Most people know that concealers and foundation can work miracles to cover up blemishes and dark spots on your face. But, did you ever consider using makeup elsewhere on your body -- like your legs? More than 20 percent of Americans have varicose veins, and many more let scars, freckles and other insecurities dictate their wardrobes to hide unsightly flaws on the skin.
But there is an option that's better than wearing long pants every month of the year: body makeup. It's a thicker version of traditional foundation that you use on your face. In fact, it's made to be applied everywhere except your face -- arms, stomach, back and of course legs. And, while face makeup is marketed mainly to women, body makeup is used by both men and women to cover up veins, cuts, scars, bruises and even tattoos.
We'll learn more about the steps to apply body makeup to your legs on the following pages.
5: Prime the Surface
The first step to applying body makeup on your legs is to prep the skin's surface. While you might put a moisturizer on your face before using your foundation, there is more involved to priming your legs. A smooth surface is essential. To create the smoothest legs possible, you should exfoliate, shave, cleanse and moisturize. (Men may want to skip shaving.)
For those trying to cover up scars, veins or other blemishes with raised surfaces, adding a gel or cream primer after applying moisturizer will help even out the surface and further hide these imperfections.
Although it's similar to applying face makeup, body makeup requires different types of brushes and tools. Learn more about those tools next.
4: Have the Necessary Tools
Just like with facial makeup, it's important to have the right tools to properly apply body makeup to your legs. While you might be tempted to use your fingers, don't. Your fingers will add oils and change the consistency of the makeup, making it harder to blend in.
Instead, use a latex sponge to blend the makeup into your skin and create the most natural shade with your skin tone. A set of good brushes can also help you cover up blemishes with concealer. And have a variety of sizes. Smaller brushes should be used for small blemishes to make sure the concealer goes only where it's needed. However, a bigger brush will help when covering up a larger scar. Finally, you'll need a powder puff at the end of the process to finish your work with a translucent powder.
Don't forget to properly wash your tools after each makeup application to prevent the build-up of bacteria, which could cause acne.
3: Apply Makeup
The skin on your face is much thinner than the skin on other areas of your body, particularly your legs, which is why body makeup is thicker than face makeup. If you want the best coverage for flawless looking legs, it's important to use the right makeup. While there are brands that make one makeup for "body and face," you probably won't get the coverage for your legs from a makeup made just for faces.
After you've prepped your skin and applied a primer, it's time for the makeup. Most body makeup is cream based. You should treat this just like a foundation for your face. There are also a few brands that make an airbrush body makeup that you simply spray on.
If the cream or aerosol base doesn't offer the amount of coverage you were hoping for, you can apply a concealer with a brush next. The brush and amount of concealer should be equal to what you want to cover. Try to put the concealer just on the imperfection and then feather it out away from the blemish with the brush to blend.
2: Finish with Powder
Much like when you apply makeup to your face, it's best to finish applying body makeup with a powder to set everything. It might seem odd to put powder makeup on your legs, but it will help preserve all of the hard work you put in covering your imperfections. Not only that, but it will continue to help blend the makeup to match your skin tone. Powder should be purchased in a color that matches your base foundation, as well as your skin tone. You can get away with a slightly darker base and powder on your legs if your arms are tan. Just make sure to not go any darker than your arms.
In addition to helping set your makeup, applying a powder at the end will also help protect your clothes, because it prevents the makeup from smudging and possibly staining your pants or skirt. More on that next.
1: Leave Time to Dry
Finally, it's important to let the makeup dry before your put on your clothes. This is essential, not only to prevent the makeup from staining your clothes, but also to ensure the makeup stays on your legs. If you get dressed before the makeup is dry, you might ruin all of the hard work you put in, especially if you applied concealer to a particularly pronounced scar or vein.
Lots More Information
- Get Your Skin Ready for Spring
- Setting the Stage: Moisturizer, Concealer and Foundation Tips
- Best Ways to Fake a Tan
- Carefair.com. "Tips for applying body makeup." (April 30, 2012) http://www.carefair.com/Body/Tips_for_Applying_Body_Makeup_5215.html
- News Olio. "Beauty tips: What is body makeup, and how to use it." (April 30, 2012) http://newsolio.com/beauty-tips-what-is-body-makeup-and-how-to-use-it-it-can-be-used-to-cover-tattoos-scars-and-veins-among-other-things,4089
- Palomar. "Laser Scar Removal." (April 30, 2012) http://www.palomarmedical.com/treatments/laser-scar-removal.aspx
- Preidt, Robert. "Varicose Veins Keep Some in Long Pants All Year." MSN Health. March 18, 2012. (April 30, 2012) http://health.msn.com/health-topics/anti-aging/varicose-veins-keep-some-in-long-pants-all-year
- Smith, Merrell. "How to Cover Up Acne." DailyCandy.com. Nov. 17, 2010. (April 30, 2012) http://www.dailycandy.com/everywhere/video/holiday/92083/How-to-Cover-Up-Acne
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Varicose veins." May 15, 2012. (April 30, 2012)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002099/