I’ve never been a huge fan of tanning products, I think it’s probably because growing up girls either embraced their natural Irish pale or, as a friend once put it, ended up looking like they rolled around in a bag of Doritos; all we needed was some green body paint to recreate the green white and gold of the Irish flag.. orange is NOT a good look. Because of this I steered clear of false tanners, sticking to bronzers, natural Summer glow and sometimes a touch of tinted moisturiser; this year however, I will not be getting away to the sun, and since the weather in Ireland and the UK is so unpredictable I decided not to rely on garden sun bathing to get a nice sun kissed glow in preparation for my cousin’s wedding last weekend.
So, if you too are staying home this Summer and don’t want to brave a skirt with pale legs, then here are my tried and tested ‘pale-girl’ proof tanning products to help you achieve that staycation glow!
Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion.
Tinted moisturiser was my way around false tan since my college days; it gradually builds up a sun-kissed look but you have to remember to use it continuously to get the best results and it fades quickly, washing off easily in the shower. Garnier’s Summer Body body lotion has always been my favourite and I’ve been using it for years now; it has a lovely fresh smell, never streaks and leaves the skin feeling really soft. I normally use the Deep Sun-kissed Look, as on pale skin it gives colour faster, so if you have an last minute event you can apply this the night before and know that you’ll wake up with a lovely subtle glow.
Tinted moisturisers are a good place to start if it’s your first time experimenting with false tan, a step down from a gradual tanner which builds up an intense look over a certain amount of hours, these products are more focused on moisturising and adding a hint of colour. They usually don’t have that classic odour associated with false tans, and if something does go terrible wrong and you end up looking streaky and more on the orange side, then all you have to do is jump in the shower and most of the colour will wash straight off. The downside to this, in my experience, is that if you want to keep your sun-kissed look you have to re-apply after every shower and sometimes we don’t always have the time for this.
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse.
I gave a good hour in Boots one day in early Spring, going through every false tan on offer, reading all the instructions and trying to come to a decision about which one to try. I came the decision that St. Tropez was a good brand to start with as it well known and highly praised, they also have travel sizes of their most popular tanning products and so a mini was the perfect place to start, in case the tan wasn’t for me at least I would have a full-sized bottle sitting going to waste.
The first time I pumped out the mousse onto my tanning mitt I was a bit scared of the colour; a dark brown with a greenish tint I instantly feared that I had made a huge mistake and had visions of waking up the next day some shade of mahogany. However, the tint of the mousse is simply to help you see where you are applying it, and once you have rubbed it into the skin with your mitt, it fades out to a very subtle bronzed colour. This tan dries instantly, and because water resistant quickly, which means you can get dressed and get on with your business.
While the mousse dries instantly, it doesn’t give much colour instantly; this mousse is best applied after a shower before you go to bed and develops nicely overnight. What I like about this tan is that it was just the right step up from a tinted moisturiser for me; it doesn’t have a strong smell, doesn’t take a long time to dry and builds up to a bronzed look, which means no orange. Anytime that I did wake up and feel that the colour was too intense, I would just jump in the shower and the colour would even out and fade back to a much more natural look.
What about the face?
Another pale-girl fear of mine is face bronzers; in the past, even when I’ve had a tan, I’ve always worried that bronzers will give too much of an intense colour to my face. The trick is to stay away from dark, shimmery bronzers and look for something matte that is just a bit darker than your foundation. My favourite this Summer, as I’ve mentioned here before, is the Clinique Kissed By the Sun Palette which contains their True Bronze Pressed Powder in the shade Sunkissed, the perfect pale-girl shade. This bronzer gives buildable coverage, which means depending on how sun-kissed the rest of you is looking, you can build up the bronzer on you face and make everything match, again avoiding looking orange.
If you do want a more glowing-bronzed look, then a gentle brushing of a shimmery bronzer or a caramel coloured highlighter, on top of your bronzer will give you that extra beach-bronzed glow.