How to Make Your Arms Appear Slimmer

When the weather turns warm, it's time to swap heavy coats and sweaters for bathing suits, tank tops and strapless dresses. But if you're not fond of your arms, you may not be eager to show them off. It takes weeks of workouts to develop toned arms, but with the right clothing, accessories and beauty routine, you can score a similar look in minutes.

A woman is wearing a tank top sitting on the beach. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wear shirts that have three-quarter sleeves to cover up arms and make them look slimmer. Opt for shirts with a tapered body to avoid a billowy look. A tailored black blazer or denim jacket also works -- pair with a brightly colored skirt, pants or shorts to draw attention away from your arms.

Step 2

Put on thin bracelets, such as skinny bangles, to make arms look smaller than they are. The gap between the bracelet and your wrist creates the appearance of slender arms. Skip tight-fitting bracelets or watches, as they can have the opposite effect.

Step 3

Stand with your arm bent at the elbow and your hand resting on your hip. Angle the arm back so that your elbow is pointing behind you. This tricks the eye into seeing a smaller arm. The pose works well for taking pictures, too.

Step 4

Hold one arm straight out and flex your muscles. With your other hand, smooth a line of gel bronzer between your triceps and bicep muscles. Use a foundation brush to blend in the color. Repeat with the other arm. This makes your arms look more toned and slender.

Step 5

Put on a pair of vinyl gloves, then smooth self-tanning cream into the parts of your arm that you want to define. Apply the cream with small, circular motions. Let the cream dry for 20 minutes, then apply a moisturizer that contains a subtle self-tanner to the same area to even out your golden glow.

Things You'll Need

  • Three-quarter sleeve shirts

  • Black blazer

  • Thin bracelets

  • Gel bronzer

  • Foundation brush

  • Vinyl gloves

  • Self-tanning cream

  • Moisturizer with self-tanner


Staying active won't get your arms toned instantly, but you'll see gradual results. Do pushups or exercise with dumbbells in your spare time to develop slender arms.

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