Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tan: The Many Ways To Fake It

Now that we're coming into the warmer months, it's time to start showing a bit more skin. However, I do not want to be responsible for blinding the public, or even my nearest and dearest, with my ultra-white legs. I just can't do it. And so, once Spring hits, out come the various forms of fake tan to take the edge off of Winter's work. There are so many ways to fake it these days that I thought I'd run through my favourite products from each main sector.

First up, there is the most simple and easy way to get that golden glow: a body bronzer. These products are ideal for when you haven't had the time/forgotten to tan and you're about to walk out the door. They're also really good for tanning novices, or those of you who just don't have the confidence to tan without streaks etc., but still want a nice glow.

I thought I'd show two here as they are very different in effect and texture. Above you can see the Baji Inca Bronze Shimmer. This is really strange when you first encounter it. It's super runny and shimmery. The colour looks very strong and, to be honest, not that appealing for a tan. However, once you apply this it disappears on the skin and becomes a subtle glow. It is not something that provides a strong hit of colour, more a small hint of glow. It is quite red, and you can see this when applied. But, on my skin at least, this wasn't un-flattering. I felt this was a really light and watery type product that gave me a hit of confidence to walk out the door.

One of my favourite instant bronzers is the Sportsgirl Body Glow. As you can see, this had a much thicker formula and a less orange base. Because of this, I feel, it gives a really natural look. The cream is easy to apply and doesn't stain your hands (be sure to wash them though afterwards!). I especially love the smell of this - it's lovely and coconut-y which instantly makes me think of Summer. This also has a shimmer to it, but it's nothing outlandish and really is there to give a nice glow to your, now Summer-y, legs.

Next on the scale of tanning products is the tanning moisturiser (also known as a gradual tanner). A tanning moisturiser has a tanning agent within it that's diluted - therefore providing a very sheer tan. Applied each day it will build in strength. This product is an absolute God-send to tanners of all kinds. Applied as a normal moisturiser, it won't streak (or if it does, it starts off so sheer it shouldn't be noticeable) so it's perfect for those who aren't keen on the more full on tanners. It's also great for those who do tan regularly, but want something to maintain it between applications. My favourite, shown above, is the Dove Summer Glow. It has a gorgeously soft scent and feels really nourishing on the skin.

Jumping up the tanning scale now, to something more long-lasting with quicker effects, we have the tanning gel. People seem to have either a love or a hate relationship with gel formulas. A lot of these products come with some kind of tint or colour within them that give you an idea of where you've applied. I've never had too many issues with the gels personally, but others I've known don't like that sticky residue they sometimes leave. You also need to work fairly quick with them as they'll 'set'. I think this is down to product and, of course, preference. My favourite is the Garnier Ambre Solaire Velvet Touch Bronzing Gel. It gives a lovely, rich tan that comes out quite quickly.

Next up is spray tans. Now, personally, I've never had too much luck with these fellers. These are definitely for the more accomplished tanners out there. I've found that no matter what I do or how hard I try, I end up with streaks. Super frustrating! I think I'll leave the spraying to the professionals. If you are interested in giving them a try though, I'd recommend the Garnier Ambre Solaire Self Tanning Spray. It's inexpensive and gives a nice colour.

Lastly, you have your creams. This is my preferred way to tan, mainly because I love the product (shown above) itself! Cream tanners are not moisturisers, although they're more moisturising than other forms of tan. What's good about creams is the way that they sink into the skin. I find I get a more even, longer lasting tan from a cream formula. But hey - we're all different! The Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion which I've shown above is my favourite. Yes, I know it's green! To be perfectly honest, I don't remember it coming out green when I first opened it, but it did have a greenish tinge when I would apply it at first. Now it's just all green. Don't be afraid though! This counteracts the orange tones you get in tanners, leaving you with a beautifully natural, deep looking tan. This product also goes on coloured, so you know where you've applied. After the given amount of time, you shower and the excess washes off. Underneath, you're left with a lovely bronze body!

A few other tips on tanning that I think are useful to keep in mind:
+ Use a mitt. For anything long lasting (think gels and up) use a tanning mitt (see above) to avoid staining your hands. I went without one for a long time. They're well worth the purchase and are inexpensive too.
+ Exfoliate. There's no point in putting tanner on if the skin is just sitting there about to fall off anyway. Be it an exfoliating glove, polish, whatever! Get scrubbing to give your tan the best chance.
+Hydrate. Moisturise first in order for you skin to absorb and not have dry patches - they can lead to a patchy tan. Also, by moisturising regularly, you can help your tan last the distance. De-hydrated skin will shed faster, taking your tan with it.
+ Avoid oil-based products. Any products with oil in them will interfere with your tan. It won't adhere/absorb into your skin and will turn it into a patchy mess.  Be careful of what's in your exfoliant scrubs too! Some of them are oil based!
So there are my main tips and suggestions on how to tan up this season! Also, if you're going to sunbake to get your tan, be absolutely ruthless with your SPF. You will still tan, but you'll also avoid problems down the road!
Do you have a favourite formula? Can you suggest your favourite tanners to me? I'd love to know your secrets on how you bronze up for the Summer!
Rachel x