I have a confession, I’m very pale, and I’m not just talking about during the winter months. Even after a week away in the sun all I’m left with is a splattering of freckles atop a still very off-white base.
So that post-vacay glow you might have seen me sporting, that all year round hint of tan I seem to maintain; it’s all fake, it always has been.
I’m adept in the art of all-year-round-fake-tanning, however, that people often just assume I’m sallow skinned – and I know I’ve done a particularly good job if I hop into a taxi and the driver says they expected me to start speaking Spanish, or some similarly exotic language that belies my nothing but Irish heritage.
How do I consistently pull off this beauty charade? My success is largely down to two tanning products, which swiftly and streak-lessly help me maintain a faux-glow; Lancôme Flash Bronzer Self-tanning Face Gel and Garnier Summer Body Lotion.
Lancôme Flash Bronzer Self-tanning Face Gel
I apply one pump of this Lancôme classic (€30, brownthomas.com) everyday over my moisturiser and SPF (more on that below).
It mixes in seamlessly, isn’t greasy or oily whatsoever, and never streaks or looks anything but natural.
The colour it gives to my face means that I don’t have to wear foundation and usually just apply concealer under my eyes, on my nose, over any blemishes, and set with a little translucent powder.
Garnier Summer Body Lotion
When I need a deeper glow, or need to tan up ASAP, I’ll turn to a ‘proper’ fake tan (my favourites are San Tropez Dark Lotion, Bondi Sands Dark lotion, and He-Shi Dark Foaming Mousse), however Garnier’s Summer Body Lotion (€7.99, 250ml, boots.ie) is my mainstay tanning hero.
There are two shades, I use the ‘Deep Sun-Kissed’ variety and the absolute *key* to a successful application is to apply it using a tanning mitt.
As it works as a both quickly-absorbing moisturiser and tanner I apply it after showering and it ticks all my skincare boxes in one.
It applies like a dream, hydrates the skin and comes off really easily with an exfoliating mitt – you know (or at least regular fake tanners will), when you get to that stage when you need to scrub it all off and start again with a fresh base.
This is widely available in pharmacies, and even supermarkets, and is pretty cheap wherever you choose to purchase.
However, it’s worth checking out Boots as they often have it included in their 3 for 2 or 1/2 off offers online and in-store – and yes, I often stock up on it in threes.
So there you have it, my tanning secrets.
On a similar vein I should probably add that I’m a big SPF advocate. So obsessive am I about protecting my skin that I don’t just layer it on while on holidays or in the summer; even in the depths of winter in Ireland I’ll be wearing a high factor on my face (you can find some of my top SPF picks here).
And while I sometimes I do lament the fact that I don’t get a tan naturally it’s probably a good thing for my skin in the long term. If I did I would be far too tempted to lie out altered up in tanning oil…
One final note; if you’re not also a fake tan devotee you might ask why do I bother? why don’t I just embrace my natural skin tone?
Well, I don’t have any better answer than to say it makes me feel good, and if a little touch of tan can have that effect on me, or indeed any other tanning fiend, then I can’t see this being a negative thing whatsoever. Go forth and get bronzed.
What are your favourite fake tanning products? Let me know if the comments below or drop me a mail, I’d love to try them out!