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.

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I’m a fan of a light St. Tropez, I must admit – too scared to attempt to do it myself though.

And yes – the Middletons are all a little… bronzed, aren’t they?!


Any recommendations for those poor sods (like me) who are allergic to even the gradual tanners?


Haha SO true about Pippa Middleton!


Oh-my-Gawd….Radioactive Pippa. I laugh everytime I read one of your observations! I’ll have to try Sienna because I am beyond pale.


Never had luck with fake-tanning either, even the professional tan went wrong for me, so have given up on it all together.

Re:Pippa, and this is why I can’t understand all the fuss over her, she’s ORANGE!! X


I love “Fabulous Dave” myself, as I’m what they call olive skinned, which means without sunshine I am more of a sickly yellow sallow colour.
Fab Dave comes in a lotion and Victoria Health web shop and I think Boots do too.
You still have to prep first but its very dark when you rub it on so you don’t miss bits and it wont stain you darker if you go over same bit twice.Then I put on old pajamas and go to bed. Next day shower as normal and apply lots of body butter and you look like you just spent two weeks in Jamaica.
Re feet knees elbows , I scrub with facial exfoliator then rinse then rub on Vaseline and let it sink in before tanning always works for me! Also scrub hands well after if you don’t use gloves!
It is very dark tan but suits my skin type and fades very gradually and not in patches, does come off on clothes if you sweat either. Great if you’re pale skinned mixed race too and want to go sunkissed rather than murky British summer! J x


Ha ha yes I thought Pippa Middleton a tad too dark. I’m loving a new tanner called Unreal, I’ve used the gradual one which is great for me being very fair skinned (almost translucent) and it was very natural looking. I also loved how moisturising it was cos I have pretty dry skin and it was perfect for that. I have bought their Tanning Mist which I’ve only used once when I went on a hen do and it was darker but still didn’t look orange. I suffer from psoriasis and I find this is ok to use, I sometimes get a reaction from other products but so far not with this one. I know I did email them and ask what the ingredients were cos I cant have anything with fragrance in as Im allergic. As far as I know the only place you can get it is their online shop. I’m sure if you google Unreal body bronze you’ll find it.

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