Have you embarked on your first fake tan endeavour yet? I, rather unfortunately, have. While I wear my pale skin proudly for most the year round as a sort of silent protest against the TOWIE-fication of women’s skin (and, quite honestly, out of sheer laziness), there comes a time when a sundress must be donned and a little bronze would help matters immensely.
Having to bare my legs was the deciding factor. My were they white. White and texturally displeasing, despite my devotion to body brushing. I knew a brown glaze would provide a optical blur that made my legs look longer, slimmer and just generally more pleasing.
That was the idea, anyway. What really happened was this: I was in a hurry when I realised that not only were my legs alabaster but also stubbly. I quickly ran a razor over my dry skin prompting long strips of red, angry shaving rash. I decided to tone down the rash with some Jurlique Love Balm. After this measure, I reinspected my legs and felt a tan was still the answer, so reached into my cupboard for last year’s fake tan which I smeared over my balmy legs before emerging from my house.
Once on the tube, I caught a look of horror on a fellow commuter’s face. She’d caught sight of my red, shiny and patchy legs. Did I recoil at the idea of using a fake tan ever again? Well of course I didn’t. I searched high and low for the best fake tans to avoid ever again having to use last year’s dried up tube of tan. And also for solutions to the shaving rash situation. Here are those that impressed //
Traditional / Fake Bake The Face, £22 here. A combination of fake tan and peptides that will encourage collagen production, I used this in lieu of night cream to wake with healthy, bronzed skin.
Gradual: Vita Liberata Skin Respect Luxury Gradual Build Untinted Face Tan Lotion, £35 here. A gradual tan is a godsend for we pale creatures. This one is my favourite for the face by virtue of it being organic and packed with hydrating neroli oil.
Instant: Garnier Ambre Solaire 1 Week Glow Tinted Self-Tan Cream for Face, £9.99 here. This one’s easy for the streak-prone – just smooth on the bronze lotion where you want to be more tanned and add more until you’re happy with the colour (and make sure you stop short of oompa loompa territory).
Body Tans with a Colour Guide //
Bargain: No More White Bits Body & Face Instant Tan, £2.33 here. While not the most potent of tans, this one is great for quickly taking the edge off pale skin. It is also instantly absorbed and not in the least bit greasy. At this price, it is perhaps unsurprising that it’s currently sold out. I am reliably informed that it’s due to be back in stock shortly.
Alcohol, Paraben & Odour-Free: He-Shi Gold Foaming Mousse, £25 here. This is the tan that really mimicked a real tan. I have come to realise this is to be entirely expected from tan maestros He-Shi, who seem to be unable to make a fake tan I don’t like.
Foundation & Tan: James Read BB Gradual Face Tan, £22.50 here. Skincare, coverage and golden tan on removal? Yes siree, James Read has indeed put all three in one spankingly good BB cream that you just pop on in the morning and remove at night to reveal healthy and glowing skin.
An Organic Oil: TanOrganic Self-Tanning Oil, £24.99 here. This oil makes tanning ludicrously easy; just smooth on as soon as you’re out the shower and let it develop. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need more of the oil than you do – an extremely thin layer will tan and moisturise.
Long-Lasting: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Elixir, £15.99 here. After one use this went straight onto my shelf. Instantly absorbed, slightly moisturising and the deliverer of a marvellous golden hue, I think this is the bees knees.
The Milk: Vichy Capital Soleil Moisturizing Milk for the Face & Body, £9.33 here. This feels like a moisturiser. It acts rather like one, too. In fact, while it is indeed a traditional develop-over-time fake tan, the thing I was most impressed with was its moisturising abilities.
The Mousse: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, £30.50 here. St. Tropez started the fake tan revolution and they still make some of the best. This one wins my vote for its sheer ease of application. Grab a mitt, buff on in circles and wait a minute or two before dressing. Expect a golden glow to emerge after 4-8 hours.
Lotion: Caudalie Divine Legs, £20.80 here. 92.8% natural and wickedly addictive, this lends legs (and arms) a bronze, illuminated finish.
Gel: Sienna X Instant Bronzing Gel, £12.95 here. Infused with sweet orange and patchouli and fragranced with vanilla orchid and pomegranate, this mimics a healthy tan without any sparkly particles.
Oil: Nars Monoi Body Glow, £44 here. A rich, chocolatey shimmer, this blend of Monoi Tahitian oil and flower extracts smells as good as it looks and cares for skin while on.
In the case of shaving rash… If you have time, put on a good dollop of Heal Gel Body, £39.50 here. A gel enriched with Arnica and Madecassoside liposomes, this is a dab hand at helping to calm redness and regenerate damaged skin. If you’re in a hurry and only have time to cover the redness, use Vichy’s Dermablend Total Body Foundation, £19.83 here, which offers serious coverage that doesn’t budge for up to 16 hours.