Sunday, 25 March 2012

Beautifully Bronzed

The gorgeous weather has inspired me to start wanting a suntan. My white, pasty legs are a sight to behold, let me tell you. I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to spray tans and salon tan services, and tend to apply fake tan myself (although this is rare, I always run out of time halfway and end up with one tanned arm or forget to wash my hands). I guess this stems from a bit of a fear of going too orange. A deep-seated fear as it happens, with a good reason.....

When I was very young (5 or 6 I believe) I developed a bit of an obsession with face paints, which my mum indulged me in on occasion. However, being a sensible and beautiful sort of mum, she always insisted that I moisturise my skin beforehand. So, one summer afternoon, I got out the trusty face paints, hoping for a work of art on my chubby little face, and was duly told to rub in some moisturise that was on my mum's dressing table. I ran upstairs, rubbed it in, nice and thoroughly, came down and let my mum create a work of art. Turns out it wasn't moisturiser, but her fake tan.....

So, I use fake tan very timidly and look for products that give a warm, glowy tan (think a week in Tuscany) rather than a deep, mahogany tan (think a crocodile skin Birkin bag). But, if I'm going to go to all that effort of exfoliating, moisturising (you'd have think I would have been put off) and rubbing it in, I'm looking for more than a hint of a tan (an English summer tan as I tend to think of it).

My favourite face product is Chanel Soleil Identite Face Self Tanner, which gives an amazing healathy glow, but doesn't leave any orange-ness or require a radical change in foundations. It definitely gives a warm, healthy, glowing tan, and smells pretty good too (like toffee, rather than biscuits, which I always think fake tan smells of!). For a slightly lighter tan (I'd use this in the winter) I like St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everday Face, which gives a good colour, and smells inoffensive, unlike most gradual tans. It's also not as oily as many products I have tried, but a light moisturiser. I find that the heavier products leave my skin spotty and feeling very dirty. Finally, for a deeper facial tan, Boots No. 7 do a fabulous Quick Dry Facial Self Tan, with SPF 15. It is the deepest tan that I feel happy to use on my face, but is a good price (£10 for a tube) and easy to get hold of.

For my body, I really like Fake Bake, especially their Beyond Bronze Self Tanning Mousse and Airbrush, both of which are easy to apply, dry quickly and give a good bronze colour that never looks patchy (famous last words). I also find that it doesn't irritate my skin, which some products can do. If you suffer with this, I've heard wonderful reviews of Tesco Self Tanner, which is meant to be very good for people who react to self tanner products.

Finally, if you are feeling decadent, I was once given a sample of Sisley Sans Soleil Tanning Gel (at £72 a tube, there is no way I could justify it!) and found it the best tanner I had ever used. It smells good (like body lotion, with lavender and geranium, rather than tanner), and deepens gradually over about 12 hours, and gives the most natural tan I've ever had from a bottle. 

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