Sometimes we just crave a bit of a golden boost on our skin; others are addicted to darker shades of pale. The spring catwalks championed freckled, outdoorsy skin that looks sun-warmed. If self-tan makes you nervous, try clear water formulas – they’re quick to use and avoid messiness; or add self-tanning drops to your moisturiser. THE GLOSS team reveal their favourite tried-and-tested tans:
1 FEELING PASTY: To look glowing and healthy, rather than full-on tanned, Lancome Flash Bronzer really works. I generally avoid foams and sprays as they’re hard to control; instead, you can’t go wrong with a quick spritz of James Read’s H20 Tan Mist (try it with a travel size, €11).
2 GO PRO: Sometimes you just want an expert to do it for you. Pre-holiday (or tights-ditching), Sarah rates the Wild Spray Tan at Rosanna Crothers in D4. Go as subtle or as dark as you like with He-Shi spray tans (see www.he-shi.eu for salons). Penny loves the organic full-body custom spray by Infinity Sun at The Greenhouse Project, Dun Laoghaire: “Good for a special occasion and has an added hydration booster option”. We also love the luxurious James Read tan at Callan & Co, Dublin 4, from €30.
3 VEGAN-FRIENDLY: My favourite way to take the edge off a pale and tired face is to add a few drops of Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops (€24.99, at Boots) into moisturiser; they’re vegan and cruelty-free. Start sparingly; you can build it up. Hearing good things about the new clear mousse, too.
4 PALE & INTERESTING: For very fair skin, Síomha recommends Irish brand Bellamianta Self Tanning Gradual Moisturiser (€17.41) for body, with some MAC Give Me Sun bronzer for the face.
5 HIGH-TECH TAN: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads in Gradual Glow are clever as they’re mess-free and do your skin prep (with exfoliating AHAs) at the same time. €39.95 at www.lookfantastic.com.
6 THE NATURAL: It’s hard to find an entirely “natural” self tan, but The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan uses naturally derived, formaldehyde-free extract of DHA sourced from sugar beet. €47, www.theorganicpharmacy.com. MooGoo How Now Brown Cow Gradual Tanning Cream does too (see the full ingredients list at www.moogoo.ie); €20.
7 THE GRADUAL: My latest discovery is Rituals’ Self-Tanning Body Lotion (€17.50) – just swipe a bit over limbs using a mitt for a speedy boost in colour.
8 THE LUXE TAN: Chanel’s L’Eau Tan gives a light, subtle, fragrant veil of golden warmth as if you’d been to St Tropez for the weekend. €56.
9 THE NEW ONE: There’s a buzz about Bare by Vogue (from €18): our tan expert reckons it gives a good, even colour with minimal streaking.
10 THE TOP TIP: The Tan Eraser tan removal mitt is your best investment when tanning at home – it removes any trace of tan instantly, without scrubbing (€10 at pharmacies).
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