It's that time of year where short sleeves at the very least are the norm almost daily; the sun has been coming and going here in Dublin but, the humidity has been a constant so, not many of us have been covering up. This month and August are honestly probably the only months of the year that I regularly fake tan - I don't mind being pale at all but when I'm in a t-shirt daily it's nice to at least attempt a bit of a healthy glow.
The challenge that I always face at this time of year is not just achieving an even, believable tan, but also maintaining it. Outside of summer I am very much an occasional tanner and am happy to either let it fade naturally or go in with an extreme scrub to remove everything on the spot after my night out. I am still using body scrub every week or so but am trying to keep a bit of colour for pretty much everyday, so, here's a few hacks I've picked up over the last month or so in the quest to maintain a good colour...
Switch up your tans.
I'm not a daily tanner but have been switching up what I've been using in accordance with what's convenient on the day in question, and also to avoid build-up. As a 'base', I've been using Vita Liberata NKD SKN Tinted Mousse Tan in Medium,* and I have to say I think it's great quality. I love the depth of colour I get with this (and I am by no means dark), it lasts really well and dries into skin fast. I was very impressed with the low odour that this tan had as it developed overnight. Honestly, I can smell something off every single tan that contains DHA (the developing ingredient) but, this is very, very faint. The colour is really believable and if you like a deeper tan this also comes in Dark. It's €14.95 which I think is a fair price for an excellent product - I did think that this would be priced around the €30 mark when I was checking.
As a top-up, I've been rotating between another two tanners; Cocoa Brown* (in the travel sized bottle) and a very old favourite, Dove Summer Glow. I'll always love Cocoa Brown; it's reliable, the colour is great and the mousse isn't as drying as some can be. I've been using it as instructed as a quick boost of colour during the week, and have been doing the same with the Dove overnight on other occasions for a lighter touch, when my skin is feeling a little drier. Switching between all of these products means that I'm not bored of tanning and can achieve different depths of colour depending upon the occasion. I'm not just building the same product up over and over again on the skin, which I think is preferable as a general rule. Or maybe I'm just a product junkie?! Probably.
Any beautician or tanning expert worth their salt will tell you that the absolute key to maintaining a false colour for as long as possible is to keep the skin extremely well moisturised. The drier the skin is, the quicker the tan breaks up and looks patchy; for an even fade, keep hydrated. I try to glug water at work (year-round) which of course helps, but I've also been going to town on using body lotions this summer. My two favourites for this time of year have been the Garnier Intensive 7 Days Lotion in the Shea scent; it's a brilliant and extremely hydrating product for the price and seeing as it's so cheap, I don't mind lashing it on.
After-sun lotions are some of the most intensely hydrating body products on the market. I'm not going on a sun holiday this year but I've definitely made the most of the NUXE Refreshing After Sun Lotion* at home - it is an incredible lotion that moisturises like no other. The scent is out of this world (think holiday in a bottle), it's a delight to apply and it leaves my skin super-moisturised and smooth.
Have a quick fix on standby.
No matter what, I still end up in situations where I need a quick fix of colour, stat. I've always been a fan of Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs and Rimmel Sunshimmer but tend to use them less at this time of year as it's impossible to wear sun cream on top. Instead, I've been using the Clarins Shimmer Oil;* it's a transformative product that lends a subtle shimmer and glow to skin. I do also find that it masks some minor imperfections, so it's great to slap on if you haven't had time to tan properly.
It's a very runny oil and the packaging is quite messy - best to apply over the sink - but I find that the results are so worth it. It smells beautiful and it's the kind of 'diva' product that I'd imagine people like Beyoncé and Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely use by the gallon!