Skincare

Summer Tan? Yes we can!

Summer is here and it’s time to dust down those legs and slip into some cute denim shorts, floaty dresses and beach bikinis. But as I look down to decide what colour to paint my toenails, I see a horrific sight. Well, it’s more a blinding neon glare…

Summer is here and it’s time to dust down those legs and slip into some cute denim shorts, floaty dresses and beach bikinis. But as I look down to decide what colour to paint my toenails, I see a horrific sight. Well, it’s more a blinding neon glare that seems to be reflecting off my newly shaven legs. When I step into the shadows I notice they’re not a peaches and cream, nor are they a milk bottle shade, they’re a deathly white, uneven with purple patches and visible veins.

How am I going to face summer? This summer I’ve decided to tackle the fake tan, find out what works and what doesn’t and what is the best, quick and easy to use product on the shelf.

Garnier Summer Body, Moisturising Spray Mist.
The idea behind this product is to create a natural sun-kissed tan, which I assumed would be a lighter coverage. This cream is really light; it comes out like a watery moisturiser. You simply spray and rub in. It smells great and felt nice to use.

Result
I was right; it is a very light coverage, a little too light for me. I was aiming for golden goddess, this turned me into a healthy peaches and cream. I used it on my arms, legs and chest. It seemed to go well on my arms and chest, but not so well on my legs. This is a product I’d probably use more in winter than summer.

Niver Summer Beauty, Firming Gradual Tan Lotion
Another product I assumed would be a light coverage and take a week to build up. But it was a firming lotion too, so I’m instantly sold. Once again the texture of light moisturiser, it went on smoothly and smelt like apricots.

Result
I’m very pleasantly surprised! I’m a lovely light golden colour, it’s not tropical holiday style, but I do notice a difference. Once again this took better on my arms and chest than it did to my legs. But it was streak free and a lot darker than Garnier Summer Body. I also love the idea this was a firming cream as well. I’d definitely use this product in winter when I want a bit of a glow, but probably not dark enough for summer for me.

Sugar Baby Shimmering Tanning Spray
It says ‘golden goddess’ on the bottle so I was very excited this would be a winner. It smells like coconut, which I found very pleasant. But it comes out brown, which my white bathroom walls’ were not a fan of. I’ve found most tanning products are now ‘instant’ tanning products, so they come out brown, which is great to get a general idea on how it might look, but terrible for putting on any items of clothing afterwards and if you happen to splash some water on yourself say goodbye to even streak-free tan. This tan will still develop over night so be careful with the amount you put on.

Result
It’s good. I’m brown, I’m very golden, but it’s the same old problem my arms and chest are a beautiful golden colour but my legs are still streaky and not as golden as the rest of me. But on the whole I smell like a walking coconut and the areas that are golden are smooth and look fantastic.

Le Tan Instant Fast Tan
This product sold me instantly because there is a built in sponge attached to the end where the tan squeezes out. No more messy hands! It came out like thick caramel chocolate, I wanted to eat it, but thankfully the smell reminded me this was tan and not gooey body chocolate. The sponge started off filling all my mess free fantasies, but after one or two attempts at smoothing it over my arms I found it was much easier use my hands.
This was a very messy task. Unless you’re willing to walk around the house naked for the rest of the evening your clothing will get completely covered in brown. Don’t panic, it washes out completely, but not a good look when your pants have brown smears on them.

Result
I was a lovely golden shade and pretty much streak free. Here is a little tip, if you find you’ve got funny brown patches, rub a wet cloth over you the morning after or even a dry tissue. I found this smoothed me out nicely. This product took better to my legs than the other products did, but once again, I was browner everywhere else and the one area that was streaky was my legs. I was becoming agitated at this point; will I ever find a product that will take to my legs nicely?

Le Tan Flawless Legs, leg make up
Another Le Tan product, I found they dominated the shelves so I thought I’d try one more. This looked promising; it’s an instant leg spray that doesn’t develop overnight (or develop more overnight). It dries instantly and within seconds you’re ready to go to the beach. I assumed it was very similar to the Sally Hansen leg spray, which makes your legs look like they’re in a pair of stockings.

Result
My goodness. This product is wonderful! My legs look smooth, flawless and a wonderful golden tan with no streaks at all. They feel like silk and it only took seconds to do. I just sprayed the tan on, rubbed it in and continued until my legs were covered. This does exactly what the bottle says it does. Unlike the Sally Hansen product, which I find can look quite matte, Le Tan leg makeup has a natural glow so it doesn’t look like you are wearing stockings; it looks like you have lovely tanned legs. It doesn’t rub off on my clothing and to wash off all you do is add soap and water. Water alone won’t take the tan off so it doesn’t matter if you get splashed or wet.

The winner
I’d have to say Le Tan wins for me. Le Tan Instant Fast Tan lotion from the bottle was perfect for my arms and chest; it looked natural and a lovely golden brown. But for my legs Le Tan Flawless Legs was wonderful, I could use it in the morning before I went out and it would last me until my next shower. It was easy, quick and looked perfect, I don’t think I’ll bother with any other tanning lotion on my legs again. Just keep in mind this product is best for your legs, although you can put it on other areas of the body, it doesn’t seem to work as well as it does on the legs.

By Sarah Hunter, 15 January 2010.

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