Hands up if you were caught out with pasty limbs not ready to be exposed to the world during the recent spell of warm weather? The sun has since been replaced with wind, hail and rain - oh the joys - which on the plus side, gives us a chance to sort ourselves out for when it reappears. Which it will. And yes I know that not everyone wants/feels the need to tan, but for anyone else looking for an early Summer, faux glow, here are 3 options that receive my seal of approval.
First things first, we don’t want to look like we’ve just stepped off a plane *yet*… this is all about a light golden glow, which in my opinion, makes everything look a little prettier and more presentable.
The products I want to talk about today are Clarins new Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body, James Read Sleep Mask Tan for face and No 7 Stay Perfect Instant Tan Lotion. All three give very natural looking light tans and will take you from pasty to Golden Girl in a few hours (or less).
MADE TO MEASURE TAN TO SUIT YOUR COLOURING
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body is for me, one of this Summer’s most exciting launches. I fell for the Face version when it launched last year and used it all Summer long, so welcomed this addition to the family with open arms. If you haven’t used this product before, it’s basically a little bottle of concentrated self tan drops, which you add to any moisturiser of your choice to create your own customised self tan.
HOW TO USE: For a very light tan, add 2-3 drops (per limb); for a light to medium tan, 4-5 drops and for a medium tan, 6-7 drops. This was my experience, based on my (rather pale) colouring. I started with very little as I had no idea how deep the colour would come up - and gradually added more with each trial.
NB these quantities are per arm - you’d need to add more for legs - probably the same amount from knee down and 1.5 time that for the thighs.
I’d recommend mixing in your palm before blending, to make sure you have the correct ratio of body moisturiser: self tanning drops - just so that your left arm doesn’t end up twice as dark as your right. Applying with hands or a tanning mitt both work well.
Le Couvent des Minimes Loving Care Body Balm just happens to be my current body cream of choice, which works very well with this as the thick cream comes out in tubes (like toothpaste), so it’s easy to measure how the same amount each time. It’s also an absolute beaut if, like me, you suffer from dry skin.
RESULTS: An extremely even golden tan that has very little scent during development (I didn’t notice any at all, but am assuming there must be some) and wears very evenly with no patchiness. The colour lasted 5-7 days on me. Not sure how much of this you’d need for a really deep colour, or if you could achieve one, but I’ll keep you posted on that.
I spent a large proportion of today trying to capture the colour of this accurately on camera - and decided to include two - one in direct sunlight (above left) and one of the paler, inside of my arm in natural light. These were both taken after I’d used a higher dose of 6-7 drops per limb.
I must admit No7 Stay Perfect Instant Tan Lotion (in Light/Medium) turned out to be way better than I expected. It goes on smoothly and evenly leaving a lovely golden colour. If you’re pale and struggle to find a non-orange instant tan, this one is worth a go! This saved me on my first ankles-out days of Spring - and yes I only applied it to my ankles… I’ve been known to patch tan the bits of skin peeking through my distressed boyfriend jeans in the past. Just me?
Last but not least, James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face (now repackaged, assuming formula is the same). I’m a long term user of James Read facial tanners, which I find brilliant for pale skins in particular, as the colour is very natural. This one contains lots of skin conditioners along with the self tanner, so you wake up looking both radiant and golden! I tend to use this when I’m feeling organised - and the Clarins Face drops when I’ve forgotten to tan my face! I also like using the James Read for hands, feet and décolleté, where I don’t want my colour to be quite as deep.
Anyone else started tanning yet?
You can read my review of Clarins Radiance Plus Glow Booster for Face here.