Bronzing! Buffing! De-fuzzing! The ultimate guide to owning bare leg season
After what feels like a lifetime in thermal tights and leg warmers (what’s with all these cold snaps?), bare-leg season is finally upon us. Not feeling micro-mini ready? Never fear, this is your ultimate guide to getting the best legs of your life, a la Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and co.
EvolveX from InMode at The Lanesborough
There’s genuine excitement at this non-invasive body contouring treatment that promises muscle toning, skin-tightening and fat reduction in the laziest way because it has just landed in London this month — exclusively at the Lanesborough Club & Spa — and because it’s huge in the US (Eva Longoria is a fan). It’s done by a whizzy machine, with hands-free applicators that use radio frequency energy to penetrate the skin and heat its deeper layers while you just lie there — the heat feels like you’re having a hot stone massage and it’s brilliant for sculpting calves and toning thighs with zero pain. You’ll see results within six weeks too.
Cost: £650 for 60 minutes at The Lanesborough Club & Spa, 2 Lanesborough Place SW1
VenaSeal from The Private Clinic
If the thought of going bare-legged is giving you the heebie-jeebies thanks to bulging, lumpy or spider-like veins you’ll want to call Dr Tahir Hussain at The Private Clinic on Harley Street, where those in the know are queing up for a new treatment called VenaSeal. It’s an innovative ‘glueing’ technique that targets then shrinks veins with minimal downtime. There’s a small sting from the local anesthetic but you won’t feel anything else. Once inside the ‘glue’ is dispersed at multiple points, effectively sealing the cavity and rendering the vein redundant (sounds scary but it’s safe). It’s relatively speedy — Dr Hussain says he’s even had the treatment himself in his lunch break — but expect some bruising so best book this at least two weeks before you plan to abandon the trousers.
Cost: from £2,000 at The Private Clinic, 8 Harley St, W1G
Illuminating & Refining Yellow Leg Masque Treatment at Margaret Dabbs
Celebrity podiatrist Margaret Dabbs knows a thing or two about lower limbs (she’s tended to the feet and legs of everyone from the royals — she’s just scooped an OBE— to popstars, politicians and every beauty editor in the country) so it’s hardly surprising that the social set hotfoot it to her flagship Marylebone salon to get buffed to perfection. It’s the Luminating & Refining Yellow Leg Masque Treatment you’ll want — like a facial for your pins, legs are exfoliated, to get ride of dry skin, then kneaded with a skin-warming masque and dosed in a tonic that leaves legs looking brighter than The Princess of Wales’s smile.
Cost: 60 mins for £80 at Margaret Dabbs, 7 New Cavendish St, W1G
If you prefer a silky-smooth finish, most of the social set opt for laser hair removal. Santi London, a Georgian townhouse nestled a stone’s throw from South Kensington Tube, is where the likes of Amelia Windsor and co get theirs. It’s a serene spot that feels more like going to a rich friend’s house for tea, where you’ll be plied with drinks and magazines as laser whiz Natalia zaps away hairs. It can be painful (they’ll give you a numbing cream) and you’ll need six to eight treatments to reap the benefits. If you’ve left it late for summer, waxing queen Suzannah will sort you out.
Cost: From £110 at Santi London, 33 Thurloe St, SW7
James Harknett at W London
From Amelia and Eliza Spencer to Harry Styles and David Gandy, there are probably few A-list legs that James hasn’t got his tanning gun on. He’s an expert at creating a flawless jet-set look that’s created by mixing up bespoke shades based on the undertones of a client’s skin making this process feel almost as if he’s an artist and you’re his canvas (you’ll feel longer and leaner after too). You’re not to shave for at least 24 hours before and don’t even think about having a hot shower for a few hours. James is in residence at the W Hotel’s Away Spa Tuesday-Friday afternoons but gets booked up so get on the list now. Book a day before a big event. “I love how a tan has settled with the skin by day two,” he tells us. If you needed a little extra nudge, both Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kate Moss are long-time fans of faking a glow, all year round.
Cost: £75 at the Away Spa W London, 10 Wardour St, W1D
Personal trainer Tom is no stranger to helping A-listers get into shape ahead of a movie (we hear certain Game of Thrones stars and Marvel superheroes are among his clients). When he’s not heading up training and performance at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s new BodySpace club, he’s zipping across London on his mophead to client’s homes. To get summer-ready legs, “focus on single leg exercises,” he tells us. “Squats often hog the spotlight but lunge variations, step-ups and split squats mean more bang for your buck. It takes twice as long to train each leg rather than a bi-lateral movement, meaning the single leg exercise has twice the metabolic effect.” To get leg fit for summer, Tom recommends training the lower body with weights at least twice a week and including some form of cardio, as well as regular walking.
Cost: From £110 for 60 minutes