You can’t blame us for not being prepared for summer after what seemed like the grimiest May in years.
But now that the sun has finally come out, fashion is all about shorter skirts, sleeveless tops and generally a lot more flesh… which can be a shock to the system for limbs that haven’t seen the light of day for months on end.
Yes, you could go for a fake tan, but often it requires a fair amount of prep, a full body treatment from head to toe and hours to develop – all that isn’t much help when, exactly five minutes before you walk out the door. out, you realize that your legs could use some color.
Step forward with the increasingly popular body makeup – which, just as the name suggests, is designed to do for your body what cosmetics do for your face.
Claire Coleman puts a selection of the best-selling body makeup products on the market to the test – including Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body (pictured)
There are concealers, foundations and highlighters, all of which not only disguise the gray or milk bottle whiteness, but can subtly glide over everything from bruises to thread veins, giving a touch of muscle definition.
In addition, they require almost no preparation, can be applied in seconds, require very little skill – if you can apply makeup to your face, you can apply it to your body – and there is no risk of smelling like stale cookies (a common complaint about fake tan) or ending with orange palms or streaks that won’t fade for days.
No wonder retailers are seeing a boom in this type of cosmetic.
“We’ve had a lot of body glow and highlighter-style body products lately that are selling really well,” says Alexia Inge, founder of beauty e-tailer Cult Beauty. “This seems like a growing category for us, not just in terms of the number of products, but also in terms of the volume we’re selling, with sales up 31 percent in the last year.”
Celebrity makeup artist Amanda Harrington (amandaharrington.com) is a big believer in using color on your body the way you would on your face. She applies a range of tinted products with body brushes and also finds it perfectly acceptable to only color the bits you can see.
“It’s faster than coloring from head to toe, and it makes so much more sense when the weather is changeable,” she says.
She also likes to use light and shadow to sculpt the body. “You can get extra definition by stippling more product under the collarbones to darken that area,” she says. “If you put more color around your biceps or triceps, you can create the illusion of more defined muscles. Just make sure you mix well.’
Want to give the body makeup trend a try? We’ve put some of the best-selling products on the market to the test…
THE ORIGINAL BODY GLOW
Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body, £45, charlottetilbury.com
This highlighter, which has a roller-head applicator, is what beauty guru Charlotte Tilbury calls her “celebrity limb” trick.
The idea is that by applying it to the center of your legs or arms, you will get a glossy glow that will trick the brain into thinking your limbs are longer and slimmer than they are. It can also be used to highlight the cleavage.
It doesn’t cover anything but gives a nice finish to the skin even if it doesn’t add any color.
verdict: Gives shine, but I also need color. 3/5
LIKE PUTTING ON A PAIR OF STOCKINGS
Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish, from £17.97, thefragrance shop.co.uk
Claire said Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish (pictured) is like applying a filter to your skin
This comes in a range of shades and does more than just add color. It’s a bit like putting a filter on your skin, or wearing very see-through stockings, because it really does seem to fade any scars, veins, or anything like that. And once it’s on, it’s on. A little color can bleed on the inside of clothes, but it takes soap and warm water to remove it, so there are no streaks.
verdict: It’s not a cult for nothing. 5/5
WHO ‘JUST STEP OUT OF A POOL’ WATCH
Vieve Skin Dew, £19, vieve.co.uk
Claire said Vieve Skin Dew (pictured) creates a beautiful glassy finish finish
Like the Charlotte Tilbury product, this is a liquid gloss that works on any skin tone to give you a sleek, wet effect – just stepped out of a pool in St Tropez look.
Make-up artist Jamie Genevieve, who is behind the range, says she uses it “anywhere I want a lit-from-within look, including cheeks, browbone, cupid’s bow and collarbones.” It won’t hide much, but it will give you a glow.
verdict: It creates a beautiful, glassy finish. 4/5
CAMOUFLOWING MATTE CONCEALER
Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body SPF 15, £34.50, esteelauder.co.uk
Claire said that Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body SPF 15 (pictured) is excellent at covering bruises, pigmentation spots and even tattoos
While many products help to camouflage skin blemishes, this matte waterproof concealer is ideal if you want something a little heavier.
The color range could be better: just 16 shades, but the iconic Double Wear foundation comes in over 60. But if you find one that suits you, it’s excellent at covering bruises, pigmentation, and even tattoos.
verdict: Not great for large areas, but good at what it does. 4/5
A SHINE SHINE IN SEVEN COLORS
Fenty Beauty Body Sauce Body Luminizing Tint, £40, boots.com
Claire said Fenty Beauty Body Sauce Body Luminizing Tint (pictured) is ideal for instant color
Available in no less than seven shades, this body shade from pop star Rihanna’s hugely successful beauty range promises ‘lightweight all-over glow’ and ‘instant body blur’.
I couldn’t fault the color – don’t panic, it looks darker than it actually is, but you do have to rub it in quite vigorously. The Salty Caramel shade made me look like I had spent three weeks in Barbados, while Agave Spice was in Santorini for over two weeks.
The hint of shimmer means that even if you go for a shade that matches your skin exactly, you’ll get that skin-finishing effect, but I didn’t think it had the same fading effects as the Vita Liberata version.
verdict: Ideal for instant color and a wide color gamut. 4.5/5
APPEARANCE INCREASING BRONZING BALM
Beauty Pie Awesome Bronze Luxe Shimmer Oil Body Balm, £50 or £14.86 for members, beautypie.com (from June 16)
Claire said Beauty Pie Awesome Bronze Luxe Shimmer Oil Body Balm (pictured) is a luxury body cream to improve skin enhance
You can imagine after a day at the beach or by the pool rubbing on this body cream, which looks like an iridescent chocolate mousse. Lightweight yet hydrating with a vanilla, coconut scent that transports you to a remote island, it leaves skin feeling soft, thanks to ingredients designed to draw moisture to the skin.
There’s a hint of color – though not much – and a slight sheen that’s more subtle than the glitter of other products I’ve tried.
verdict: A luxurious body cream to improve the skin — but just a touch of color. 3/5
GO FOR GOLD AND SAY NO TO SUNBURN
This Works Perfect Legs Skin Protector SPF 30, £40, thisworks.com
Claire said This Works Perfect Legs Skin Protector SPF 30 (pictured) protects and adds color at the same time
One of the biggest problems with applying makeup to your skin to make it look like you’ve been out in the sun and then actually going out in the sun is that when you wash the makeup off, you probably look red. look instead of gold, thanks to sunscreen.
Ideally, you’d do the same with your face and apply sunscreen before applying makeup, but this clever spray offers the best of all worlds.
It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s tinted, meaning you can spray and go knowing you’re both tanned and protected. It looks very dark when you first apply it but rubs in easily, leaving a very subtle wash of color.
verdict: Protects, gives color and is easy to reapply. 4/5
GET THE FULL KARDASHIAN GLITZ
Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil, £48, cultbeauty.com
Claire said Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil (pictured) is too glitzy for everyday, but fun
Available in three shades – a pale champagne, a warm rose and a deep bronze – this spray-on oil feels hydrating but not too greasy.
Simply spray on and then rub in by hand or rub in with a large brush. Developed by a makeup artist who counts supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid and the Kardashians among his clients, he says it’s the last step he takes on celebrities before sending them down the red carpet.
You can see how the shimmering shine it gives would attract the cameras. It’s not subtle – it has a pretty heavy, sweet scent, and it’s definitely glitter instead of shimmer. One for a night out, instead of every day.
verdict: Too flashy for everyday use, but fun. 3/5