Festive ’14: Emma So Natural and Glove Your Body

Support your local artisan/provider!
Handmade in Ireland, Emma’s So Natural line incorporates wax tart melts and small travel candles in tins, but for me, it’s alllll about the tumbler candles.

Made from soy wax as opposed to paraffin, these last longer as they burn more slowly, and they are cleaner and greener, too. Essential oils provide the scent, and you can choose from seven. There are also seasonal choices, including Wonderland, a mix of pine, eucalyptus and benzoin.

Last shipping day by courier is the 22nd!

Gotta use a glove to apply the fake tan — I do know that many prefer the bare hands, but: no. Glove Your Body’s offering looks more like a plush toy than a tanning mitt, and its many features — you’d be surprised that a self-tan accessory would have more than one feature — makes it easier to spread the product around, ensuring that your tan is more even and natural-looking.

Feature One: the obviously plush surface, which helps contain the tan. Whenever I use a sponge mitt, I find that the liquid can roll all over the surface, making it hard to manage. Definitely not a problem here.
Feature Two: Inside, there are finger-holders, like in a baseball mitt, meaning that it’s not going to slip and slide all over the place.
Feature Three: An opposable thumb! I had no idea that it would come in so handy! Why? I just feel like I’ve got better control of the whole process because my thumb is free.
Feature Four: Machine washable!

All in all, if you are a serial tanner, this is the Pro Mitt. And it feel really nice, too.


Emma’s So Natural tumbler candles, €18.50; 2-pack, €35; emmas.ie

Glove Your Body, €19.99; http://www.gloveyourbody.com


Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Smudged: Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse

So many things happening here.


>Delectable? Because it’s a mousse? Is this meant to work inside out? {Noooooooo! Do not eat this, Credulous Reader!}
>Mousse? I am used to my non-edible mousse coming out of an aerosol can, or a pump thing.
>It’s white. A white cream. That smells very self-tanny.

It was not love at first sight.

I very haphazardly, with disdain, rubbed this all over my belly. I didn’t want this showing, because due to the smell, I reckoned this would be majorly orange, and not fit for human sight.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

In these days of instantaneous tan, we may have forgotten the virtues of colour that comes up in its own good time. Clarins have got a pretty good thing going on in this wee jar, and I admit I treated it with disrespect. Mea culpa: the warmth of its toasty brownness was perfect, and the streaks that resulted from my derisive application were all my own fault. My belly was brown for the guts {ha haaaaa} of five days.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Seriously, though, the scent needs work, and a tiny bit of hue in the cream — the wonderfully textured cream, it has to be said —  wouldn’ go amiss, particularly for those among us who routinely go amiss with their autobronzant, even when giving it all due respect {Me.}


Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse, 125mls, €35


Dude Week Q&A: Jules Heptonstall of St Tropez Tan

Jules head shotJules Heptonstall started his career in fashion, but knew all along that beauty was his true calling. ‘I really believe in beauty products and services,’ he says, ‘and love the “feel good factor” they give to the user.’

He’s been with powerhouse tan brand St Tropez for six years, and using the product is one of the perks of the gig. ‘I have the kind of skin that just needs a tan,’ he explains. ‘Without it I look totally grey!’

I tend to tan when the sun shines, but now that it’s disappeared again and I am sad, I feel like I will keep up the bronzing to make me feel better. Jules loves a good tan because it makes us look better, too. ‘I was drawn to specialising in tan and skin finishing because I like how it draws everything together, from hair, make up and fashion, to create the perfect canvas for all the other elements to work on. It’s that touch that really makes a difference.’

Are you tan averse? Never had a spray? Jules will calm your fears, and shares some tips and tricks!

Okay: I have just landed from Venus, a planet which does not have spray tanning facilities. What is so great about this beauty technique?
Haha — welcome! Spray tanning is a quick treatment that gives the skin that just-back-from-holiday glow. It disguises signs of fatigue and can even make the body look slimmer and more toned — what is not to love?!

Seriously, though: I think that there are many (many) people who would benefit from a good spray, if only to show them what not to do when self-tanning at home. What’s the best thing about getting a salon tan?
A salon treatment is great for those who are nervous about tanning results. Don’t get scared about getting naked in front of your aesthetician — chances are they’ve seen it all. Like a nurse, nothing will shock them. I’ve bumped into some of my clients on nights out and I don’t recognise them with clothes on — its something a tanning expert gets used to very quickly!

