Summer is in full swing here in dear old Blighty, and for us 40 something's who have delicate skin and are in full on sweat mode even before we step outside in the scorching heat, looking after our complexion is a top priority. If you are anything like me, you've probably already spent more years than you should have toasting yourself religiously for two weeks every summer and preparing on a sunbed for three months in the run-up to your holiday.
You are by now much wiser and wrinklier, and so your go-to SPF is more like factor 50, you prefer a Kaftan to a bikini, kidding yourself that you are Bohemian, when really you are just concealing the middle-aged wine belly that has just appeared out of nowhere, and you've developed a penchant for hats because quite frankly, your bleached locks are beyond parched! I just described myself! Again.
Well, lucky for you, fabfit real reviews is covering off the "how to" of tanning along with our top recommendations on the products to give you that golden goddess glow even if you are hiding in the shade.
So which are the best self-tanners around that will have you longing to get your lithesome legs out?
Self tanners come in all kinds of shapes and shades, from lotions and mousses to spray mists with adjustable nozzles.
You can build up a gradual daily tan, or go for a week long tan; from golden to mahogany and all the various colours of teak in between!
Below are a selection of some of the options currently on the market across all categories.
Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Dry Body Mist
With its multi angle spray application this one is easy to apply and leaves a nice light tan.
More of a subtle goddess glow so lovely for the fairer skinned maidens amongst us.
Rodial Brazilian Tan Airbrush
This one really transports you to being on holiday with its lovely tropical scent of coconut and aloe vera.
Provides a lovely long lasting and full coverage tan.
Tan Luxe The Water
This is genius! It might look a bit strange given that its, well, transparent! However, it does provide a very natural and seamless tan with a great vitamin boost and no lingering smell of biscuits either!
It's fresh, clean and super hydrating.
Xen Tan Transformation Ultra
One for the more daring amongst you. Fabulous if you want a darker more sultry golden glow but one that will gradually and evenly fade over time. This is more like the tanners you have applied in the salon. Leave it on for your desired amount of time according to the look you want to achieve – 45 mins for a more subtle golden glow – 2 mins if you’re hankering after a richer mahogany look! Then jump in the shower and wash it off and over the next tan hours, your tan will begin to develop.
Fake Bake Airbrush Instant Tan
Not the easiest to apply so proceed with experience or caution! It does have a 360-degree nozzle for a continuous spray effect but you need to perfect your technique.
You might want to ensure that you are in an enclosed but ventilated space to make sure you don’t spray your house instead of your body!
Instant Fan Finishing Gloss St Tropez
As you would expect from the experts at St Tropez, they have a whole range of fabulous self-tanning products. Their latest offering is an instant tan “gloss” that provides an instant but buildable coverage.
It also washes off so if you’re a beginner, this is a good option and It’s also a great on holiday quick fix top up too!
Clinique Body Tinted Lotion
Perfect if you want to achieve a lovely deep tan but with beautiful golden tones.
The colour is enhanced and looks richer by the next day too and is super easy and has a streak free application.
L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Overnight Elixir
Anything that claims to be an “elixir” gets my attention and as you’d expect from those experts over at L’Oreal Paris they are constantly at the forefront of trends and technologies.
Apply this at night and wake up looking like a goddes; even if you don’t feel like one. No need to put the towels down either as this won’t stain your sheets – so they claim!
Origins The Great Pretender
This is a lovely gel consistency and provides an immediate glow and a lovely soft shimmer too. Develops into a really nice even and very genuine looking tan and lasts for a good few days too.
It contains something called DHA which mimics and interacts with your own skin proteins, hence why the overall look is really believable.
Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion With A Hint of Colour
Creates a lovely healthy but subtle golden glow that easily washes off so handy for those of a nervous tanning disposition!
Super moisturizing and hydrating too.
The Face and Body Gradual Tan from La Mer
Got the urge to splurge? Then La Mer is going to be the one for you. You can build up your shade with daily application so it’s a really great product for those of you new or nervous to the world of self-tanning.
No streaks and provides an instantly glam glow
Kiko Milano Self-Tanning Rapid Mousse
You can build up your chosen tan tone with this product and its great if you like the light fluffy texture of a mousse.
It glides on effortlessly and easily with results visible after an hour.
Dior Bronze Self-Tanning Oil Natural Glow
This oil formula from Dior is really luxurious, with a divine scent, that nourishes the skin whilst providing a lovely smooth and even colour that can be applied to both your face and body.
This is one of my own personal faves as I do really like the oil consistency.
Our Top Tips to Tanning
1.It’s all about the pre-prep. For the best even tan make sure you exfoliate from head to toe and DO NOT miss your feet, especially ankles (or in my case candles!), knees and elbows.
2. Liberally apply a fragrance free lotion to your entire body before going anywhere near the self-tanner to ensure your skin is thoroughly hydrated.
3. Pay particular attention to your wrists, fingertips, backs of your heels, elbows and knees and put plenty of cream as a barrier on these parts. These tend to be the most parched areas of our skin and therefore absorb more pigment which is when they can go patchy.
4. For the best look on your hands, make sure you bend your fingers so that you create a claw like effect with your hand. That way the product will blend into your knuckle creases.
5. This might take a bit more practice but use your tanner to contour your body. By applying more product in certain areas you can better create the illusion of definition to your abs, butt, legs and arms. This might be better left in the hands of the professional! Not a blind one though.
6. For those tricky to reach areas, pre-assemble your own mitt stick! Take your long handled loofah brush, grab your tanning mitt and a hair bobble and secure the mitt in place. Voila, you can then easily swipe the mitt across that bit in the middle of your back that even though you’ve been practicing yoga for 5 years you still can’t quite contort yourself into a position to reach!
7. Scrub a dub dub. Get a bit of your exfoliator and make sure you give the palms of your hands a good old rub together afterwards. Remove with a make-up wipe. Don’t submerge your hands in water just yet otherwise you will streak!
8. There aren’t many tanners, despite what they say, that will be instantly touch dry so give yourself a blast with the cool setting on your hairdryer otherwise you’ll die a death from boredom waiting for that coat of creosote to dry!
9. Don’t forget the SPF either. You might have a nice glowing tan now but you want to keep it that way. Just because you look all lovely and bronzed doesn’t mean that you are protected from those UV rays.
10. Finally, to help maintain that lovely tan for longer, ditch any oil based body lotions and steer away from your exfoliator for a while. Use a nice gentle, alcohol free body cleansing wash and you should be streak free and evenly tanned for a good week or more!
So there you have it. The top self tanners for 2018 and our tips on how to apply to achieve the best results. We are talking real reviews for real women in their 40's just like me and you!
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