely emerged from the shower or bath with smooth, cut-free legs…bravo! But you’re not done just yet. Even though you took all the right steps (and you likely can’t see it), shaving still leaves the skin and hair follicles a bit inflamed. After all, you’ve tugged the hair against the grain with a sharp object, so you’ll want to make sure to moisturize. Yes, the shave oil you just used will go a long way in keeping your legs hydrated, but adding an extra layer certainly won’t hurt.

Your best bet here is a coconut oil like Kapuluan’s cold pressed version. Not only will it calm aggravated skin, it’s also naturally anti-viral, antifungal and antibacterial, so any microscopic cuts to the skin will be safe from lingering bacteria. And if you keep the oil in the shower, the warmth and steam will ensure it’s soft enough to use right after you’re done bathing, which is the perfect time to apply since the skin on your legs will be soft and damp, making them much more susceptible to the moisturizing powers of coconut oil.

+ Want to learn more beauty hacks? Check out other tips from Allie here

6 Amazing Beauty Tips for Legs

Get ready to bare yours with these glow-enhancing ideas… 

This post comes to you from beauty contributor, Kari Molvar.

Have you stopped to think about how awesome your legs are? They truly are an amazing source of strength—quite literally—propelling you forward through life. Spring’s best fashion—from high-waist denim shorts to airy rompers —is all about embracing this part of your body and revealing your legs to the world. To lets yours shine (and shimmer, if you like!), try these beautifying tricks.

Do a dry-brush ritual.

In the morning before you shower, gently run an exfoliating brush over your legs. Not only does this lift away dulling, dry flakes—the type that make your legs look meh—but it also stimulates your circulation and gets your blood flowing so you feel energized and alive.

Add a sexy—but subtle—sparkle.

Makeup artists swear by this trick: mix a tiny pinch of bronze metallic glitter into your body lotion, along with a few drop of argan oil to create a hydrating concoction that casts a golden sheen over your legs. Or put a few drops of Gressa’s Illuminating Serum into your lotion and rub on for an instantly pretty gleam.

Cover up any imperfections with concealer.

Make those little bumps, bruises and shaving nicks disappear with a swipe of concealer. Look for a formula that melts into your skin and comes in stick form so you can target trouble spots. Nothing beats Vapour’s Illusionist.

Tighten and tone.

Ok, cellulite is something nearly all of us deal with, and as women, what’s so bad about it anyway? But if you want to minimize pucker-y patches, Pretty Peaushun’s Skin Tight Body Lotion  seals in hydration while scattering light off the surface, so your skin appears more uniform and luminescent.

Remedy sore muscles with a self-care moment.

If your legs feel tired and sluggish at the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than an amazing bath soak. Wild Honey Apothecary’s therapeutic blends are infused with calming Epsom salts and aura-enhancing crystal quartz. After you towel off, massage in a minty balm: Native Atlas’s Muscle Rub is spiked with cooling peppermint and eucalyptus and absorbs quickly without any greasy residue. (Dab a little extra on your hands, cup them over your nose and breath in for a bonus aromatherapy fix).

Don’t forget your feet!

Heal dry heels and stubborn callouses with a hard-working body scrub: Moon Rivers Naturals Coffee Grapefruit smells insanely delicious and softens rough areas without stripping away your skin’s natural oils. Finish with a mini pedicure: Brush on a healing cuticle oil and a bright shade of nail polish —and you’re ready to strut your stuff.

+ Have other beauty tips for legs? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more from Kari here.

This Is Actually The Next Large (Strange) Cosmetic Surgery Pattern

This was originally posted on http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2016/02/calf-augmentation-surgery.html along with the image used.

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You will find lots of body-modification that is unusual methods out mdash & there;you actually might have your cheekbones fixed-up with cavities or your nipples decreased. But since research was printed within the Visual Surgery Diary this past year, one kind of surgery appears to be growing in recognition. And it is most likely not what-you’re anticipating.

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