Tan beautifully this winter with one of these super-slimming tanning potions...
Perhaps not the oldest trick in the book, but definitely the most effective, fake tan is the healthiest and fastest way to appear as though you have dropped a dress size and a few years to boot. Unsurprisingly, it’s the beauty secret many celebs swear by. In fact, during last year’s Strictly Come Dancing series, the contestants were reportedly completely hooked, leading the show’s expert tanner, Jules Von Hep to go through a gargantuan 10 litres of St Tropez tan that season.
Former contestant Judy Murray has made no secret of her fondness of self tanner. In an interview she explained ‘I think you have to embrace the whole thing and get into the fake tan and sparkles’, and according to Jules, the tennis coach was first in the queue for the tan booth each week, ‘She loved her spray tans – we give her light glows to complement her truly Celtic skin.’
Fake tanning can be daunting for those new to the concept but the new generation of products are better than ever. Rather than one formula to fit all, there is now a different method and shade for every complexion. From the easy-to-apply quick-developing mousse to the gradual tanning moisturiser and ultra-slimming oil, there is a self-tan out there to help everyone achieve a natural-looking bronzed glow…
St Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower,
£14.50 contains the same DHA blend and award-winning colour of its
signature lotion but it develops in an astoundingly easy three minutes. Simply pop it on in the shower, quickly rinse your hands, wait 3 minutes and wsh off everywhere. The first time that three minutes will feel strangely long, and cold, so try filling it with a hair mask and brushing your teeth. Afterwards just get on with your day as normal and you’ll soon see a sun-kissed glow gradually develop.
It’s light and subtle, so pretty much mistake-proof, if you like a darker colour there’s a medium-dark shade too, and you can use it a few days on the trot. The ease and lack of waiting around makes it ideal for topping up your tan on holiday or for a last minute
natural-looking glow before a special event.
This newbie from innovative Vita Liberata offers what so many self-tanners promise, but so few deliver. Firstly, it's fast; rub it in with your hands or a mitt, wait ten minutes (or 15 if you like a deeper glow) then wash off. The colour is genuinely natural: a believable bronze, nothing orange about it, and It really truly doesn't smell - not on application or developing. It's organic too, if that's important to you and moisturises skin rather than drying it out. Lovely stuff.
If it's the mess you can't stand - orange palms, dirty-looking bedsheets, grubby dressing gown sleeves - then this will be a welcome addition to your tanning arsenal. A completely clear mist that you simply spray on, wait for five minutes then get dressed and get on with your day. The tan takes about half a day to start showing up, you won't feel a thing on your skin and the shade is fairly subtle. There's light and medium options but both can be topped up over a few days without going patchy if you like a very bronzed look.
We love the original This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, a sheer-ish instant tanner that gives a realistic, flattering veil of colour for last-minute getting your legs out panic. This update is even better as it has sun protection built in, so you won't need to worry about that, and it's in a spray so even handier than the original pump dispenser. Mist it on all over - not just legs - and subtly cover pale bits, veins and bruises while simultaneously protecting too.
Since its launch two years ago, multi-award winning Cocoa Brown has become the biggest selling fake tan in its native Ireland, selling one bottle every minute. Boasting a quick developing time and buildable believable colour that's suited to both dark and pale complexions, it's garnering a cult following in the UK too. Test it for yourself with the 1 Hour Tan, which makes light work of the usually lengthy process. Unlike other quick tanners, this version will still last for a full five days. With such a great price point, what's not to love?
Buy Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan, £7.99, at Superdrug.com
James Read is the biggest name in tanning and his regular clients include bronzed beauties such as Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. His Liquid Tan has been years in the making and the brand claim they have created the perfect self tan. It's certainly up there with the best, giving a professional-looking finish. We recommend the light version, for a natural-looking glow that no one will know came from a bottle.
Sienna X is one of the lesser-known fake tan brands, but its definitely worth investing in, particularly if you have olive-toned skin, as the undertones will really suit you. It fades evenly so won't go patchy and can be topped up with a gradual if you don't want to let go of that lovely colour.
Sienna X Glowing Self Tan, £23.95 at Selfridges
This Hungarian beauty line is renowned for its kind, sensitive skincare products. The w&h team has sampled both professional facials and plenty of products in this line and experienced brilliant results. It comes as no surprise then that Glam Glow, the face and body tanner nourishes skin while developing a natural-looking golden tan. The citrus scent disguises any hint of the off-putting fake tan biscuit smell and your skin will feel super-moisturised.
Sometimes, the original is still the best. Despite launching a wide range of popular versions of their self tan, Fake Bake's original liquid tan is our favourite from the range. Use a tanning mitt to glide this lotion over the skin and let yourself be guided by the colour, to avoid streaking. Thanks to naturally derived tanning agents that react with the skin's melanin, the colour will complement your natural tone, avoiding that telltale orange look.
Every now and then a product comes along that you can't wait to share with everyone you know and Michael Kors Liquitan Self Tanner is exactly that. It's as glamorous as you'd expect from the packaging, has a beautiful golden tint to give skin instant colour, while the fake tan gets to work. An all-round colour to suit everyone, no hint of the typical biscuit smell and easy to wash off hands (if you don't have a mitt), the designer's winning formula warrants a permanent place in your beauty cabinet.
He-Shi has already garnered a cult following among fake tan aficionados and the latest in the line is the Gold Foaming Mousse. Not only is it tinted so you can see exactly where you've tanned, but the DHA certificate means that tell-tale biscuit smell is barely noticeable. Combine that with He-Shi's Moisture Lock Technology which helps to hydrate as your tan develops and this could well have shot to our fake tan number 1 spot!
He-Shi Gold Foaming Mousse, £27 at Feelunique.com
St.Tropez Express Mousse and a mitt are the winning formula when it comes to streak-free self-tanning. Tinted mousses allow you to see exactly where you've applied the product and provide a much more even colour than liquids or gels. Plus, this accelerated formula allows you to choose a depth of colour to suit you - simply wash off after one hour for a subtle glow or leave on for up to 3 hours if you want to develop a darker post-holiday tone.
St.Tropez Self Tan Express Bronze Mousse, £33 at Sttropeztan.co.uk