The Gloss Report: Body and leg makeup tried and tested
1 / 10
We review the best body makeup products
We've perfected the art of making over our faces with a dab of concealer here and a bit of contour there, but what if we want to cover up unsightly blemishes or marks on our bodies? When it's too hot for tights and not the time for tan, what we want is an airbrush in a bottle - a beautiful filter to leave legs and limbs looking smooth, supple and even in tone.
Enter, body makeup - be it a bronzing lotion or a blurring, brightening polish, these temporary fixes promise to hide all manner of flaws as well as boosting circulation and 'lifting' our legs. But do they work? Read on for our honest reviews...
2 / 10
Guerlain Flawless Legs Smoothing & Perfecting Lotion, £45 for 100ml
The promise: “A formula that blurs away imperfections and smoothes the skin. Terracotta pigments create an instant and natural glow.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “Guerlain is a brand that I associate with tanning, mainly because their cult terracotta bronzers are some of the best out there for a beautiful bronzed glow. Because of this I had really high expectations of this product and was excited to test it out. The formula is beautiful, it’s a super silky gel/cream which makes it a dream to blend into the skin with minimal effort required. The colour is not too dark, instead it just adds a sheer bronze veil to the legs, leaving them looking sunkissed in a natural looking way. The blurring effects of this are fantastic too, visibly blurring away uneven tone and making the legs look airbrushed. I feel as though this is the perfect product to bring with you on a summer holiday when you want that final finishing touch for an evening out.”
3 / 10
Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body, £45 for 60ml
The promise: “Cheat your way to a summer body without the workout - a slimming and hydrating body shimmer.”
We give it: 6/10
Review: “I am a huge fan of Tilbury makeup, I use a lot of it, but when it comes to transforming myself into a supermodel, I have mixed views on this Charlotte Tilbury product. After a lot of hype I really wanted to love it, but for legs, it didn't quite cut it for me. The packaging is great; an easy to use bottle with a roller ball applicator tip that makes it easy as pie to apply the product down the limbs, which you then blend out with your hands. First things first, it's incredibly cooling thanks to the aloe vera and menthol and easy to blend, but it's more of a shimmery highlighter than a skin perfecter I would say. Infused with subtle, light-reflective particles and a skin-perfecting hint-of-tint, it's designed to elongate bare legs, arms, shoulders and collarbones, while de-puffing and cooling. It may have more of an impact on darker skin tones, as for me I didn't see much skin perfecting going on on my pasty limbs. For a collarbone highlight and a little shimmer on the arms for an evening addition, it works, but for £45 I don't think it's something I'd repurchase.”
4 / 10
Vita Liberata Body Blur, £29.95
The promise: “A skin-perfecting bronzer that won’t streak or transfer.”
We give it: 10/10
Review: “This genius product really is a tan for the tan-phobic (or as in my case, the tan-sensitive - I avoid them for fear of reaction). It contains shea butter and aloe vera, so as well as its beautifully flattering bronze colour it softens and smoothes your skin, too. As a tanning novice I was nervous about application but whether you use hands or a mitt, it’s a doddle - the velvet-soft formula glides on, it just dries fairly quickly so you need to work fast to blend it in; and once it's on, it doesn't transfer even if you get a little hot and sweaty in the sun (or more likely, on the tube). I like that it washes off in the shower so it’s very low maintenance too. The subtle, glowing shade has enough pigment to hide imperfections such as bruises, scars and pigmentation too, though I'd say you need to build this up if you have noticeable marks, but all in all whether you’re looking for a bit of colour or some clever camouflage, this does the job wonderfully. It's a bit pricey for the size, but I'd buy it again without a doubt.”
5 / 10
BOD Bake Instant Blur Face & Body, £14.99 for 150ml
The promise: "An instant blurring body concealer to reduce the appearance of imperfections."
We give it: 9/10
Review: “I have been anticipating the launch of BOD's new Bake range for quite a while now, having been an avid stalker of the brand's amazing Instagram page. This Instant Blur Face & Body is part of the new range of tans available from this month. This particular product is targeted to give the face and body a bronzed, blurred effect with a flawless finish and I can confirm it does just that. I love the texture of this product, it's a gel-like consistency that takes a little more working in than others I have tried in the past - I personally prefer this as I feel as though I use the product more sparingly and ensure it is completely blended, giving a more even finish. The colour is lovely and deep too, great for when you want to whip your legs out on those out-of-the-blue sunny days that keep appearing here in Britain. It's transfer resistant and waterproof as well as having a brilliant blurring effect, ensuring no dreaded veins or scars can be seen. It's definitely going to be a staple in my summer body routine.”
6 / 10
This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, £120ml £37
The promise: “Get great looking legs this summer with this powerful, tinted serum packed with vitamins to enhance and repair skin.”
