A Beautiful Tan For 2012

by Katherine Gould

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for Harpers Bazaar UK - Jan 2012

It’s that time of year again when we come out of our winter coccoon, ready to emerge a butterfly.

The first step to shaking off those winter months is putting a bit of life back in to our skin. Some like to achieve a healthy, sun-kissed glow while others (like myself) would just prefer to look a little less like the undead – crumbling to dust at the first sign of daylight. So here’s our pick of the top tanning products to help you begin your summer.

He-Shi – Face + Body Tanning Gel – 150ml £17.50 / 5.07 fl. oz. $66.72

A light moisturising gel which is easy to apply and gentle on the skin. It contains a ‘see where it goes’ formula, removing the risk of streaks or patchiness, giving an instant flawless glow, that dries within minutes of application. This is perfect for fair skinned lads and lasses, but is buildable should you wish to add more colour.

St Topez – Dark Self Tan Mousse – 200ml £33.00 / 6.7 fl. oz $44.00

Launches at Sephora 17th May 2012. Check out the rest of their great range here

St Tropez Dark Self Tan range is designed to provide a dark and intense colour. This easy to apply advanced formulation mousse contains innovative melanin technology that ensures your tan is tailored to your individual skin-tone. Extra skin conditioners and protective ingredients provide an even, streak-free colour that evens out your skin tone and lasts for longer without patchiness.

Rodial – Brazillian Airbrush – 200ml £35.00 / 6.8 fl. oz. $45

Airbrush is the revolutionary tan–in–a–can that sprays a fine tinted mist that provides an immediate glow that develops into a golden long–lasting tan. This super strength instant self tanning spray is easy to use, providing even coverage every time.

Fake Bake – 60 Minute Self Tan Liquid – 235ml £24.95 UK / 8 fl. oz. £24.00 US

Develops into a beautiful, natural looking tan in 60 minutes.  Easy to apply with our “shows where it goes” colour guide, the tanning agents are activated upon contact with the skin. To achieve an even darker tan, there’s no need to re-apply, simply leave 60 Minutes or longer (max 3 hours) then rinse off the colour guide to reveal the tan. This light weight, fast drying formula is non-sticky and does not clog the pores.

From L to R: HE-SHI Face & Body Tanning Gel, ST. TROPEZ Dark Self-Tan Moose, RODIAL Brazillian Airbrush, FAKE BAKE 60 Minute Self-Tan Liquid

Our Favourite Tanning Tips

Shave, Exfoliate and Moisturise the Night Before – doing it on the day will leave patchy results or irritation to the skin.

Just before tanning apply a Light Moisturiser to dry areas of your body – elbows, knees, hands and feet so the fake tan doesn’t ‘grab’ those.

Set up your space: Stand on a towel with plenty of space around you. Also, a full-length mirror is helpful to make sure you haven’t missed any areas.

Use gloves or a mitt to apply your fake tan, if using your bare hands make sure you have some Tan Remover in order to remove any excess product from between your fingers and palms.

Try to avoid wearing tight clothing too soon after application as it can rub the tan off and look patchy.

Enhance the effect by keeping your skin well hydrated, topping up your tan when necessary. There are also loads of great moisturisers on the market with bronze or gold pigments to make your tan glow.

To make sure your foundation still matches, try something light and sheer which will be more forgiving if your skin gets darker or lighter, and use a bronzer to top up the colour if necessary.

Just because you’re tanned, doesn’t mean you’re any more resilient to the sun (something people often forget) – wear a SPF 15 sunscreen or higher and stay safe and wrinkle free.