Get Your Legs Ready For Summer

Read Heart presenter and beauty writer Nicola Bonn's step-by-step guide for perfect pins

I have always been incredibly envious of women with lovely legs.
The minute the sun comes out, out too come their long, brown limbs, framed by pretty little skirts/shorts. In the meantime, my white, much shorter specimens are still cowering in shame under a thick pair of black tights.
Getting my pallid legs out each year has never been easy for me, but there is no denying that it does eventually have to happen. Thanks goodness there are many things that you can do to make this seasonal rite of passage much easier. No you can’t make your legs longer, but you CAN make them smooth, soft and tanned thanks to a selection of great products on the market.
So, here’s my guide for gorgeous summer legs:
Step one: Acceptance
Get legs out in private. Take a deep breath and look in the mirror. Take stock of hair situation and level of paleness. Shrug shoulders and smile. In a day or two you’re going to totally transform those pesky limbs.
Step two: Hair Removal
Next year, if you’ve got a bit of spare money promise yourself you’re going to have a course of IPL. It is so much less painful than hair laser removal and will rid you of your hairs for the long run. It’s available at lots of beauty salons but make sure you check out their credentials first. I personally love Ministry of Waxing ( )
This year, book in with a good waxer or get out your trusty razor out. (naughty as it makes the hair coarse, but so easy!)

tanned legs
Step three: Exfoliation
Once your legs are hair free, it’s time to prep them for the perfect tan.
If you’re anything like me then they might be looking a bit dry at the moment. Well, dry skin and fake tan are not a good combination, so it’s time to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.
One of the best and cheapest ways to do this is with a pair of exfoliating gloves. These are one of the best inventions ever. They cost next to nothing and I tend to use them in the shower. Squirt a good amount of shower gel onto them and then scrub away all those horrid dead skin cells. Simple!
If you prefer to use an actual scrub, here are some of my favourites:
Soap and Glory The Scrub of Your Life: £7
I love the fact that you can really feel this working. It also contains lovely moisturising ingredients. The price is good too!
Organic Surge Tropical Bergamot Body Scrub: £4.99
I love this organic and ethical brand. This scrub smells beautiful and the bergamot is a great moisturiser.
Clinique Sparkle Skin: £20
Contains grapefruit, lemon, spearmint and menthol. Makes your legs glow!

tanned legs
Step four: Moisturise
Fake tan clings to dry skin, so you need to make sure that your legs are hydrated before you get the tan out.
The best time to moisturise is when you are still slightly damp after a bath or shower as this way the cream will trap more moisture.
There are so many great body moisturisers on the market but here are some of my favourites:
Emma Hardie Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Butter:  Available at John Lewis and Space NK
I love everything in the Emma Hardie range. A lot of work goes into making these products super effective. This body butter contains vitamin E, shea butter, exotic oils from Peru and omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids.
Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Triple Buttermilk Body Balm:
This multi-award winning product is great for very dry and sensitive skin.
Kiehls Crème de Corps : £16
This cream is such a classic and is used by a host of celebrities including Kate Moss.
Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream: £26
One of my favourite smells in the world!! I use this when I really want to treat myself. Luxurious, delicious and effective!

tanned legs
Step five: Tanning
Before you tan make sure that you apply a layer of moisturiser to your ankles and knees you don’t get any excess fake tan clinging to these areas.
Now the best way to apply fake tan is with a tanning mitt. These will provide an easy, even and streak free application.
Apply your tan to the mitt and then really work it into your legs in a circular motion. Don’t apply to much to your feet and literally brush the mitt over your ankles so that they get some colour but not too much.
Another option for those who like the natural look is to apply a gradual tan. You don’t need to use a mitt for these and they contain moisturiser so you can skip that step as well.
Here’s a list of my top fake tans:
He-Shi Express Liquid Tan: £37
I find that this tan goes on really easily and is streak free. The colour is lovely and natural too. Must be applied with a mitt as it is in liquid form!
James Read Gradual Tan: £24.50
James Read is the KING of fake tans. He has a host of celebrity clients and his products are just amazing. I particularly like his Gradual tan but his liquid one is also fantastic.
St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Firming 4 in 1: £20
I’ve been testing this and it is honestly one of the best gradual tans I’ve ever used. It goes on like a dream and there’s pretty much none of that horrible biscuity smell. This tan is also great for the skin and has anti-ageing benefits. If it’s good enough for Kate Moss it’s definitely good enough for me!
 Take a look at Nicola's blog for more beauty tips