Fake tan is here to stay, that’s a fact. I’m not a fan, but if there was one beauty trend I would say will most likely never end, it is this.
I learned long ago that, pale-skinned and Scottish, even when I did get a hint of a tan, I was never going to have that beautiful olive skin I wished for.
I spent years, quite frankly, orange, when fake tans were at their most primitive. I tried everything, and then I stopped. But fake tan didn’t! The progression in the industry is immense – there are so many brands and types of tan it’s almost impossible to keep up. And they are much better than they used to be when I began experimenting (my Tango phase!).
I get sent all sorts on a weekly basis it seems, so here are a few of the newest tans to land on my desk, as well as a couple of products I just like.
ST TROPEZ SELF-TAN EXPRESS BRONZING FACE SHEET MASK (£15 for pack of two, Boots)
This is the very latest tan innovation, and quite frankly it terrifies me. I have yet to try it. It’s been sitting in my office beauty cupboard for weeks, just willing me to try. But I can’t bring myself to take the plunge just yet. Clearly designed with the KBeauty trend in mind – sheet masks are everywhere, right? – this is a mask, infused with self tan and hyaluronic acid, so it’s nourishing as well as tanning.
Place it over your face, smooth it down, wash your hands, relax, for 5, 10, 15 minutes, depending on depth of tan you want, then remove, massage the remainder in, and wash your hands again. It’s easy, I’ll give it that, but is this more gimmick than necessary tanning addition?
JAMES READ COCONUT MELTING TANNING BALM (£30, M&S Beauty)
This is another innovation in tanning; a balm that melts upon contact with the skin. It’s enriched with 100% organic coconut oil, so it nourishes as well as tans. It has no guide colour (making it a nightmare for me), and develops into a medium tan.
“The coconut balm took a year and a half for us to develop due to the stabilisation of the product as you are working with raw ingredients,” says James. “It took a lot of trial and error and many tests, to ensure we managed to keep it as close to the natural ingredients as possible and the oil and tan worked together, balancing each other out.”
TAN SMOOTHIE VELVETY SMOOTH SELF TANNING MOUSSE (£24.99, tansmoothie.com) VELVOTAN TANNING MITT (£2.99, Tesco)
Here is another tan with coconut extract. It also contains peach, so it is hydrating, which is important in a fake tan. This stuff smells very fruity/tropical, which is also a fake tan bonus – that DHA ‘biscuit’ smell does tend to linger.
Made without SLS, alcohol or parabens, the organic DHA formula doesn’t have that smell – and it really doesn’t. The mousse also has a colour guide making it better for idiots like me to apply. Use a mitt to apply it – I love the VelvoTan mitts – this summer’s version is in leopard print.
What are your favourite tanning products?