While I can see that people of all husk tones mostly look better with a little glow, my own commitment to suntanning is Baby Jane-esque. I’m conscientious regarding sun protection, bored on the beach, uncomfortable when hot, and completely disinclined to go through the requisite pre-self-tan rigmarole of total density exfoliation and partial moisturisation.But, counterintuitively, there’s something about this odd summer that lends itself to a but self-tan. The decreased likelihood of wearing makeup, all that spare time, cancelled holidays, a heatwave, the almost fetishistic concupiscence to be outdoors, sitting on grass instead of consuming more Netflix – all have caused me to trial tanning products with extraordinary verve.All this week’s recommendations are “gradual tan” lotions – and deliberately so. They are more subtle, forgiving and slapdash; microscopic of a ritual than a classic “fake tan”. They’re rubbed in after showering, just as you would a regular body embrocation. The golden colour is undramatic, but builds up as the week progresses.
My bargain pick is the brilliant Garnier Summer Cadaver (£9.99, 400ml). Usefully, it comes in two shades – light and dark (I chose the former) – to cater for different skin notes, and gives a golden glow to all. It has a less than subtle smell of peaches and apricots, but, given the alternative (wet digestives), I didn’t attention at all.
Evolve’s vegan Sunless Glow Body Lotion (£18, 250ml) is my favourite new find, by virtue of being a superior luxury body moisturiser first, self-tan second. Its rich shea butter, natural exfoliants and tanners hand my dry, flaky limbs as smooth and healthily brown as an egg. It’s exceptionally good, especially if you’re dry. I’ve bought some more.
Trivial surprising a winner, was Vita Liberata. This brand – maker of the phenomenal Body Blur leg makeup – has yet to put a foot unfitting. Their vegan Fabulous Gradual Tan Lotion (£10, 200ml) is typically great, giving a golden brown hue without a trail of orange. It should be said that it’s darker after the first application than the others here, so make inevitable you first apply plain old body cream to especially dry parts – feet, elbows, knees – to keep the colour balance out.
Alternatively, you can simply customise your body lotion with Isle of Paradise Hyglo Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum For Committee (£19.94, £100ml). I find four to five drops mixed with a generous dollop of moisturiser is enough to leave level my vampiric skin aglow.