ALL THE hubbub in the blogosphere and oh-so-serious beauty pages of the broadsheets right now is about getting out those glow-in-the-dark gams for spring. You know the ones. Yours. Mine. Pasty, ashy, almost beyond hope. They've been shut away from the sun for so long, you're certain they make Gollum look positively tan next to you. Mine are so white that my blonde leg hairs look black (maybe that was TMI)...
Still, tis the season to reveal legs to the world. Rather than just put them out there as is, garnering a collective gasp of horror, I've taken a bit of my own beauty advice and my own hands/onto my own legs and leaving the house with something presentable from mid-thigh and below this year. Fake tanning might still be a foreign concept to me and my (nearly) 30 years, but, dammit, my white legs will hold their own against the Tango-ed girls of this world if I have something to say about it! In fact, legs that aren't a subtle shade of Jersey Shore look quite nice and it would be a relief to see a few more ladies rocking a natural, rather than scientific, skin tone. However, that's a topic for another post. Back to my long-neglected legs.
How did I start Operation Gollum Gams? By hunting down Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion from the land of the bare-skinned leg (true story... they bare them all the way up to you know where and then they bare that too) -- LA. Bethany Karlyn, celebrity makeup artist and Angeleno, created this skin tightening (more on this later), moisturising, light-reflecting wonder of a cream. It comes in one of those pouches with nozzle you're starting to see more of on beauty counters (way more eco (think of all the space you save in landfills and there is potential for re-use/re-filling)). Bonus. Not only is this packaging 'greener' (remember? Easily compacted, re-fillable), it reminds me of the halcyon days of my youth and the way I regularly lusted after the silvery sheen of the Capri Sun the rich (and now seemingly nutritionally negligent) parents packed for their kids. Double bonus - green and nostalgia inducing.
The ingredient list makes me cringe less -- in fact, I downright smile when I read it -- than the ingredient list on other body makeup/creams, like the Sally Hansen Salon Airbrush Leg makeup (which feels about as good for me as a coat of car paint). Highlights include: Avocado Oil, Avocado Butter, Grapefruit Wax, Jojoba Gel, Calendula, Green Tea and Rosemary extracts, Allantoin, Arnica (great for bruises) and Blue Vervain Leaf.
The texture is thick, not terribly viscose, but not like a body balm either. It holds its shape in your hand but smoothes on super easily once in contact with the skin. Right, right. Great. But how well does it work, you say.
I say, really really well. In fact, it's great! Being white (very white), things like bruises, redness and even dryness show up like crazy on me, but with just a dollop (about the size of a 10p piece) I could easily cover each leg (I have a 31" inseam to give you an idea of area covered). The result? Even tone (thanks to the gentle tint) and super touchable (not possible after Sally Hansen). The gentle citrus scent means no need for perfume on hot days either (which is a good thing. And who doesn't like to wear citrus when it's hot out?).
Overall, my legs look better... presentable. I won't scare small children or get angry glares for having exposed them. Tone and texture are even and I really think the light-reflecting particles make them look longer/thinner (at least in pictures). Now, I can't say if my legs are exactly tightened. That's such a hard thing to measure and even the most tightening thing in the world (my Spanx body suit) doesn't tighten that much, meaning I can't imagine a cream could really be all that effective at it. But, like I said, tightening or no tightening, the light reflecting properties make them look thinner which is just as good as temporarily tightening in my book. Different means, same end, right?
[Full disclosure: I don't have cellulite (thank you, genes) so you can exhale as I have nothing to report on that. Any readers who have used it who have cellulite and are graciously willing to share their experience would be the coolest, most appreciated peeps in the world!]
In fact, as soon as I can find the time, I'll do a before/after series and a pic with one leg sans Prtty Peaushun and one with it.
The light-reflecting properties, the ingredient list, the eco-minded packaging, the credentials, the heavenly Pomelo scent, the smooth and moisturising qualities, the tint (and range of tints from colour-less Plain to dark brown Deep)... plus, I LOVE that she used teeny tiny Tracy Anderson as her spokesmodel instead of some 6-foot tall giraffe. No offense, tall ladies, but advertising with you for leg products is like putting false eyelashes on a model for a mascara advert -- the majority will never have legs as long as yours by using X product so it's refreshing to see someone with normal (albeit militantly buff and tanned) legs (even if in a somewhat questionable footwear choice) showing us how it looks.
Can't tell if it really tightens, hard to regulate how much you use as the nozzle seems to spit out the product sometimes, cap not secure enough to carry pouch in your bag...
WOULD I BUY IT?
Yes, I would. The price isn't bad for 8oz, the ingredient list is pretty superb and as I like wearing short things in hot seasons, my legs need all the maintenance I can afford to give them.
Do what I did for my wedding and take 2 parts foundation, 2 parts moisturiser and 1 part highlighting cream. Mix it together in a bowl, on your hand, wherever and then rub half of the mixture onto each of your legs. Not exactly the same but a great way to make do with what you have on hand!
Just a heads up and edit to THE MEH section of this post. The lovely Bethany has emailed to say that although cap might feel like it's going to come off, it doesn't! She carries around several in a very big, very heavy bag and hasn't had a spill, so that's one more plus for the product!