She's perfection personified but she keeps a superior eye on all the latest beauty products for you, the humble reader.
Lady Muck tries exercise. Wish her luck
As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, the last thing I wanted to hear was the doors of my Virgin Active gym close for good. Drowning my sorrows in a flute of Champers and a plate of after dinner truffles, I really did wince at the thought of my long journey ahead trying to shift that extra holiday weight post-party season.
I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you but I'm not partial to exercise. True ladies never are; I’m certain of it. A gentle pilates session maybe, I’ve even succumbed to a dance lesson in my time but jogs, bike rides and spin classes are beyond me. Nevertheless, I’m now of that age when I need to let exercise into my life in the same way I’ve slowly but surely reintroduced blue eye shadow back into my beauty bag. It’s okay in small doses and when done properly, it can make you look better than you did before, but boy does it take a lot of practise.
But alas, my pathway to a perfect body in 2013 was over before it even started. Or so I thought. Some time ago a friend introduced me to Zaggora, a brand of exercise wear, namely ‘HotPants’, that increase your body temperature while you exercise which causes more calorie burn. Sold on the fact it sounded like a lazy girl’s guide to getting fit, I’d popped it on my to-do list and then promptly forgotten about it again.
But then I suddenly noticed Zaggora stands popping up in Boots stores everywhere and not wanting to miss out on the latest ‘everyone’s talking about it’ moment, I snapped up a pair of the Capri-style hotpants. (I say hotpants, they’re actually below the knee at a respectable mid-calf length should you be picturing me staggering around with my thighs on show).
I also discovered that they’d introduced some fat busting body products to create an even more suped up experience, so I seemed destined to try them and to be honest, anything that promises more results and the chance of lessgets my vote.
The recipe to success goes like this…slather on the Svelt Melt, pop on your Zaggora hotpants, get moving, peel off the pants, shower and finish with a coating of Motion Lotion. Within four weeks you should see leaner, smoother legs with less cellulite and zero.
Product wise, I have to admit I turned my nose up at the bright red bottles – when you become so au fait with glass vials and powder puffs, it’s something of a culture shock, but the products have left me pleasantly surprised. Both the Svelt Melt and Motion Lotion, £35 each, have a lovely texture and the melt is like a rich buttery balm that sinks into skin as easily as Darphin’s lovely Velvet Firming Cream. It really does feel quite indulgent which is a word I’d never normally put in the same paragraph as exercise.
But remember, this is not just any cream. This is a blend of fat-zapping caffeine, circulation-stimulating red pepper extract, anti-inflammatory witch hazel and stretch mark reducing peptides that all get working the moment you do. You don’t even have to over exert yourself – as long as you perform over 30 minutes of exercise, whether it’s a power walk, easy jog or even a full-on cleaning session, the pants should start to release their powers.
They certainly make you feel like they’re working. As well as their wetsuit appearance and texture, just wearing them gives you a little spurt of energy, mainly because for once in my life I actually look like I know what I’m doing. They hug in all the right places and they definitely make me look more pert than I do in my jeans or joggers. Wearing mine to hoover, clean, and on low-key runs (something I’ve been forced to do in the name of testing these things), they definitely make you sweat more. And your face go redder, but I quite like that as it convinces Mr Muck that I’ve actually exerted myself for once! They dry pretty quickly too so the maintenance is low-key all round.
The Motion Lotion is satisfying on the skin too. Filled with cooling menthol to counteract all that heat and friction you’ve been conjuring up, it also contains Inca Inchin Oil (it’s real, google it if you don’t believe me!) that’s rich in fatty acids and boosts your skin’s moisture barrier along with firming lupin seed extract. Oh and another shot of caffeine to keep those fat cells in check.
To be honest, as far as cellulite creams go, these are just as good as the offerings presented to us by major beauty houses every summer, although I am looking forward to trying Clarins’ new cellulite-busting technology when it’s launched later this spring.
The three-pronged approach of products and hotpants also makes it feel like that 30 minutes of exercise is actually worth the effort as if you keep the hotpants on for that little bit extra, it boosts the effects. Although saying that, I found that as soon as I stopped moving I went from roasty toasty to chilly billy in a matter of minutes. That could also be a side effect of coming indoors from outside, though.
In reality, I’ve been trying them for a month and while I haven’t seen a vast amount of shrinkage (I’m an impatient exerciser), my skin does genuinely feel smoother and my thighs less flabby. I’ve happily converted from cotton and lycra mixes to the unique material and I plan to keep cracking them out at every given occasion, especially when the user manual informs me that doing half an hour of laundry burns 70 calories and rearranging furniture a hefty 225. Looking at it, my lounge does need a breath of fresh air.*
*reaches for Svelt Melt…