If you’ve not yet had chance to get your hands on the new In Shower Gradual Self-tan from St Tropez, or you’re cynically thinking ‘what’s all the fuss – it’s just another tanning product’, then I strongly recommend you get your skates on and go to Boots and get yourself a tube – because this product is amazing (and it’s only £14.50 for 200ml).
I’m a big fan of fake tans because they’re so much better for your skin but, even being a willing self-tanner, there’s no getting away from the fact they are a faff; they need good preparation, very careful application and ongoing maintenance, even if you do it at home rather than going to a salon. (And the distinctive newly-tanned smell – Eau de DHA – did I mention that?) All this is time-consuming so it’s no wonder that I, and most of the women I know, only bother to make the effort when there’s a special occasion coming up, and even then it’s a chore.
Well, no more need this be the case. I don’t know how they’ve done it but St Tropez have come up with a product that takes just 60 seconds to apply (just lather it all over as though you’re applying a shower cream), three minutes to sit on your skin and then another 60 seconds to rinse off in the shower. No streaks, no patchiness and no awful fake tan smell. (If you still don’t believe me, watch the St Tropez video and see for yourself!)
One application will give you a very light golden base colour, and you can build the tan up each day. I applied this for four consecutive nights and developed a good medium golden colour. After this I did find my elbows and knees (the usual suspects) developed very, but only very, slightly darker patches, but this was easily remedied by finishing those areas with a light coating of moisturiser after applying the tan the following night.
I am mightily impressed.
I’ve been using this for several weeks now and there’s no turning back. I think it’s safe to bid farewell to my armoury of St Tropez products which has built up to include sprays, gels, creams and oils (they’ve long been my favourite self-tan brand, so I’m secretly happy it is they who’ve well and truly whooped the competition with this product).
But, before being too hasty, I do recommend hanging on to a tube or two of instant tan in a darker shade. The In-Shower cream gives a great golden colour, which I personally love, but I do think a slightly darker tan is needed for social occasions or nights out, when your legs/arms/shoulders are out and you want to really glow (I’m still talking dark golden here by the way, not TOWIE mahogany).
What I find to be a pretty idiot-proof route to perfectly tanned legs is this: Prep your legs with In-Shower Gradual Self-tan for several nights in the run up to getting those legs out to get a good base colour. On the night (or day) you’re going out, after bathing but before topping up your colour with instant tan, moisturise. I recommend a very light rub over (not too much or your instant tan won’t stay on) with Palmer’s Body Oil (around £5) which smells gorgeous and provides a good base.
Then accentuate your colour with your instant tan. I love Boots’ Instant Glow Body Bronzer from their 17 range. This is one of the cheapest ranges on offer but I find the colour and coverage is better than some of the more expensive brands you can buy, including St. Tropez’s own Instant Glow Body Lotion (£10), which is about the equivalent (and not a bad second place).
I like to warm the instant tan between my palms and then evenly rub over my legs, not forgetting to cover feet too. You can accentuate your legs further by applying another light coating just down your shinbone to intensify the colour – contouring for legs really – as this will create a bit of an illusion of longer, slimmer legs. If your instant tan has a matt finish, you can mix it with a shimmer cream like Palmer’s Body Gloss (also around £5 and lasts for ages) or St. Tropez’s Skin Illuminator (£12) in gold, to give your colour a bit of zing.
So, there you have it. Fuss-free, safe tanning. Sorted.