Faking It, Flawlessly

Jourdana ON Jul 30, 2013 AT 4:02 pm

So much for the heady scents of hazy summer evenings;  Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Sweet Tangerine. The preternaturally soupy London air is, instead, laden with stifling notes of biscuit. Beds are tainted, not with the comforting beach-fresh film of after-sun, but rather, the murky tinge of repeated self-tan applications. And our skin, an array of tones, not all as bronzed, golden and tan-mimicking as we would hope.

Issa SS13

And so it goes that as the sun shines, limbs are bared and we hit the bottle. Or spray can, or tube.

But despite advances in tanning technologies, it seems that a fair few of us are still getting it wrong; from application issues which result in patches and streaks, to a whole spectrum of far-from-natural tan tones that look too brown, too orange, too dark to be anything that the sun could affect. And so it is, having enlisted body tanning and contouring expert Amanda Harrington, that we give you our ultimate tanning guide;

For the fairest of skin. Tanning can be terrifying even for those with already-olive complexions, so we understand the plight of those with pale, celtic skins. But a subtle hint of tan is not off the agenda. Instead, for those with red or blue undertones to their skin we suggest a gradual tan. It may seem barely visible on initial application, but the plan is to build, ahem, gradually. Until you are left with a tone that takes the edge off blanched limbs, without turning you a wholly unnatural colour.

Try: Garnier Ambre Solaire Light No Streaks Bronzer Self-tan Velvety Gel – medium skin, £8.65 Feelunique.com | Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning, £18 Clarins.com

For light European skin. Fair skinned in the winter, but turning a subtle golden shade in the sun, you probably have a yellow based complexion, with a hint of red, in which case when it comes to your self-tan companion, you’ll need a perfectly balanced blend so that you don’t go beyond your natural-tanning shade.

Try: Creme de la Mer Gradual Tan for Face and Body, £65 Selfridges.com | L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Body & Face Self-Tanning Gel Medium, £12.49 Superdrug.com

For dark European skin. Just short of olive, it’s likely that even in the depths of winter you don’t feel too muted, and come the summer as soon as the sun touches your skin, you crisp and glow golden. With a yellow base, a hint of green and possibly a touch of red undertone to your skin it’s best to opt for a cool-based tanner.

Try: Vita Liberata Deeper Deep Untinted Self Tan Gel in Dark, £22.50 Debenhams.co.uk | St. Tropez Dark Bronzing Lotion, £33 St-Tropez.com

For olive skin. Ah the joy of olive skins, you look great in all manner of seasonal nudes, from the subtlest of blush tones to safari khakis, not to mention the elegant contrast when wearing crisp white. But occasionally, with a green undertone, skin can look quite sallow if it’s been out of the glow of the sun. It needs brightening and a clever blend. Amanda’s ultimate colour combination (below) should be applied in two steps, the cream as a base, and the lotion as a deeper second layer for 3d hyper-real skin.

Try: St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Lotion, £4.99 Feelunique.com | Dove Summer Glow – medium to dark skin, £2.49 Boots.com Sun-Believable Tan Me Self Tan Mousse, £18 Sun-believable.com


For all faces.

Yes, we’ve seen the price point, but for us, the absolute star for facial tanning continues to be Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin, £78 Houseoffraser.co.uk. Worth every penny for its build-ability, seamless application and skin plumping results.


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