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BEAUTY LESSONS:

LEGS FOR
DAYS

The Violet Files shares insider shortcuts to runway-worthy limbs.
Written By Erica Lopez

You can press, squat, and foam roll until the end of time, but know this: Even supermodels backstage at fashion shows take shortcuts to achieving smoother, longer-looking legs. And while we love a good workout, we’ve compiled some supplementary strategies and insider secrets for getting a leg up (pun intended) on great gams without breaking a sweat—just in time for swimsuit season. 

LESSONS ON
LEGS

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Start with a clean slate. Rub the lightly scented sugar scrub in circular motions on damp skin, gently sloughing away dead skin cells and readying your legs for their next treatment, whether it’s a hydrating dollop of body cream or a skin-illuminating self-tanner. Rinse with warm water.

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As we all know, the fastest way to achieve toned-looking limbs is with a tan, but we prefer to get ours the safe way. James Read’s easy-to-apply instant bronze spray is infused with aloe vera and vitamin E for extra hydration and produces burnished results for up to five days.

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This targeted leg cream is designed to shape and firm your limbs by decreasing puffiness and cellulite (thank its lymphatic drainage–promoting ingredients). After stepping out of the shower, apply the product from the ankles up, moving with long strokes toward the thighs and derrière. Repeat each movement several times, using the thumbs to deeply massage the contours of the legs.

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Purchase the ultimate leg insurance—SPF—to shield legs (and all exposed skin, for that matter), whether you’re dozing poolside or debuting your new cutoffs. With a quick spray of Avène’s light, fast-absorbing formula, you’ll be out the door.

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Apply this shimmering, hydrating oil all over legs for a firming, glowing effect. Infused with mother-of-pearl minerals that illuminate and enhance skin’s natural radiance, it’s for your French Riviera tan. (It also pairs well with a warm summer night and a white linen minidress.)

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For luxuriously smooth stems, use a shaving cream that is deeply moisturizing and soothes any razor-induced inflammation.

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Tilbury’s proprietary FermiProtect ingredient sculpts and contours, while the built-in highlighter adds a glossy sheen—making legs look instantly chiseled and runway ready. (She uses this on all the Victoria’s Secret Angels backstage.) The trick to creating a slim-legged effect is applying extra product to the center of the thighs (back and front) and the shins, then blending it out with your hands. Add platforms, and voilà.

best in
beach

Show off your lean limbs in these sun-loving Aussie swimsuits.