June 25, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Flawless False Tan

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

I've always been a big proponent of embracing the pale. I know all too well how hard it is to find a fake tan that doesn't look too orange or too yellow on fair skin and I've done my damnedest on this site to let you know that it's okay to shun the trend for beautifully tangoed bronzed skin in favour of your natural milky colour.

However, while an advocate, I'm not a total pale crusader. I am still human and I do understand the confidence boost that comes with a healthy golden glow. So, over the last few months, I've been trying out various fake tans to see which best work on my milk bottle skin for a natural glow that will boost my confidence during the summer months* where skin-baring clothes seem almost unavoidable at times and where a hint of a suntan can do wonders for your overall appearance! 

Preparation/Maintenance: Due to being a close relation of Casper The Friendly Ghost, I only ever apply false tan once a week and allow it to wear off gradually and fade naturally so that I avoid looking like an Oompa Loompa (How many movie character references can I fit into the one paragraph?!) In order to prepare my skin for it's next bout of faux glow, I have a few failsafe products which ensure a flawless application and an even wear-off.

The day before I apply my tan, I exfoliate my entire body. I currently use and love Burt's Bees Mango & Orange Sugar Scrub but, other favourites include Green Angel Sunset Body Smoother, Soap & Glory Sugar Crush and any of The Body Shop's scrubs. The only caution I give in terms of exfoliating is to avoid extremely oily scrubs, especially on the day of tanning. While these are hydrating, some of the oil residue that remains on the skin will end up breaking your tan down and give it a "scaly" appearance (FYI the same goes for suntan oils, body oils etc!). 

Once I have my tan applied, I use scrubby gloves every time I take a shower. These rough, exfoliating gloves cost next-to-nothing from Penneys/Primark and work to remove any dead skin cells and ensure that your glow wears off evenly. They are also great for toning down commonly "over tanned" patches like elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. 

Finally, to both prepare my skin for a lashing of tan and to maintain the colour once it's on, I moisturise with a good body lotion post-shower. Again, you want to avoid anything oily here but, something like the Eau Thermale Avène Very Rich Emollient Balm is ideal for smoothing out the skin's surface and hydrating any overly dry patches. 

Tanning Essentials: Once my skin is prepped and ready for a bronzing, I choose my tan and apply it, working from my feet up (I don't know if it matters where you start but, this way makes the most sense in my head!). When choosing a tan to compliment paler skintones, it's important to avoid those with obvious  yellow/green/orange/red undertones. Unfortunately, fair skin acts as almost a blank canvas for these tones and they are what appear the most vibrant when dry instead of the desired bronzed glow. I tend to look for tans which look quite neutral in tone or those with a light beige/tan colour.

The tans which fit this criteria and which I have been loving the most recently are the Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream (RRP €34.87 125ml ) and Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self-Tanning Mousse (RRP €21.19 150ml). While the Clarins is an indulgence and the Garnier is marginally more pocket-friendly, each work beautifully to give skin a really healthy, sun-kissed appearance. 

While this isn't really intended as a review, in brief, there are pros and cons of both tans but, colour-wise the cons are totally worth dealing with. The Garnier mousse has a great pump-dispenser and one pump is roughly enough for one body part. The product is heavily pigmented so, it's very clear where you have/haven't applied the colour which washes off to a gorgeous bronze sheen. However, as heavily pigmented as it is, it is just as heavily scented and I had to open all of the windows upstairs to aerate the house post-application! 

The Clarins tan comes in a pot and the product is kind of hard to access, especially when wearing gloves/mitt. It smells yummy but, goes onto the skin quite sheer and can be hard to tell where you've missed. It also takes ages to dry and I mean you'll be standing nekkid for a good 20-30 minutes until its dry enough to put some clothes on. However, of the two, it is my favourite, despite the hefty price tag. The finished result is an even, caramel colour. There is no shimmer and no lingering smell. It is definitely the ideal pale girl tan but, if you want something a touch darker and a touch cheaper, the Garnier is an excellent alternative!

How I apply my tan does vary somewhat. I prefer thin fabric mitts over the likes of the thick spongey one pictured above as I feel I have more control over the product and don't waste as much on the mitt itself. However, my favourite method of application is my bare hands. I know, I know. It's some kind of cardinal sin of tanning but, I find if I work quickly and scrub my hands once or twice during application and again with the scrubby gloves afterwards, I don't suffer at all with orange palms and end up with really even, properly rubbed in tan! 

So, they are my tips for getting a healthy golden glow for summertime! If you have any of your own, please share them below!

*Pigs will fly before I go to the bother of wearing tan during winter!!


  1. Ohhh I would love to try the sugar scrub. This may be a stupid question but I must ask it. Many girls I know are applying fake tan before they go on holidays which is understandable, I would want to look good half naked if I'm going to a country which is known for its babes. I wanted to know would it not run once they got into the pool? Would they not be followed by a lovely brown cloud of fake tan swimming around?

    1. The scrub is lovely Sarah, well worth a try! It wouldn't run so long as it wasn't an instant tan. Any buildable or gradual tans will be water resistant but, instant tans like Sally Hansen or Rimmel will definitely colour the water!

    2. Aw thanks for getting back to me. Instant tans are the ones I usually go for as I don't use tan that often and only need it for a rare night out. I will have to search for the right gradual tan for me so. Thanks again. 41 days until holiday, whoop!

  2. Mmm the sugar scrub looks amazing! Nice routine Sinead, although personally at the moment I can just about be bothered to apply an overnight gradual wonder, ha!

  3. Great post! That body scrub looks delicious! xo

  4. The wee scrubby gloves are amazing for removing tan when it's getting all gross and scaley looking. They're the best thing I've found this year I'd say.
    S xxx


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