How to have gorgeous legs and other expert advice, from one of Britain’s top beauty editors

In our series on women at the top of the industry, Kate Shapland of The Telegraph Magazine, and founder of Legology, reveals the secrets to beautiful legs and the products in her own beauty bag

My skincare regime

As a beauty editor, it’s worryingly simple! I cleanse with a balm and a gently abrasive sponge. I always moisturise with one of the products I’ve got on rotation at the time but my trusty favourites are Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil (£57.50) and Chanel Le Weekend (£72), which contains resurfacing ingredients like glycolic acid for a Satuday and Sunday glow-booster.

I also always apply eye cream and wear a pair of shades when I’m outside. I had an upper blepharoplasty (eye lift) at The Cadogan Clinic a few weeks after my 50th birthday and am now obsessed with preserving the surgeon’s work!

My bath ritual

A quick shower in the morning and a long bath in the evening with my Kindle. I’m the Imelda Marcos of bath oils, so I always add one like Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil (£52).

My make-up must-haves

I always wear blusher but I’m very fussy about the shade; one nuance too far on the pink side and it goes in the bin. Chanel Joules Contrast Powder Blush in Frivole (£31) and By Terry Blush Terrybly in Torrid Peach (£53) are the right coral-pink with a mother of pearl iridescence that makes your cheeks look polished. I usually wear brown mascara but am quite partial to a coloured mascara, especially plum.

I have a fine collection of nude and lilac-pink lip colours (glosses, lipsticks and balms) in my house, bag, car and coat pockets. The current stash consists of Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Dusty Rose (£18), Nars Cinematic Lipstick in Full Frontal (£18.50) and Chanel Rouge Allure in Extatique (£25)

My favourite fragrances

I love floral fragrances, but prefer to wear razor-sharp citruses. The fragrance house Robertet created Capri Crush, the signature scent of Legology Air-Lite, and naturally I think this is the most perfect lemon I’ve ever smelled. So much so, in fact, that I’m now turning it into a scented body/leg tonic, which will be revealed next year.

Two other favourites are the cult oriental chypre Guerlain Jicky (£210) and Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde (£42), with lime, tropical fruit and fig that dries down to vanilla-like tonka bean.

My haircare secrets

I’m a big fan of Philip Kingsley’s range as the shampoos and conditioners are so gentle and kind to my hair. In particular, I love the Elasticizer Pre Shampoo Treatment (£28), which you use once a week before washing your hair to help strengthen damaged hair. And I only ever use conditioner on the ends of my hair to prevent split ends and keep the volume on my crown.

What inspired me to create Legology

I genuinely felt that women were being shortchanged on leg care. This sector of the market seemed to be so focused on cellulite. While many of us have it, most of us also know that there are other concerning leg issues like fluid retention, heaviness, shooting pains after a day on your feet, puffiness in hot weather, dryness… I could go on. I felt that anti-cellulite had come to represent leg care in much the same way that anti-ageing has come to be what skincare is all about, and that seemed unbalanced to me.

I have a personal appreciation of fluid retention and heavy legs, so I wanted to create a product that made treating this very unsexy issue a joy not a chore: a cream that worked brilliantly, felt wonderful to apply and smelt out of this world. I wanted it to make your legs so light you felt you could fly!

All I had to do then was create it, and that took some years and a great deal of tenacity. I basically drove my husband and close friends up the wall over this particular crusade.

How to have great legs in your 50s

Two of the most inspiring people I’ve met in my career have given me what I consider the best advice for maintaining leg health. First, Shari Lewis, a Californian massage therapist, taught me how to eat in a way that helps to keep legs light and uncongested. She advocates maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance, so going heavy on fruits and vegetables and light on meat, dairy, sugar and grains. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful in limiting fluid retention – be it an ongoing or a temporary monthly issue.

She also taught me the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to my diet. If you want to drink coffee, drink the best organic fresh coffee and if you want a glass of wine, drink the finest antioxidant-rich red.

I also admire Professor Mark Whiteley, who runs the Whiteley Clinic on Harley Street. He’s a pioneering vascular surgeon, who approaches vascular health in such a logical way: he insists on doing a full ultrasound to find out why a patient has developed varicose veins before treating them accordingly, rather than just removing them.

If you have varicose or spider veins, or even heavy legs, I recommend consulting him to determine why and what treatment you may – or may not – need. In addition, movement is key to great legs. When you move, your lymph (excess fluid) moves, so congestion and puff is reduced. If you sit at a desk most of the day, try standing up regularly and walking around.

The standout make-up for women in their 50s

There are some real gems in many of today’s beauty lines. Shiseido excels with foundations that are especially forgiving on older skin; Wild About Beauty has a wonderful range of easy-to-wear eye colours and New CID makes compacts containing lights for those of us who are shortsighted. It’s a stroke of genius, which could only have been invented by a woman.

My best beauty tip for women in their 50s

Softness in everything. From skincare that doesn’t contain aggressive formulas to your make-up, which should have no hard lines or harsh colours. And hold on to your spirit of adventure. Keep trying new things!

The next big thing in beauty is:

Customisation. The concept of being able to tailor everything from skin to haircare and make-up to suit you and only you. It’s going to be huge.

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