Prior to your treatment your tanning expert should moisturise your hands, elbows, knees and feet as these are the areas of the body where the tan tends to cling to. Usually you will receive two coats of St. Tropez Self Tan Mist from top to toe, and afterwards your nails and palms will be wiped to remove excess colour.

A tan should be dry within five minutes and you can put on loose dark clothes after. You will need to allow the tan to develop for eight to twelve hours and you should have colour for five to seven days.

I find that I am not so great at maintaining my tan. How can I get the most out of my self-tan?
So many clients believe that once you’ve tanned, there is nothing else more you need to do. To get the most from your tan, and to keep it topped up for longer, I recommend using St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Moisturiser. This aloe vera rich moisturiser has been formulated to work with Self Tanned skin and is clinically proven to keep your tan going for up to three days longer.

I also find that I don’t have much patience for gradual tanning, but feel like I would like to change that this year. How long should it take St Tropez Gradual Tan  plus anti Aging Face 50mls €24.99to develop, in general? Do all gradual tans work for all bodies? Is it good to build one up as a base for a professional spray tan, or is that a big no-no?
With gradual tan, it’s great to keep your options open, as the product is extremely versatile. The more consecutive days you apply, the darker you will go. Our gradual tanners work on all skin tones — we have two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. It’s not a big no-no with a spray tan, but I would only apply it once or twice after a tan.

How do you see the world of spray tan evolving? For example, most products have improved so much in the scent department — in what other ways do you think the industry is trying to moving the process forward?
There are so many innovations happening in tanning: we’ve recently just launched our Gradual Tan Plus range, formulated with firming and anti-ageing benefits, giving a four-products-in-one approach to tanning.

We’ve also formulated our new sensitive range, one that has no guide colour, that naturally develops over 8 hours to deliver a tan. There’s no colour left on your clothes or sheets, and the product is formulated with a melanin activating ingredient so that your skin reacts with the tan to deliver the most natural looking tone possible. Tanning is only moving in giant leaps forward now!


I’m going to get stuck into the Gradual Tan Anti-Ageing; its RRP is €24.99.


Hey! Weather! I Got Work to Do, Yo.

I know, I know — I know! But even here in Ireland, where we expect such things as hail and rain and sun and hail and rain in one hour, we are getting fed up.

It is feckin’ May, dammit. I have things I need to use and have not got much impetus to do so.

I know I am an amateur when it comes to self-tanning. I still abide by these now arbitrary rules as to when it is actually ‘summer’. Heck, I’d begun relaxing them in recent years to incorporate May, but look where we are with that. How’m I s’posed to check all this stuff I’ve got if there is not going to be A} sun to block or B} sun to illuminate the applied shine?

HEY WEATHER!There’s that bottle of Clarins Splendours Shimmer Body Oil {€37}, which falls squarely in the B category. Sure, I could douse myself from head to toe, and how I yearn to do so, but then what? Cover it up with a jumper? What a waste! I also have a tub of He-Shi’s Luminous Shimmer {€12.60}, not pictured because I think it ran away from home, and is heading for climes in which it can be shown to its best advantage. Cannot believe the bitch did not take me with it.

I suppose I could use La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios XL Invisible Nutritiv Oil SPF50+ {€22} when I go horseriding, and I think I will definitely try in on my face. I found the Anthelios XL Extreme Fluid {€19.50} to come over rather Chaplinesque  — not a good look.

At least I’ll get some use out of the above. But whither my massive IsaDora Bronzing Powder {€25.95}, much less my long-awaited and anticipated Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick {€42.50}? Or the new Vichy Capital Soleil Beautifying Sun Protection Compact {€19.50} — which, okay, since we’re meant to ABSPFing* I should probs use anyway.

All this moaning would be moot if I would just crack into Cocoa Brown’s Night & Day Tan {€7.99}, giving myself the proper canvas upon which to apply all the shimmer. This shows up the tan immediately, with no development time, and showers off the next day to a lovely, light tan. Or so I’ve heard.

And I guess I could work my way into the whole glow-y vibe by using the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder {€48}.

CHANEL les beiges

I am happy just to look at the lovely cream lid. I am such a weirdy, but that is actually lifting my spirits. So elegant. So… so full of je ne sais quoi. No, I know quoi — it’s an inanimate object, uneffected by the vagaries of les temps.

