written by Zoe Cuthbertson
Faux Glow: Yes and No!
We’ve all been there, you wake up in the morning expecting to look like an Amazonian beauty only to realise the harsh reality is stained white sheets and a carrot-like hue. So, how do we achieve va-va-voom and not oompa-loompa-do-ba-de-doo?
Fear not, fellow tanners- don’t reach for the solarium bed, beach towel, or even the gun (spray gun, that is). Here are some helpful hints to get that cheeky dose of colour sans sun. Last year alone Brits reportedly spent £35 million on tanning products, on a positive note SPF sales have also skyrocketed. With almost half of us opting to play it safe last year we salute you! And here is our list of do’s and don’ts for achieving the perfect tan for your next pool side destination.
Our tips for a tan even Brooke would be jealous of…
Have a shower right before you apply your tan. Give yourself a good scrub and polish, for at least the length of one Adele song…singing talent not necessary. If you miss this step you’ll end up with a flaky, patchy looking tan. After you step out of the shower make sure your skin is completely dry before applying your tan, or it won’t absorb properly. The gurus at St Tropez also recommend moisturizing dry areas such as elbows, knees, wrists and feet to avoid an uneven tan.
Always try to use the most natural products you can find, I’m not suggesting you drink the stuff (though later I do mention eating it…) but look out for ingredients like Vitamin E to keep your skin hydrated. Also, let’s face it, tan has a bed reputation for its peculiar odours and there’s nothing worse than being outed because of the smell (“…oh I’ve just spent a week in the Bahamas” doesn’t bode so well if you smell like a farm animal). Heavily perfumed products can also cause irritation, so choose your products wisely.
Listen up cast of Jersey Shore – less is more. Be mean with the amount of tan you apply. I often apply tan in two stages. If you’re departing for a trip to the Mediterranean on a Saturday, apply your tan first on Thursday night – that way if you’ve over done it, it has time to fade or if it could do with a top up you have another night up your sleeve to re-apply. Speaking of sleeves, after your final hand wash, apply a little tan mixed with moisturizer to your digits. Then, try to wash your hands as little as possible while your tan develops or you’ll end up with your own set of Michael Jackson’s white gloves.
Finally – your snow-white limbs have transformed into bronzed babies, ready to be revealed to the public. Your new tan is your coat of arms so be brave, you only have the body of a twenty/thirty/forty-something year old for a few years so get out there and make the most of it. Always use sun protection on top of your glow to protect your skin underneath. It’s often helpful when on holidays to pack a daily moisturizing version of your chosen tan to top-up without the hassle of a full application.
Here are three of the best tanning products I’ve tested with laboratory precision, and the results are in!
1. Ella Baché
I worship this tan. It has almost no smell and leaves you with the most fantastic colour. The tan itself is tinted so you know exactly where you’re applying it, taking away the guess-work – and you’re left with an immediate glow. I’ve worn this tan for years and was devastated to discover I couldn’t find it when I moved to the UK. Lucky I have great friends to send it over for me. Forget Tim-Tams, I need my tan!
2. St Tropez
I’ve tried the daily, the instant and the long-term tan. All are brilliant. There is a reason why this brand is so famous, selling three bottles of their tan mousse every minute the world over – it really, really works. I especially love the wash-off instant glow for last-minute emergencies.
Check out their best sellers and even how-to video tutorials on the St Tropez website
3. Xen Tan
Make sure you eat a decent meal before applying this tan. It smells SO good, I almost gnawed off my own hand for a midnight snack. With sweet smells like cocoa and vanilla you’d be forgiven for thinking this tan belongs on top of a cupcake. It gets better, your tan will develop into a scrumptious caramel colour after a few hours and will last for a week.
Pick up a tube at Xen Tan