|SW Fashion's Best Tan: St Tropez Everday £14.30|
Summer, summer, summer. It really is the best season, isn't it? Ice lollies, bright colours and uplifting sunshine, you have to be a bit of a misery to hate summertime, especially in britain. Yes, we get the odd wave of rain or the occasional dreary seaside day, but the British summer is quite charming really, and is the perfect weather to bring your SS12 attire out of hibernation after that wave of impulse buying in February (or maybe that was just me?)
Little dresses, ditsy prints and cutesy shorts are all well and good, but there is one crucial accessory that every pasty brit girl needs to complete a summer look: fake tan.
It is my number one frienemy. A perfect example of a love/hate relationship. There are the days it goes on seamlessly, the sticky gel dries to a smooth finish and a few hours later develops to a lovely soft caramel shade, giving my little white dress a new lease of life. Unfortunately, though, these days occur once every few months. The bad tan experiences are far more frequent, and quite unforgivable. It's all going so well, until you realise you've missed half your arm, or stained your bedsheets with the dark treacle substance. That is not even to mention all those ALMOST perfect tanning experiences that have been ruined completely by orange palms and pesky streaks.
I can not count the amount of times that my older sister has sneered at my Oompa Loompa complexion and told me to embrace my pastiness, but that is not for me. I have aspirations of Gisele Bundchen's body, and I will get there, okay? The tan is the best place to start and the abs will follow.
My search for the perfect tan has covered many corners of Boots and Harvey Nichols. I have gone cheap and I have gone frustratingly expensive, but only one tan has ever really had phenomenal results for me: St Tropez Everyday (£14.30 available here or at Boots and all good department stores)
Users of Johnson Holiday Skin will probably roll their eyes at the mention of a gradual tanner, but this one is totally different. It is luxurious, reasonably priced and the results are fantastic. If you are after an intense, deep tan this probably is not going to do the trick, but if you are fair skinned and prone to tanning disasters, it really is a godsend.
You can buy it in either light/medium or dark/medium, tailored to your skin tone, and it is the easiest product to apply. For a smooth finish, before you pop into the shower apply a little scrub to the areas you wish to tan. Scrubbing the dry skin, gently of course, gives a totally flawless surface for your tan to glide over creating an airbrushed and supple effect. My favourite value scrub is the sweet and perfectly textured Flake Away by Soap and Glory, and my favourite luxury one is Laura Mercier Almond Coconut which smells almost edible.
You then apply the creamy product like a moisturiser from head to toe, taking extra care on problematic areas like feet, knees and elbows. I like to use surgical gloves to apply tan, but a mitt works just as well. Just remember that even though it is a gradual product, it can still stain your palms so take care.
I love that the product has a really fresh smell to it, and that the inevitable biscuity scent is short lived and rather faint compared to other products. The colour begins to show after two or three applications and can range from a slight golden glow to a full on St Tropez tan- it's all in your control.
It is the only tan I trusted to use in the run up to my leavers dance, and it certainly did not disappoint. It is easy to apply, it doesn't transfer and it leaves gorgeous results- a miracle product in my view.
Never again will you be left sobbing uncontrollably after your instant tan gets washed away in an April shower, and never again will you be asked about your skin condition... Yup, my tan was once THAT bad (I won't name the culprit, though)