We give it: 7/10
Review: “This multi-award winning product does double duty of targeting leg issues such as tiredness, puffiness, dryness and pigmentation with a subtle wash off tan. It’s really a multi-vitamin leg serum - but the clever thing about it is that the lovely caramel tint makes you want to use it. It’s great for warming up pasty limbs – arms too (it can be used all over the body).
“While it doesn’t disguise the kind of battle scars I have on my legs – sun spots, shaving nicks and years of accumulated mosquito bite scars – it does blur them and and contains ingredients to help repair them over time. It imparts a subtle, healthy glow, which is enough to make the difference between baring your legs and hiding them away. It’s non-sticky, doesn’t feel greasy and doesn’t mark your clothes. If you are pale, this will be your best friend this summer.”
7 / 10
Alleven Colour Shield Hydrating Tinted Protection in Amber, £38
The promise: “A multi-tasking body concealer that instantly hides all skin imperfections.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “‘Beyoncé used this at Coachella’ - that’s all I needed to hear in order to want to douse myself in the stuff. And it’s easy to see why she did - it comes with some innovative tech that provides a leg up (sorry) on the competition and help justify its higher price tag, namely ‘smart’ pigments that adapt to your individual skin tones, mineral filters that provide UVA and UVB sun protection (SPF20) and skin conditioning goodies like sunflower seed oil and shea butter (to name but a few).
“There are three shades in the range - Ivory, Sand and Amber (my match), and, truth be told, I wasn’t sure that would be enough to extend to my medium-deep skin tone. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Adapt, it did, providing lightweight coverage that was easy to build to give a smooth, soft-focus effect finish when fine-tuned with my fingers. An airbrush in a bottle that seamlessly covers areas of unevenness, it’s a second skin in a spray. I’d just need a bank balance like Queen Bey though to be able to afford replenishing my supplies on the reg (it’s £38 for 100ml) - one best reserved for special occasions for sure.”
8 / 10
Legology Sun-Lite, £38 for 100ml
The promise: Subtle, wash-off colour, while contouring legs and making them feel lighter, more energised and supported without hosiery
We give it: 9/10
Review: "Loving this little number from Legology as the perfect spring-into-summer pit stop. Not only does it give legs a subtle, streak-free veil of colour - much welcomed by my frightening pale “pins” - it also brings a zingy burst of energy to my tired commuter legs. The formula itself is really light and dries down fast meaning it’s easy to build and layer up, which I love. This puts me firmly in the driving seat when it comes to the shade, which is a big bonus for me and my fragile snowy complexion. Sun-Lite works best when applied in an upward stroking motion from ankles to knees (and further if you need it), blended carefully into those harder to reach areas like behind the knees and around the ankles and feet. Best of all it bears the signature citrus scent of Legology, which helps give your legs (and your day) an uplifting boost!"
9 / 10
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Lotion, £13.95, 119ml
The promise: "Lightweight leg makeup providing coverage for flawless looking skin.’’
We give it: 9/10
Review: "I’m a total tanning virgin, with Indian roots I’ve got naturally olive skin and I can turn darker just looking at the sun! However like everyone else I have that in-between stage where I would like to have even looking skin, especially my legs that always appear paler than the rest of me after being covered all winter. This lotion appealed to me as it’s not permanent so I knew if I didn’t like the look I wouldn’t be stuck with it for days. I found it very easy to apply, it looks just like a liquid foundation, and spreads as easily as one. I had invested in a mitt which made the application super easy, but it’s not necessary as it really wasn’t messy. I did both legs in less than 5 minutes and only needed one coat. I was surprised and impressed by how quickly it dried - almost instantly! My legs were left looking smooth and flawless - just like they’d been airbrushed and as though I was wearing the sheerest of tights. I am a total convert!"
10 / 10
Diego Dalla Palma Spray On Tights, £16
The promise: “Gives legs a natural tanned colour with a uniform velvety finish.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “This is essentially another take on my beloved Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, which looks incredibly 80s in the can, but is basically invisible foundation for your legs. This looks a lot sleeker packaging wise, and delivers a fine mist that makes legs look more even and smooth - blotchiness fades out nicely, although it doesn’t quite cover a mystery bruise I’ve picked up on my thigh. Then again I’m not planning on flashing my thighs in the office so it’s all good. Colour wise it made my pale legs look more bronzed than normal, although I strongly advise buffing it in with a mitt to get the most natural result (also, put some newspaper down on your bathroom floor to avoid a slippery brown lake situation after you’ve used it). It lasts the day brilliantly without transferring onto clothes, car seats or desk chairs, yet it’s easy to remove in the shower with a bit of a lather. If it’s too hot for tights and you haven’t had time for fake tan, it’s a winner.”