Lovely legs in a flash
I don't need to tell anyone who's been caught out and about in flip-flops while the heavens opened unexpectedly that this "summer" has been spectacularly hit and miss.
Of course, it's been a bit hit and miss every year in recent memory, but the eternal optimist in me still -- stupidly -- hopes for more than a few scattered days of glorious sunshine amid torrential monsoon-like rain and howling winds.
So when a sunny day does deign to put in an appearance, be ready to take full and immediate advantage: it might be the only opportunity you'll get to give your legs an airing all summer long.
Even if you're not quite as leggy as the impossibly fabulous Cameron Diaz, it's easy to cheat your way to a pair of perfect pins with just a little prep and a few carefully chosen products.
Exfoliating and moisturising regularly will help keep your legs in tip-top shape. Sloughing off dead, flaking skin cells reveals fresher skin beneath, gives circulation a boost, improves skintone, and allows moisturiser to work more effectively.
Try using a stiff-bristled body brush on dry skin or a pair of scrubby exfoliating gloves (Kim Cattrall swears by them) when you're in the shower.
I always manage to smack a shin into some hard object just as the sun starts to think about coming out. Since bruise isn't a great colour for summer, blend some concealer onto the offending area and set with a little translucent powder if you share both my lack of coordination and peach-like skin.
Keep a tube of arnica cream on hand, too: available from health food shops and pharmacies, it will help to fade away that oh-so-attractive black/blue/ purple/green/yellow splodge.
Wash-off instant bronzers are the easiest shortcut to summery limbs. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, €13.95 in department stores and pharmacies, is an oldie but a goodie.
It provides decent coverage for scars and blemishes, and is water-resistant. Opt for one of the lighter shades of the four available to avoid looking tangoed.
To even out skin without adding colour, mix a few drops of foundation with your body moisturiser.
Illuminating your shinbone with a little shine or shimmer will immediately make legs look more defined.
Baby oil, gold eyeshadow or shimmery light bronzing powder are all great DIY options.
If you prefer shop-bought and glam, try Tess Daly Body Sheen Compact Balm, €20 from Marks & Spencer, for a flattering shot of sheer iridescence.