Leg Makeup

April 20, 2015

Trying to understand the mechanics of why legs don’t tan as easily, if at all, unlike the rest of your body is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube drunk – completely impossible. One of my most impressive physical feats, and I fear many women suffer from this otherworldly phenom, is that over the years my stems have cloaked themselves in such an unnatural neon white color that it has provided a reflective shield where any and all rays of sunlight repel right of off them. Doesn’t matter how many hours they are out in the sun, with proper protection of course, my legs never even slightly shift into a more livelier state of being.

The struggle is real.

Ever since entering adulthood my legs have virtually halted adopting a tan, period, and have decided to remain this sickly pale hue – despite my best efforts to put them out there to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D. Once again, proper protection included. Nothing worked, and my ever-so pale timbers became the center-point of both shock & awe, and family ridicule. 

Because nothing makes you feel better about yourself than your family making fun of your predicament.


Since I do enjoy and am an avid fan of the LBD it requires an artificial solution to reduce the pressure of hiding this loathed tone of Morticia white under a veil of necessary makeup, leg makeup if you will. Years ago I discovered the Victoria’s Secret bronzed excellence in a bottle that goes by the name of Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs. The product can be described as foundation for your legs, and that’s how it functions with imperfection coverage included. 

At first upon inspection before even trying it I was extremely lukewarm towards the aerosol can containing this supposed VS Angel tan, fearing multiple facets that included rubbing-off incidents or product settling into the fine lines of the insides of my knees. Hey, you gotta think of things like that. The night before the initial first use I tended to my legs being their smoothest possible so I would have an even surface to work with, then I sprayed it 3 times into my right hand and started applying by massaging the product (like body lotion) starting at the front of my legs working my way backwards and upwards onto my thighs until I did not spot a single pink spot left on my leg perimeter. Giving myself about 5-10 minutes, to be very sure all was dry, until I got fully dressed I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully bronzed my legs looked, taking on this subdued golden tone that offered me some killer better versions of my own long slats holding steady in a nice LBD. 

Cue angels singing.


Next came the test of time, would it rub off? Would it melt off? Would product settle into the insides of my knees after a few hours? After I hoisted myself into an LBD, I went about my day driving in my car with bare legs touching the fabric seat. All of this in over 95 degrees of delightful heat. The latter is not meant as sarcasm, I in fact very much love the heat. As I got in and out of my vehicle for errands I kept checking on my black seats, no weird leg outlines made up solely of bronzer. Then when my long day out and about came to an end, I checked the insides of my knees using my makeup mirror for closer inspection. Cue husband walking in on this display and the comments flowing afterwards. No product creased or bunched into any lines found on the insides of my knees. Finally came the real test, how would the inside of my dress look like? Surprisingly, after a few hours strapped in 105 degree heat there was not even one trace or fleck of product to be found anywhere on my dress. Score.

It was not until I got into the shower and used an old rag to gently rub my legs down using soap that a light brown mixture of water was making its way down the drain. 

So what is my conclusion about the Airbrush Legs can? For me this is a necessity in a woman’s medicine cabinet if she does not tan easily on the legs, or for that awkward period prior to when a tan gradually develops for those who are able to tan in that region. This is just like foundation for the legs, in addition that it colored my legs into a state of bronzed sun goddess, it also camouflaged those random bruises we all get and don’t know where we got them. A few sprays and you have an instant upgrade. I find that it is feasible to wear it casually on a daily basis since I do deploy this for a week straight sometimes simply because my legs really don’t tan at all, and dresses = life for me. It doesn’t smell like a spray-on SPF, in fact it doesn’t smell at all but it does have a sheen and a slight hint of shimmer depending in what light you are. At face value I could not even spot a trace of shimmer, yet when I was sitting in my car and the sun hit my legs just right I noticed a very good dose of shimmer. Like, it almost shocked me but when you’re standing straight nothing is there … 

Anyway. If you are interested in trying this for yourself I highly recommend starting with the lotion-based version first because it has an easier learning curve, the lotion works the exact same as the aerosol. Just remember to shave, exfoliate and of course moisturize your legs prior to using, also if you find that you may have used too much product or did not properly dispers it around bone areas like your ankles or knees, use a dry rag and gently massage the product on those specific spots so it will even it right out. The bottle says to wait 1 minute before getting dressed but I advise to hold out for at least 5-10. Wash off in the shower at the end of the day and start again the next!

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