Fake tan is a huge industry RN – but not how you might think. Gone are the obvious over-kill formulas with all their tell-tale streaks and orangey bits. 2018 tans are subtle, and easy to apply which means less chance of getting it wrong…
So here’s my conundrum: I travel a lot but have naturally pale (Scottish) skin. I love to bask in the sun but spend sunny days frantically re-applying factor 50. A tan boosts my confidence but the thought of burning terrifies me (skin cancer. Pretty reasonable fear, I think).
The confidence thing is probably the main reason why I tan, if I’m totally honest. Since I was about 16 years old, I’ve had a slightly love/hate relationship with food, and my personal perception of body image has suffered as a result. I am my own worst enemy, and though developing a healthy work-out regime has helped, I am still haunted by my own ability to see something good and twist it to bad in my head. If I’m having a bad food day, my brain will automatically add half a stone in my reflection, and sometimes I even try to prove this to myself by re-trying clothes I’ve previously relegated to boxes and storage bags because they are unflattering.
When I feel that I don’t look my best, every aspect of my appearance suffers (obviously my psychology does too, but that’s another story for another post). My posture changes to try and protect myself from scrutiny, and I get so frustrated with my appearance that I try to create a protective mask by layering on make-up which ultimately looks cakey and nasty. I’ve looked back on old photos of me at events where I felt bad and I think you can literally see the sadness and fear in my eyes. It’s a horrible feeling, and I can literally feel it creeping up on me.
BUT. Here’s where the post actually becomes satisfying to read (sorry for the self-indulgent ramble) – through years of trial and error, I’ve discovered a confidence pick-me-up. Something that will tide me over ’til the feelings of inadequacy pass and I remember my good bits, not just the bad. Something that put two fingers up at what I know to be a ridiculous logic of feeling too out of shape to go to the gym. Two words: fake tan.
Fake tan gives me the kind of healthy glow I’m craving on an off day. It hugs my curves and accentuates my tone. It feels like an almost invisible shield to protect me from my own negative thoughts. Basically, I love it. Because of this, I am something of a slave to the bottle. I fake it. Weekly – sometimes even more. And consequently, I kind of think I know my stuff about what to use and when to use it. Here’s my hit list..
Fake Bake at Secret Spa – Never is flawless application more important that when you’re going to be next-to-naked on the beach in skimpy swimwear. So I go pro with Theresa or Katie from Secret Spa. The girls arrive at my house, pop out their tanning tent, and get to work using FakeBake’s latest formula. Zero chance of streaks or missed bits.
Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express – I don’t really like sleeping in tan because I worry about my sheets (although this is all changing now I have a Bronzie – read my review here), so I have to find pockets of time during the day. Which is tricky when I’m working out all the time. So a tan that’ll develop in one measly hour is literally gold-dust to me. This one feels refreshing to apply and dries quickly. The guide colour is accurate to the colour you want to go, and helps prevent application mistakes.
Tan Luxe The Water – I’m still blown away by this product. The modern approach to self-tan is DHA-free, super hydrating, and has no tell-tale tanning smell or guide colour. I take this away on holiday with me to top up my tan because the bespoke end colour is so natural and subtle.
James Read Coconut Dry Oil – Probably one of the most indulgent ways to get a tan thanks to an infusion of coconut oil and vitamin E. James’ tans are based on years of industry experience, so they basically do all the hard work for you. This one is particularly fast drying and non-greasy, which means you can get on with your day while it works.
Skinny Tan 7 Day Tan – The only tan I’ve found with 99% naturally-derived ingredients, some of which help disguise the appearance of cellulite while you’re wearing the tan (I’m not really sure how but it actually does work). If you’re a fan of a guide colour for precision application, this is a winner.