4 Secrets to Smooth, Sexy Legs

Legs do more than hold us up.

By Carly Young, LifeScript

Legs do more than hold us up. Sleek stems can also stop traffic and turn heads! It’s never too late to get those gams ready for a skin-baring debut, even in the chilly winter months. After all, you’re not going to wear snow pants to a holiday party, are you? Here are a few tips for getting a leg up, no matter the season... 

A Hairy Situation

In winter, our razors move to the back of the bathroom cabinet.

But even though it’s cold outside, you don’t need a warm winter “coat” under your jeans.

It’s time to shed the winter stubble.


Exfoliate your legs before shaving, advises Leslie Villarreal, CEO and aesthetician at San Francisco’s Relax Now Day Spa.

Dead, flaky skin cells gunk up your razor and prevent a close shave.
Soak in the shower for at least five minutes before shaving; saturated leg hairs are easier to cut.

Use a rich shaving cream – one with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera – and shave in the direction of hair growth.

To keep your newly smooth skin extra-soft, apply your favorite moisturizer post-shower.

Why wrestle with home kits?

“It's much better to get your legs professionally waxed,” says Villarreal.
A good wax job can stem the stubble for up to three weeks; shaving only lasts a few days.

Ask for a wax containing tea tree oil, advises Villarreal. It will minimize breakouts and bumps. Exfoliate after your treatment, not right beforehand.

Whether you wax or shave, prep your legs every time you bathe. Use your hand or a loofah to rub in an exfoliating product, paying special attention to tough spots like knees. Choose a product gentle enough for daily use like Scwub, a sugar-based body polish (available on
(See related article: Hair Removal Methods for Silky-Smooth Legs)



Even smooth, silky legs can be marred by a web of spider and varicose veins. What causes these unsightly buggers in the first place?

When vessel valves weaken, blood collects inside the vein, explains Dr. Douglas M. Keel, a dermatologist at La Jolla Spa MD in La Jolla, California. Over time, constant pressure stretches the vein, making it larger and more visible. 

Anything that constricts blood flow to the leg (such as pregnancy) can be blamed, but genetics are a factor, too.

Support hose will prevent veins from getting worse, but it won’t stop new ones from popping up. And unfortunately, says Keel, topical creams and dietary changes won’t help.

The only surefire way to zap ugly veins is with one of these next two in-office procedures (don’t forget to consult your doctor first):

Surgical vein removal, a painless procedure conducted under local anesthesia, isn’t cheap – it costs between $3,500 and $4,000 per leg.

Foam or liquid is injected into veins to make them disappear. Cost is $750 per leg. This is an option for people with reticular veins (dark veins visible though your skin).

Blast Cellulite

Winter thighs and butts just won’t do. But a little training can tone those cellulite magnets.

“My two favorite cardio workouts are the rowing machine and stair machine,” says celebrity trainer David Kirsch, who has worked with Heidi Klum and Liv Tyler. Hop on the Stairmaster for this essential booty buster:
Step 1: Facing to the right on the Stairmaster, step your right foot over your left for one minute.

Step 2:
Switch sides. (Facing left, step your left foot over your right for one minute.)
Step 3: Then, for one minute, face center and climb steps two at a time.

“It’s very effective,” says Kirsch.
For a quick at-home move, try this exercise, featured in Kirsch’s book, The Ultimate New York Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2006):

Single Leg Squat with Stability Ball

Step 1:
Stand with a stability ball about 12 inches behind your right leg. Bend your right knee, and place the ball of your right foot on top of the stability ball.

Step 2: Bend your left knee as you simultaneously straighten your right leg, pressing the stability ball back behind you.

Step 3: Rise to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times.

To really defeat the dimple, “exercise alone won’t do it,” says Kirsch, who recommends a balanced diet including whole grains, vegetables, and plenty of water. “Excessive sugar, fried foods and fatty dairy products can all contribute to cellulite.”



You can shave, wax, get nipped and tucked, sweat and diet, but let’s be honest… sometimes a girl needs a really fast fix.

“Self-tanner can be used to contour your thighs, making them appear thinner,” says Elke Von Freudenberg, a makeup artist for Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren. 

A thin line of self-tanner on the outside of your thighs can work wonders, but Von Freudenberg warns about streaking.
To avoid looking like a zebra, use a tinted formula to see exactly where it’s going. And blend, blend, blend.

Or head to a spa, where an aesthetician will hand-spray a custom tan on your body.

Best bet: Choose bronzing powder instead of a tanning session.
If it looks streaky, no problem! Simply wash off and reapply. Wet’N Wild has a beautiful bronzer, says Von Freudenberg, whose beauty blog can be found at She also recommends CARGO bronzer, available at Sephora.
For an added slimming effect, apply a thin line of shimmer powder down the front of your calves and thighs.

The sheen will draw attention to your bone, not the larger area surrounding it, she explains.

Apply the product with a light hand, especially in the daytime.

“You want a subtle illusion,” says Von Freudenberg.

To cover veins, try a stick foundation with a good setting of powder. Von Freudenberg prefers those from Bobbi Brown and Max Factor, both available in a range of shades.
Want to learn more? Get your own copy of The Ultimate New York Diet. Check out for more diet and exercise tips.
What Do You Know About Leg Exercises?

You’ve got legs, but do you know how to use them? A cardio workout is certain to get your heart pumping, but it’s the strength-training exercises that will help you achieve the slim, sleek and sexy legs that turn heads. Do you know what it takes to get great gams? It’s time to put your best foot forward and see if you’re making all the right moves with this leg exercises quiz

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Women's Magazine: 4 Secrets to Smooth, Sexy Legs
4 Secrets to Smooth, Sexy Legs
Legs do more than hold us up.
Women's Magazine
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