Anyway, as I watch the rain piss down from the heavens, I feel a rebellious urge begin to stir within… Let the tanning begin! Weather bedamned!


*Always Be SPFing


Coming Soon! Dude Week on B&B!

In honour of the above, here’s a link to a thing about dudes. Added bonus: that link within the link, via La Roche-Posay, is still live and kickin’.

Dude Week on B&B! will include Q&As from:
> Simon Duffy of Bulldog Skincare for Men.
> Peter Brennan, the man behind the distribution in Ireland of Polish skincare brand Ziaja.
> St Tropez’s celebrity tan man, Jules Heptonstall.
> The man behind the colour of The Hair, Andrew Dunne of Mane Salon — which will come as a surprise to him because I haven’t even sent him the Qs yet. Hi, Andrew! See you tomorrow!
> … and one more dude of some stripe, any ideas? Any dudes you want to hear from? That is within the remit, like. Like, don’t say Obama, or Aaron Paul who plays Jesse Pinkman. Soz, bitches.

In closing, here’s a screengrab of my Vichy Dude, from my personal video message.
My Vichy dude. Mine. No matter what this wan thinks.


Tanning Twenty Twelve: Karora Self Tan Mist

I hate the self tan sprays, as I have mentioned before, mainly because they are not very precise. It’s like when you clean the mirror in the bath — which you will have to do if you use a spray tan! — and you squirt the Windex and it’s like SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT. It’s okay when it’s Windex and it’s a mirror; it’s not so okay when it’s yer bod and a container of stainy stuff that will get all over the place.

So I end up SPLAT SPLAT SPLATing the stuff directly onto the mitt, and so what’s the point, then? You’re not getting the ‘salon experience’ at home, are you? Feh.

So with my usual open mind, I wielded Irish brand Karora Self Tan Mist (€14.99) and pointed it at my mitt. And then something truly amazing happened! It was all sssssssssssssssssssssssh: a truly gentle and absolutely misty expulsion of product.

Huh! I pointed the canister at my arm and depressed the button. There it was again! Ssssssssssssssssssssssh, resulting in a perfect mist of self tan adhering to my skin.

I used the mitt anyway, to distribute it evenly — I hadn’t lost my mind entirely — and have to say that the spray thing is really convenient and gentle and thorough. Who knew!

In the usual run of my criteria, this is yet another self tan that doesn’t smell bad. This also dries instantly, which is probably the most important thing to me.

However: it shows colour only to a small degree on contact, so you’ll have to plan ahead with this one. I put some on going out, and it didn’t really make an impact until the next day. Normally, I wouldn’t be okay with this either {so impatient!} but because this dries so fast, I’d put this this on and then get between the sheets without thinking twice.

Finally, I am guessing that is terrific value, because the sssssssssssssssssssssh doesn’t waste product, and with the help of the mitt, it distributes really well. Excellent all round, and it should last for the best part of the ‘summer’.



Tanning Twenty Twelve: L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Golden Mousse

Right, so. It is 6.30 in the morning. It is… to say it is pissing down rain is to insult piss, to be honest. It is filthy, foul, and soul-destroying out there. Your first thought, before you are even conscious that you are thinking, is Holy crap, I have to get my Christmas shopping done! before you remember that it is July, not November.

You are actually vertical, and preparing to leave the house in an hour. You can’t imagine what in the world you are going to wear, because your phone says it is actually kind of warm out. You look at yourself in the mirror — the lovely suntan you picked up in the South of France is fading, as is the memory of that strange glowing orb that was present in a sky that was this really weird colour, like blue or something?

You think, Feck it, and even though everything you’ve ever read tells you to tan the night before the morning of the deluge, you don’t give a toss. You grab the can of L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Golden Mousse (€22.49) and your trusty mitt, and go to work.

On a day that seemed to start out so wrong, suddenly everything is right. The mousse is light, it doesn’t have that stink, it imbues you with instant warmth and glow, and dries in finger snap. It is perfect.

That is all.

A La Recherche du Temps Chanel: Soleil Tan Luminous Bronzing Powder

In April, I did a Snap! Judgement on Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder. I wasn’t too fussed. Then, I brought it along on my weekend away in its homeland, and it was a different story altogether.

