Charlotte: It’s Spring people, and you know what that means right? a little bit of sunshine and those hemlines will be rising…. Which (unless you are one of those lucky types with a naturally dark complexion) means a pasty not-seen-daylight-in-months pair of pins. Now, I’m not about to give you a big old lecture on the risks associated with basking yourself in a bunch of UVA/UVB rays (because you already know how dangerous it is right?) but I thought we might have a wee discussion about the best alternative. Yes that’s right folks, a good old bottle of the fake stuff. Tan in a can as it were. And when I say discussion I mean we’ll talk about our experiences and what products we rate – then you gorgeous lot can share, ok?
After many many years spent as a dancer I am only too au fait with looking like I had a giant satsuma for a bonce (no really, massive moon head on small dancers body and you do kind of resemble a toothpick with an oversized tangerine on the end – Avon bronzing pearls in “tropical” circa 1997…avoid at all costs).
I do not in any way condone this look. It is not pretty and it is not clever (especially when combined with blue glittery eyeshadow and a bright neon catsuit but that is a different story entirely…) and in fact as a rule, nowadays I do not put any bronzing lotion potion anywhere near my face at all. Unless you count the faintest hint of “warmth” powder by Bare Minerals when I am on my jolly holidays…
But my goodness do I plaster my body in it. I love a good glow, and it makes me feel just that little bit better to be the proud owner of a non-translucent pallor. My favourite faker is Dove nourishing every-day tan in light/medium that only smells ever-so faintly of hobnobs. I don’t actually put it on every day (I think it can be a tad drying) but usually two nights on the trot every week or so. I don’t use any other moisturiser before hand and I do leave it a good ten minutes before I put clothes back on (although it says you only have to wait five) – to make sure it doesn’t go all wonky. I also exfoliate regularly with the Body Shop coconut scrub to avoid weird patchiness and only put the smallest remnants of self tan on my feet and backs of hands (had dreadful spray tan once where I remained white except for day-glo toes and cuticles….tragic).
For more of a tan tan (used before I have to be seen in public donning a bikini) I like Piz Buin – the creamy version not the mousse, it’s tinted so you can see exactly where you are putting it (and which areas you have potentially missed!) I also love a bit of stuff with shimmer to go over the top – every summer Estee Lauder bring out this immense oil with gold shiny bits in and it makes your limbs appear all lithe and mermaid-esque.
In fact I’m pretty sure it’s called “Goddess”….figures.
Jenny: I started fake tanning at the tender age of 14 – It was 1994. It was Piz Buin Self Tan, and it was applied to my legs by my dear Mum whilst I stood on the dining room table! Fake tan wasn’t really the wonder product back then, it was just generally orange and stank of curry. I did however get some comments from the girls in the year above at school who wanted to know how I managed to get such bronzed legs when my face, arms and chest were distinctly pale and freckly!
My fake tan strategy is the more you pay the better the product. I’ve been down the St Moritz route (from Savers for about £3 – supposed to be the same as St Tropez – it’s not). I’ve tried using the dodgy wipes (hello streaks!) I’ve tried the Johnsons Holiday skin (still stinks of curry) and on my skin it works better with a base tan, as it really enhances my natural colour – which is why I suppose, they call it Holiday Skin!
My ultimate product in self tanning is St Tropez Whipped Bronze, applied with a mitt, it goes on evenly (providing you have exfolidated and moisturised first of course) and once it’s developed and you’ve rinsed off the top residue it leaves you with a natural colour, which is buildable if you decide to go darker. I prefer the whipped bronze to the lotion because the coverage is so much smoother.
Wedding day skin saw me head to toe in my favourite product: Mac Face and Body Foundation in C2. I had a base coat of St Tropez whipped bronze which I applied a few days previously, but the Mac product just helped to disguise any blotches and freckles and helped to give me confidence with having my arms on show. I didn’t want to be an orange bride, its bad enough I look back and regret my hair style on the big day, I didn’t want to look back and wonder why on earth I applied so much fake tan. I didnt’ however want to look anaemic. My skin isn’t creamy pale it’s blue and veiny.
I just didn’t want to look like a lump of stilton walking up the aisle! The things we obsess about huh?
Naomi: I have a bit of a bizarre relationship with fake tan. I was a late bloomer.
Many a night in my teens were spent pale and erm… interesting on the dance floor of many a club. It wasn’t until University that I realised that I was about the only female who did not smell of biscuits/roast chicken/curry sauce. My friends would religiously slather on a layer of the stuff before every night out. Rather than feel pressure to look a certain way, I kind of felt like I was denying myself a pamper ritual and so started to experiment with various forms of self tan.
I have to say, it wasn’t pretty. Several rain dotted Sun Shimmer outings, green palms (bleach does not remove fake tan from your hands apparently) and tan mitts that turn your tumble dryer into a big biscuit smell infuser for all other clothing, I would love to say I gave up. But I didn’t… I became addicted. Fake tan is like crack (I imagine). Once you start using it, it’s hard to ween off. The morning after the golden glow has worn off, you emerge from the shower to face a mirror depicting a sheet of tracing paper for skin and shock the holy hell out of yourself. “Was I always this white?!” I’d think to myself. That’s when I realised I had a problem.
So the only thing to do was go cold turkey. And what better time that the purse-string-strangling months of wedding planning. No longer would I spend 22 British Pounds Stirling per bottle of Vita Liberata – Silken Chocolate (the best I’ve ever used). And my methods worked. Aside from the odd dousing around the time of the RMW photoshoot, my hen do and the wedding, I went completely without fake tan for the best part of a year sporting the whole white hair, white skin look. And it was incredibly liberating.
Now, I’ve chased the summer around the world for 10 months and my skin is sporting a good glow, (Responsibly achieved with factor 30+ everyday). But as summer turns to winter here in Upside Down Land, I wonder if I’ll don a mitt at some stage. If so, I’m pretty out of practice, so any handy tan tips would be greatly appreciated you bunch of beauties.
Vix: I LOVE fake tan, almost as much as perfume! I like to have a lovely glow all year round, it makes me feel good even if I am covered up from head to toe.
I have a couple of favourites, for everyday use I use Dove Summer glow, this is perfect for my skin and it gradually builds up a nice light tan, they even do one with a bit of sparkle in for nights out. I do have to exfoliate daily as it can build up in areas. I also tried Johnsons Holiday Skin but my sensitive skin just flared up in a rash which doesn’t look good and it was so itchy…
The other tan I use is Ambre Solaire No Steaks Bronzer, it is (for me) the best on the market, you can spray all over, even upside down and it’s actual spray is nice and light, it dries really quick so you don’t have to hang around… AND it smells all apricoty – Yum. I am contemplating a spray tan for the wedding but I have not had one before, I think I need to try it out, but then again I am used to my own tans now.
One question with regards to a professionsl spray tan, do you do it the day before or two days before? I don’t want to get stains on my dress and also I live in fear of smelling like toast and mushrooms on the big day!!
Hmmmmm what to do!!??
Big Non-Tangoed Love
Charlotte, Jenny, Naomi and Vix xxx