Like most girls, I have my insecurities when it comes to the way I look. One of my biggest bugbears is the little collection of thread veins that started to appear on my legs sometime around my early twenties. Thread veins are a fairly common issue. They're not harmful, but they're not pretty either and for that reason they can be upsetting. They are usually genetic (thanks Mum!) and while there are certain treatments you can have to get rid of them, these are typically quite expensive and what I have tried so far unfortunately hasn't worked for me. Now, a lot of people tell me that the veins are "not that noticeable", but I notice them. Silly or not, the fact is that they affect my confidence from time to time.
So I've learned to get pretty good at hiding them. This is my three-step "makeup routine" for my legs, which I use for nights out, special occasions, or basically any time they're going to be on display and I want them to look their best.
1. Fake tan
The darker my skin, the less obvious the veins look, even without doing anything else. So it's no surprise that fake tan and I have formed a strong friendship over the years. I've tried quite a few different brands, but my current favourite is Cocoa Brown. It's easy to apply, lasts a good few days and gives you a really natural-looking tan at a fraction of the price of many other brands. You still get that delightful biscuity smell while it's developing, but I have yet to find a tanning product that's truly free from that. I reckon for a nice bronzed glow it's worth it!
2. Leg makeup
Finding Veil Cover Cream has made the biggest difference to my legs. More importantly, it has made the biggest difference to my confidence when it comes to showing them off. It's a specialist makeup which can be used as foundation or concealer on the face or body and is designed to cover pretty much anything, including tattoos and birth marks. You don't necessarily have to go this heavy duty - products such as Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs are supposed to help disguise minor imperfections. However, I personally feel more comfortable slapping on industrial strength coverage.
I've had the individual Veil Cover Creams before, but this time I ordered the medium to dark kit. I'd definitely recommend going for one of the kits if you wanted to try this out for the first time, as you get everything you need in one reasonably priced package. The green cream can be used as a base, and helps to really disguise any blemishes when you put the flesh-coloured creams over the top. Of these, you get a selection, plus a white one, so that you can find your ideal shade. You also get a setting powder that keeps the makeup water and smudge proof, as well as a cleanser and toner for removal.
Below is the "before" picture. This is me with a tan - natural this time rather than courtesy of Cocoa Brown, as I have just got back from a week in Mallorca. You can see that the little veins around my calves and ankles are still visible, although I can assure you, if I wasn't tanned they would be considerably more obvious than this.
Now look what happens when I apply the Veil Cover Cream.
Can you see the difference? Not only does it conceal the thread veins, it makes the skin on my legs look much smoother and more even too. Every time I put this stuff on and see what it does, I want to wear it every single day. I don't, though, because its downside is that it's quite messy and time-consuming to apply. Also, although the setting powder does a good job of keeping it from rubbing off all over the place, removing it is a nightmare. You think you've washed it all off, step out of the shower and dry yourself, look at your once pristine white towel... and realise there was quite a lot left after all. Kind of annoying.
However, I absolutely love what it does for my legs and it's great having the option to use it when I want to.
3. Gilding the lily
The final step is something I decided to do recently, after seeing Cheryl Cole with an amazing sheen to her legs on the Graham Norton show a few weeks ago. I loved the effect, and decided to look for a product that would do something similar. I found Soap and Glory's Glow Lotion. Dab a little of it along the front of your shins, and you get a nice, subtle sheen. This is what it looks like when it catches the light.
Nothing to do with disguising thread veins, but I like the way it looks! Being a Soap and Glory product, it smells rather lovely too.
So there you have it - my three step leg makeup routine. I hope it was useful for anyone who ever feels less than confident about getting their legs out!
Does anyone else have any tips for beautifying legs?