Ok, we admit, at this point in time, the thought of peeling off our 40 deniers is about as appealing as taking a plunge in the Thames. But as attaining the limbs of a gazelle takes a little bit of prep work, it pays to be ready when (or if) we ever move onto short-dresses. Here’s how:
1) 'Make your legs look longer and more defined by using your fake tan more inventively,' says tanner to the stars James Read. 'Layering is the best way to shade and shape and it will also make your tan last longer. Start by applying a layer of self-tan, wait 30 minutes, then apply a second layer. Wash off after 8 hours and, using a clear bronzing spray, spray down the fronts of the legs where the light hits. Leave this on for 4 hours to give the illusion of sculpted calves.'
2) 'Blur imperfections and enhance your tan by mixing a small amount of a BB cream or foundation to your daily moisturiser and apply using a tanning mitt,' says James who also advises running frozen peas over your legs to close unsightly pores, especially before tanning.
3) 'Give the appearance of longer legs by using a rich moisturiser down the centre of the leg (especially the shin bone) as this will help to reflect the light,' advises James.
4) 'Lift your bottom and help give the illusion of longer legs with exercise band walking,’ says Tegan Haining, trainer at Bodyism, the gym that hones the limbs of the body beautiful (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley anyone?). “It’s portable enough to take away with you, is super-easy to do and works like nothing else.' (We’ll take 10).
5) 'Disco lunges are our favourite move at Bodyism for toning the legs, glutes and strengthening the upper back,' says Tegan. 'Do 15 reps on the left leg and then 15 on the right.' (Find out how at www.bodyism.com)
6) Blighted by cellulite? 'Dry body brushing is an excellent way to remove excess toxins,' says Tegan. 'Focus on a circular motion around your butt and thighs and add epsom salts to your bath three times a week in the weeks leading up to your holiday to boost circulation and release toxic fat from the body. Make sure you drink plenty of water and are getting enough fibre to keep flushing those toxins out,' she adds. We love Bodyism’s Ulitmate Clean Fibre, £45 available from bodyism.com for flushing out toxins and helping to reduce cellulite.
7) For the ultimate in fuzz-free legs, nothing beats waxing but getting the perfect result is all down to prep; 'ice the area of skin you want to wax before you start to numb and close pores ensuring that the waxing strips grip the hair better,' says Veet's expert waxer Arezoo Kaviani.
8) 'Always apply wax strips in the direction of hair growth and pull back against the growth of the hair keeping the skin taut at all times,' says Arezoo who suggests going back and forth between two different areas to allow the heat to escape the skin and warns against bathing for 24 hours afterwards to avoid irritating the open pores.
9) Low pain threshold? Shaving is probably your best bet but make sure you do your homework to achieve the smoothest finish. 'Shaving is all down to timing,' says skin expert Nathalie Eleni. 'Always shave in the bath or shower; two to three minutes is the optimal soaking time as any more than 15 minutes causes your skin to wrinkle and swell resulting in a shave that’s not as close as you’d like.'
10) Add some luster to your legs by rinsing with cold water after shaving to boost circulation and close pores. 'Pat dry rather than rubbing to leave a little water on your skin as your moisturizer will help to seal it in leaving a subtle glow,' says Nathalie.
Our top rain-proof leg lustres...
•Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Instant Wash Off Hydrating Gel, £6.99
Give your limbs a sunkissed luminosity with apricot to nourish
•Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan BB Perfector, £6.99
This multi-tasking hero lasts up to 24 hours
•St. Tropez Instant Tan Wash Off Face And Body lotion, £10
Guilt-free, streak-free and run-free tanning that lasts until you decide to wash it off
•Guerlain Terracotta Jambes de Gazelle Cooling Bronzing Mist, £36
Lightly scented with exotic Tiare flower and sweet orange, this cooling mist gives a subtle glow that stays on your legs rather than your clothes
By Cassie Steer