Sinéad and I often joke about how pale we are. Like many Irish girls, we are both always the palest shade in any foundation range, and we also find it hard to bronze without looking like, well, mutton dressed as lamb. Both of us are so naturally fair that we don't want to overdo it.
Ideally, I like to tan to a point where my skin looks healthy and glowing. I don't want to have to use a different shade of foundation when I'm tanned: rather, I like to just use a bronzer to match my face to my body. Typically, I use a developing tanner (one containing DHA - that's the stuff that makes you smell like biscuits) about once every week or so. If I'm in a rush or going out last-minute, I'll whack on an instant tan - usually Rimmel Sunshimmer or Rockstar Fame Instant Mineral Tan.
My favourite tans thus far would be Rockstar Tan spray, St Moritz mousse and Wow Brown lotion. I've especially enjoyed trying Irish brands over the last couple of years - it's a lucrative market in this country, and I'm always happy to support and recommend home brands over others, as the quality and price is just as good as other market leaders. For this reason, it's been a good while since I used anything else! A couple of months ago, I was given St Tropez Bronzing Mousse at an event and have been using it on and off since then.
Let's start with the obvious: St Tropez is a fake tan powerhouse - they do a massive range of developing tans, skin finishers, mitts, gloves, exfoliants - the whole lot. Their portion of the market is huge, and if my memory serves me right, I think this was the first false tan I ever used!
So, with this being such a popular tan, the benefits are obvious. St Tropez is a massive brand with a lot of money behind it - enabling continued research and product development. The tan has come a long way since its original launch in the nineties, and this was evident as soon as I applied it.
I do the usual regime before applying tan: lots of exfoliation and moisturising during the week. I always apply tan before bed as I can't abide the smell, and if you ask me, any tan containing DHA will smell at some stage, no matter what its claims are. I apply it using a mitt, rinse my hands, then use a hand cream on my hands and elbows to prevent staining. If you apply a very thin layer of this mousse, you can get away with not showering the next morning, and there is hardly any smell. However, I try to go for a glow that will last the week, so I apply a decent amount and shower off the excess in the morning.
This mousse seems to have improved since the last time I used it. It ticks all my boxes as it's easy to apply, smells decent (at first!), spreads evenly and develops into a really natural-looking, glowy tan with olive rather than orange undertones. It lasts beautifully during the week, and fades really evenly. This is a massive plus, as there's no point in a tan that looks good for a day and then becomes patchy over the next few days.
So, would I buy this again? If I had the money, I'd honestly be more likely to buy an Irish brand, just because of the current economic climate. I think that this is just as good as Rockstar Tan, and better than Xen-Tan Perfect Blend, if that helps any of you! It costs €27 for 120ml and is available in loads of pharmacies and Boots.
What's your favourite fake tan?