For those of us of a paler persuasion who love sporting a bit of a tan, we face an interesting predicament come summer time in this fun-sized sandpit of ours.
Let’s face it, even though our friends and family back home think we’re chained to our sun-loungers and living it up in a climate similar to Spain, the reality is we’re all sweating bullets and trying to find a way to surgically attach an air-con vent to our person.
The thought of going outside to sunbathe in order to keep up our bronzed god/goddess image seems not only preposterous but makes us feel a little bit faint.
So, until the summer months have passed (and to keep our fabulousity score at a reasonable level), there’s only one way to get that gorgeous summer glow without looking like a shriveled up prune - and that’s to fake it.
Now, before we get into it, don’t let thoughts of streaky fake tan, hours of effort, hulking salon-sized products and the smell of biscuits cloud your mind. Those days are gone! Think moisturised, gorgeous glowing skin and purse-friendly, luxurious products that not only save on elbow grease but take about ten minutes to apply start to finish. Sounds too good to be true, right? It isn’t.
Whether you want to look subtly sun-kissed or savagely tanned (hello George Hamilton), there’s an amazing array of products available that actually deliver, each of which has been tried and tested by yours truly. I’ve rounded up the best, covered the different types of tanning action available and even thrown in a few handy tips for good measure.
Wash Off Glow Your ‘I-want-a-tan’ interest is peaked but you’re still not sure, I understand. What if I told you there was a gorgeous, spray on shimmery bronze body oil that not only gives a beautiful sun-kissed glow but moisturises your skin to within an inch of its life and washes off as soon as you jump in the shower?
Yes indeed. Step up Nuxe Multi-Usage Shimmering Dry Oil.
A fabulous product that does just that and makes your bathroom shelf look like something out of French Vogue. You’ll look ‘fabulous dahling!’ and this little angel won’t break the bank. Get it: Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil Golden Shimmer, BD22 from Boots (17 179 852).
Go Gradual Keen to dip your toes into the faux tanning pool but still feeling a bit scared? (Admit it; you’re a bit of a wimp.)
Try the gradual glow option. I love St Tropez Gradual Tan which, conveniently, is also an everyday body moisturiser!
Available in two shades, light/medium or medium/dark, just pick your shade, have a good scrub in the shower, lash it on (not literally) and hit the sheets.
Wake up the next morning with a natural looking glow and build it up if you like it. Easy peasy. It really is the girl’s or boy’s best tanning friend. Get it: St Tropez Gradual Tan, BD13 from Beauty Spot Salon (17 618 888).
Two Week Tan In a bottle that is. Xen-Tan Dark Lotion gives maximum J-Lo style results but requires a little bit of effort in the form of a nice, relaxing bath and some exfoliating action beforehand. Sound’s awful doesn’t it? When exfoliating, focus on the elbows and knees, slough off that dead and dry skin and then get slathering. Start at the feet and apply upwards in long even strokes (with a tanning mitt if you have one), taking care not go back over it too much so you’ll avoid streaking. Wear loose clothing to bed and leave it to develop overnight or, if you’re of an impatient nature, wait three hours and then shower to reveal a deep luscious tan. Look out Katie Price! Get it: Xen-Tan Dark Lotion Weekly Tan BD14, from www.feelunique.com
Leave it to the Pros Hailing from the ‘I-just-can’t-be-bothered’ school but still mad for a full-on faux glow? Get ready to splash the cash then (not that much) and opt for a professional spray tan.
If you haven’t had one done before, you’re seriously missing out.
Summed up, it’s a rather relaxing experience that takes 15 minutes flat and leaves you with a gorgeously even, perfectly flawless tan that lasts for up to two weeks with absolutely no effort required on your part, hurrah! Just remember to wear loose clothing to the salon and exfoliate the night before. Not another relaxing bath you say? Yes, life is tough sometimes. Get it: St Tropez Spray Tan BD15, from Heads Up Salon (17 611 188).