It helps to be in sunshine? Like, consistent, every single day sunshine? Because when I wrote that I thought this was ‘too subtle’, I meant ‘this isn’t doing squat, I can’t see a difference’ — but that was because there was no light in the sky, or the air, or wherever, to reflect off of this.

I passed it around to all the women who were away for le weekend, and it became part of everyone’s morning ritual. Coffee, check. Croissant, check. Susan’s bronzy Chanel stuff, check.

So, sunshine helps, a wee bit of fake tan or actual colour from said sunshine helps. It helps to be hanging out with friends, and sharing it round, too. As an actual product, it is all that is pretty and feminine and warm and gorgeous.

Bonus: I wouldn’t usually countenance {ha, haaaaa} using a brush supplied with a cosmetic, but this is a good one.


Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous bronzing Powder is  €42.70/£34/$60

Tanning Twenty Twelve: Decadence Self Tan Mist

Always ready to support a product that is Guaranteed Irish, it was with a paradoxical mix of optimism and trepidation that I cracked open Decadence Self Tan Mist (€14.99). Akin to the way that we really, really hoped the Boys in Green would make a good go of the Euros, we really, really hope that any new thing that comes out of Ireland will make a go of it, and then kind of sigh and shrug when it doesn’t — we had hopes, sure, but they weren’t all that high.

So, off came the plastic cap. I was exfoliated and ready to go. {I should have moisturised, I know, I know, but that’s a post for another day.} The container is a soft plastic, which allowed me to get a grip on it, which I counted to the good. I gave myself a cursory spray, even though I knew I wasn’t going to spray myself all over, because it got all over the place, and: nightmare. I have honestly given this technique a fair go in the past but here’s the thing: because I am worried about the spray tan all over the bath, I immediately start to clean it, and then get all sweaty, and then get all streaky.

Does this misting lark work for anyone? Am I just doin’ it rong? It’s a class thing, isn’t it? Because I’m a renter? Do all you home-owning, spray tanning-types have entire bathrooms devoted to the art, that you can just layer and layer in tan?

Anyway: gave it go, got it all over, proceeded to spray it on my handy applicator mitt, and it was joy to the world after that.

This is dark, and it goes on dark. This is good because you can see what you’re doing. It’s not great if you are super, super fair — at least, I don’t think it would be. It felt a little bold to me, and I am medium fair-ish.

I made sure that I got as much coverage as possible, so that I wouldn’t look too too dark, and I have to say, once it settled down, it gives an excellently warm and rich tan.

I put some on my face, which I am not sure I was meant to, not after it was too late and I did it anyway. I was far too, er, generous with the product, and I immediately scrubbed about half of it off. In future, I’ll be more delicate in my approach to that area.

Drying time: eh, only hits ‘okay’ on the Fab-U-Lometer, and actually inspired this post.

It has lasted for the guts of six days, it didn’t smell bad, and I have to say, this may be the best tan I’ve ever used on my legs which, even with fake tan, stubbornly refuse to look elegantly bronzed. They did with this one.

This is championship-level tanning. Olé, olé, olé!


Decadence Self Tan Mist is available in pharmacies nationwide.

What I Think About While Waiting for the Fake Tan to Dry

… Is it twenty minutes yet?

… Being naked is not that big a deal, and especially now that I am bronzed all over. Well, mostly. I’m sure there’s that bit in the upper middle of my back that’s like the opposite of painting a target on your back. But yeah, so standing here with my arms held out so they don’t, what, glue themselves to my sides? I think I need to improve my technique. I go too fast, getting it over with, because — because of this stupid standing around part!

… Should I — nope, still a little tacky.

… So standing around naked, it’s dumb, just standing here.

… This colour, is it too dark?

… Is it — dammit. Five minutes, maybe, at the most.

… Oh, I did a crap job on my feet again.

… This colour, is it too orange?

… Is — dammit.

… Holy God, I can’t even believe I am doing this, just standing here. I should have brought the laptop in here and, I don’t know, it’s not like I can work or anything and —don’t move! The duvet cover! Not yours! The landlord’s! It’s white! Who buys white duvet covers? Rich people, that’s who! White stuff never comes clean properly in these little European machines! Even when I use those white sheet yokes that you put in with the wash! Crap, crap, did I — no, okay.

Hate this.

… Is it — feck it, I don’t care.

Puts on loose black clothes; they feel a bit like they are sticking but could not be bothered at this stage. Fin.