Fake tan and I have a, hmm, patchy past.
When it works, it’s the bee’s knees. My mortuary-pale skin glows with health. I rub oil on my legs (I like Mama Mio O-Mega Body Oil, & This Works Skin Deep Dry Skin Oil) to enhance the colour and feel 10lbs lighter in weight and in spirit.
When it doesn’t work I look as though I have vitiligo. The usual suspect? Automatic spray tan booths.
In New York I used a Mystic Tan booth, which worked a dream, but when the Union Square salon was condemned (not ideal), my prepaid package was transferred to a tanning shop in the heart of Chelsea.
Yup, I was the only bird in the joint. The muscled up clientele spent their time oiled up and baking on the beds, whilst the tanning booth was the definite poor relation. And boy could you tell from my striped legs and mottled forearms.
Since then I’ve run kind of shy of the tanning booth. But I don’t have much luck with bottle tans either – I always get streaky feet and mottled bits, however much I exfoliate, prep, whatever.
Most successful historically have been St Tropez’s Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturiser, which is properly excellent as it doesn’t streak because you build up the tan slowly each morning, and their spray tans done by an aesthetician. (I had a brilliant St Tropez spray tan for The Evening Standard/London & Partners shoot, which gave me a great base level colour for the beginning of spring.)
Last week I got my milk white paws on a bottle of Sienna X Extend & Perfect Gradual Tan. Although it’s marketed as a gradual tanner, it’s stronger than most of its competitors, so you need to rub it in all over it as you would a normal fake tan lotion, being careful to cover everything – I got bi-coloured feet the first time purely because I didn’t cover the sides not expecting it to be quite so strong. (but they weren’t really noticeable – this isn’t a deep colour.)
But the glory of it is that it doesn’t streak and that the colour is a lovely golden natural tan. I’m really, really pleased with it. (The smell is a bit biscuit-y, as opposed to chemically strong. I’ve used it in the morning before work but kept getting whiffs of it. You wld def want to shower before a date!)
You can keep applying each day, but don’t go too far – you’ll end up like Pippa Middleton, and although she may have a great ass, she’s radioactively orange from the front.