Tanning Twenty Twelve: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

I was ready to hang up my mitt for the season. There’s nothing I hate worse than anachronistic skin tone, unless, okay, you’ve got an event — I mean, yeah, of course, go get a tan for a wedding, especially if it is your own! I’m not a complete heathen.

But taking a bit of the glare off is one thing; being as bronzed as I can be in the ‘summer’ months is another. I decided I was done. Besides, I have a slew of foundations to try. Frankly, I’m looking forward to being a little bit pale and interesting again. ‘Dewy’, dare I say.

Right, so. Tanning Twenty Twelve: Terminated.

And then the sun came out! Continue reading

Tanning Twenty Twelve: Tired of It {Soap & Glory Glow Getter}

How much work can it be, this tanning? It’s not like digging ditches, I mean, come on. But there is a mental tiredness I am experiencing that is pretty comprehensive, and makes me think I’d rather go pick up a shovel. There is actually a lot of thought that goes into this caper: making sure I’ve exfoliated, because sometimes I can’t be bothered; making sure that I am all moisturised and whatever; and most of all, get my head round the particular qualities of the tan involved.

Glow Getter by Soap & Glory is a Face & Body Sun Powder Spray. Okay, ‘spray’ — already an issue for me, because of the mess. ‘Powder’? Wha’?

I couldn’t get my head round it, and so I kept putting off putting it on.

I gave it a go the other day and I am so confused.

It is awkward. You can’t spray it on a mitt and manage to spread it around as well as you would a mousse or a gel or a liquid. So I had to spray it directly onto the bod. Which resulted in splotches of powdery {it really is a powder!} patches, because I didn’t want to hold the can too far away because the spray would get all over the place.

Too splotchy, though, spraying up close, so I got into the shower — my white, pristine shower — and tried again. It wasn’t much better, to be honest.

I used my mitt to spread the tan around, and was just effing and blinding the entire time. This is a pain in the arse was the prevailing theme.

In about two minutes, though? Pretty feckin’ lovely colour. Extremely warm and … posh. This was instantaneous poshness. I looked like, if my life was Inception, I’d put on some fancy dress and when I walked out my door I’d be stepping onto the Riviera.

Confusion! It is the messiest tan I have ever used, probably down to the powder element — but it is also like the kind of tan you get when you have nothing else to do but lie around on a lounger on the deck of a yacht. {I am guessing. I would very much like to find that out in practice.}

My conclusion: I will take this with me on holiday to a place that has a bathroom that I don’t have to clean myself. Otherwise? Too much like work.



Also! The next morning in the shower, the colour just rolled right down the drain. Just so you know.

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.

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.

Tanning Twenty Twelve: L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Fresh Feel Gel

In the mood for some Machiavellian bronzing?

There was so much ‘eh’ about L’Oréal’s Sublime Bronze gel (€22.49):
> The tube is really fiddly. The cap is tight, which is good, because you don’t want this dripping all over the place, but it is hard to open — every time I did, product spewed out of the tube and got all over the place anyway.
> It felt sticky going on.
> Even though it was orange, I couldn’t see if I was missing any spots.
> It was orange.
> It felt like it took forever to dry.

On the other hand,
> It doesn’t smell.
> You can use it on your face.

I was not impressed… until later in the day when I looked at my face in the mirror and thought Holy wow, look at how naturally brown I look! Further impressiveness resulted when, the next day during a break in jumping, one of my horseriding pals started quizzing me about my tan, and whether it was real or fake, because she couldn’t tell.

It produces a really warm, excellent shade, and it has lasted for four days so far. I expect it to last the week.

So, ‘eh’ notwithstanding, the ends justify the means. A philosophical tan, then, and also one that makes you look like you’ve been lounging around Tuscany for a fortnight. Perfetto.