Photoshop Body Lotion? We Tried It

embPhotographed by Nicolas Bloise.
After the winter we've had, it's understandable if you aren't feeling 100% ready to be seen in shorts. Whether your legs are looking a little dull, kind of blotchy, or just generally not their most awesome, there can be some anxiety around baring your stems come summertime. Of course, we don't think anyone needs to undergo any shorts-shame for their legs, but we also know the quiet pain of feeling self-conscious in those revealing styles.
A solution? So-called body-perfecting lotions. We take some issue with that name, to be honest, but we can get behind what these lotions offer. Tinted and usually featuring some sort of shimmer or optical diffusers along with skin-hydrating and firming ingredients, these crafty potions can help blur and conceal the features you may be not so stoked to show, whether it's cellulite, spider veins, or uneven tone. These products are like liquid Photoshop — and a godsend to girls who might lack the confidence to bare all in public.
Recently, these BB creams for your bod have had a major renaissance, with tons of brands pushing out new launches at every price point. We wanted to see just how effective these "body perfectors" (still hating that) really are, so we had three of our brave staffers take the most intriguing options for a spin.
Of course, we still think self-confidence and an awesome attitude are best when showcasing your bare legs, but if you're looking for a little extra help, check out the Before & After photos to see how these bad boys performed. Can you really get airbrushed legs in a bottle? Click on to find out.
ProductSmackdown_Alyssa_1Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Who: Alyssa Coscarelli, Contributor Network assistant
The Contender: Urban Decay Naked Skin Body Beauty Balm
"At first, I was beyond skeptical about the Urban Decay Beauty Balm. I’ve never been a fan of self-tanners, because I tan naturally and have an olive skin tone that can easily cross over into the dreaded orange zone. Frankly, I thought the whole idea of a beauty balm was bogus and had a hard time believing in the idea of 'Barbie legs in a bottle,' as one of our editors put it.
"But, upon applying the Beauty Balm, I found it to be nothing at all like a body bronzer or self-tanner. It had no hint of orange and was instead flesh-toned — more like a foundation with a bit of shimmer. It smelled pleasant and clean and was incredibly easy to apply — it didn’t even turn my hands a weird color. There were no visible streaks as I rubbed it into my legs, and the overall effect of the lotion appeared extremely subtle and natural."
ProductSmackdown_Alyssa_3Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
"After applying the Beauty Balm all over one leg, I could already see the difference from the other leg. It seemed to blur any hint of hair follicles, veins, or redness that my legs typically have, and it made my leg brighter, more luminous, and healthy-looking. From far away, others said it looked like my legs had been Photoshopped!
"I’m not sure if I would trust the product on a scorching summer day in NYC. Just sitting at my desk with my legs crossed later in the day, some parts of my leg began to feel slightly slimy and splotchy, so I don’t think sweat and this product mix all too well, and I doubt this one's very waterproof."
The Result: "I would use this again, though not in my everyday routine. I would certainly pull it out for an event or even just a night out. This product is like a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer for your legs — perfect for those who just want a little healthy glow without involving any tanning (real or faux)."
Urban Decay Naked Skin Body Beauty Balm, $32, available at Urban Decay.
ProductSmackdown_Laura_1Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Who: Laura Norkin, content editor
The Contender: Prrty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion
"I found the directions to be a bit lacking. How much do I apply? Do I wipe in straight lines or rub in a circular motion? I decided to go for it, so I squeezed about a quarter-sized blob of what looked just like gold shimmer paint into my hand and smeared it on one leg. It felt very viscous and kind of sticky, but went on smooth. But, it never felt like it rubbed in. It also tingled a little in the way putting lotion on right after you shave does — I had just shaved, so that may be why.
"When my feverish rubdown was complete, the difference was pretty subtle; it gave a nice, glistening appearance and sort of evened my blotchy, pinky-pale complexion. But, it was almost like I'd covered myself in Vaseline. I even wiped some onto my arms to disperse the grease feeling. If your legs touch any textiles or surfaces throughout the day, this might not be a good choice. For the rest of the afternoon, after I had changed back into jeans, I had the sensation of sweaty legs sliding around inside my pants. Not great."
ProductSmackdown_Laura_3Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
"Then, something interesting happened. Hours later, when I changed into PJs, I noticed that the stuff finally had absorbed, and my skin felt tauter, smoother, and looked more even-toned than before. Maybe even tanner — a plus for this pale gal. I'll admit I've never noticed a lack of tightness in my leg skin before, but the elasticity was definitely improved after applying the lotion."
The Result: "I have no idea exactly how long it took for this effect to take hold, or if I just used too much product for it to set in immediately, but it worked. My arms still felt a little sticky at night when I was getting ready for bed — I suspect my legs didn't because some of the formula was absorbed by my jeans. The next morning, after showering it off, all my limbs were baby-smooth. Okay, maybe twentysomething smooth."
Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion, $39, available at Prtty Peaushun.
ProductSmackdown_Lilac_1Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Who: Lilac Perez, photo assistant
The Contender: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
"The directions for Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs advise shaking the bottle and spraying it on your hands, then applying it to your legs. The process to apply the product was a little messy, and I did need to use quite a bit of product to see visible results. I think the spray bottle is misleading since you cannot spray the product onto the desired area, which I was not loving.
"The good news is that once it is on and sets for the required 60 seconds, it did not rub off on my clothes. That said, I would be wary to sit on a white sofa or use it paired with a white or pastel-colored outfit."
ProductSmackdown_Lilac_3Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
The Result: "Overall, I think it did a great job of evening out my skin tone and giving me a soft tan and summer glow. I would definitely recommend this product if you were ever in need of a quick fix!"
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $12.99, available at Ulta.

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