Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Faking it...

Thanks to my Irish mother I have skin that doesn't tan too easily. I find it really hard to sit out in the sun and even when I do I generally come away with nothing to show for it! I'm going away in just over a week and it's the first bikini wear of the year so thought I needed to have some kind of base colour!

The best way to tan for everyone is to layer up a light, natural shade (which works wonders for the pale skinned) rather than putting on a darker one that, a lot of the time, looks unnatural and has a slight orange tint to it.

The best one I've found for this is Rodial Brazilian Tan Light (around £30 RRP). It is a very light shade and they do a darker one, but trust me on this, layering is the best way to do it! It may be slightly time consuming but really is worth it, and then it just needs topping up once a week or so to keep it at the level you have chosen. With just one layer I had a slight colour which, rather than making me look tanned, made me just look healthy all over rather than pasty and ill! Another layer and I had a golden tan, not so much that I looked fake, but as if I'd just spent a few days in the sun. There were absolutely no streaks and the smell is lovely (which is another reason I usually hate fake tan!).

Secret Beauty Verdict: Expensive but definitely worth it, a little goes a long way and it's the most natural fake tan I've ever used.

Another good one is St Tropez Everyday gradual tanner (RRP £12.95), it's a self tanning moisturiser rather than a 'fake tan' so you can't build the colour up as much as you can with the Rodial, but it works so well, has a gorgeous smell and because it is a moisturiser, you don't need to worry about making sure you moisturise everywhere first (which I personally find a bit of a pain as it takes too long!) They do have an Everyday Airbrush tan too (RRP£18) which is a fake tan and is great to get all the hard to reach areas if you haven't got anyone to help, especially for doing your back. Again, this doesn't have a funny smell and is completely streak free. 

Secret Beauty Verdict: Reasonably priced, St Tropez products feature everywhere for a reason; streak free, easy tanning without the yukky smell.

On the cheaper side, there is a huge range of gradual tanning moisturisers and fake tans. I've tried many of them and generally they are fine but the smell really puts me off. Its stays until the tan fades and when you get a bit hot, the smell seems to get worse! Johnson's holiday tan is good, but even with the new formula the smell is still a bit 'biscuity'. The best I've tried is Dove's Summer Glow (RRP £4.99) but do make sure you get the right colour for your skin, otherwise it can look a bit fake and streaky.

Secret Beauty Verdict: If you get the right colour for your skin then this does work well to build a natural tan, its still a bit smelly though!


For cheaper fake tans, I find L'Oreal Sublime Bronze (RRP£11) really good as it uses the same spray system as St Tropez airbrush to get an even tan in hard to reach places, but I do find the colour still slightly fake for me.

Secret Beauty Verdict: Good, but I think I'd pay the extra bit of money for the
St Tropez to get a more natural looking tan.


  1. This is def. something i need. im very pale myself and don't tan very well

  2. I tried the spray one once, I ended up very speckled! I must have done something wrong. That first one looks like a good one to try, I'm always afraid of getting too orange.

  3. Oh thanks for that ... the top one sounds great, cause usually they have an icky smell.xx

  4. The first one is definitely the best, it is more expensive than the ones you find at your local supermarket but I think in this instance if you want a really good tan minus the sun damage, then you get what you pay for. CotN: I've not had that problem with the St Tropez one as it comes out like a fine mist, it also depends how far away you hold it from your body but I can imagine some spray ones could make you a bit speckly if the spray doesn't come out quite right.

  5. great info! i'll def look into these, im very fair and do NOT want to ruin my skin with sun! love your blog by the way... hope you dont mind another follower and i think i'll hand around a while!

  6. Hi Randi, I'm exactly the same as you and generally fak tan looks orange on me so it's nice to find soemthing that works! Of course I don't mind another follower and hang around for as long as you like, we can have some virtual tea and cake! x

  7. I've used the cheaper ones before. Like you said, they work, they just have a smell. I also noticed they would sometimes stain my pillow if I used them before bed.

  8. Wow I think I'll deifnitely track down the first one. I wonder if they sell it here in Sydney? Love your blog btw and I gave you a little blog award yesterday with love from my blog! x

  9. Nice post. It's true, everyday is a school day, so thank you for teaching me something today!
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