Makeup Artists Reveal the Secrets to Killer Legs
By Kathleen Hou, The Cut
I’m a leg girl. A bare-legs-don’t-care-until-the-weather-is-colder-than-55-degrees girl. But with summer comes multiple bare-leg hazards: shaving nicks, mosquito bites, spin-class bruises. It happens to the best of us. But what happens when a mosquito tries to bite Gwyneth Paltrow’s rarefied Tracy Anderson–ified legs? To find out, the Cut asked eight celebrity makeup artists to share how they give their clients that smooth, red-carpet leg shine every time.
Photo: Getty Images
Makeup Artist: Beau Nelson. Clients: Kristen Stewart and Nicole Richie
"If a client needs an evening of even skin tone and doesn’t like shimmer, I like to use MAC Face and Body makeup on legs. I take some product out of the bottle and I use my hands to rub it together and keep rubbing it until it changes texture (you’ll definitely know). It will go from being very liquid to more of a gel texture. Once I have achieved that, I use my hands or a large brush to apply to the legs. This particular product has a fair amount of shine, so often it’s the only thing I use.”
"Other times I will take a small amount of loose pigment (Make Up Forever Star Powder or MAC Silver Dusk) and mix it with body lotion and a few drops of Josie Maran Argan Oil, and apply to the legs. This leaves them shiny and radiant and I can control the level of shimmer completely.”
Photo: Jason LaVeris
Makeup Artist: Nick Barose. Clients: Lupita Nyong’o.
"It’s actually simpler than you think and really depends on skin tone. On fair-to-medium skin, I love warming it up a bit with either Tarte Amazon Bronze and Votre Vu Silk Stocking. It sets to a nice, natural finish and doesn’t rub off on clothes. The color looks convincing, like you went on vacation somewhere expensive — not the kind of tan that makes you look cheap. If I want more drama then I dust subtle shimmer powder like MAC Mineralize Skin Finish along the front of the legs and arms using a big fluffy brush. This way it catches the light in specific area."
"If you’re darker, then your natural skin tone will glow when you shine it up with good moisturizer so there’s no need to do much. For example, I usually just massage Lancôme Nutrix Rich Body Lotion on Lupita’s legs and that would be enough. On darker skin or skin with a darker tan, if you add too much shimmer, it can turn ashy. A good rich moisturizer is fine and if you need a bit of shimmer, then a super light dusting of shimmer powder (again I like MAC because they have ranges of color.)"