To Tan Or Not to Tan…

That is the question on a lot of fair skinned ladies’ lips as summer arrives…and for those of all skin tones a further question may be, go bare legged or not ?!

I am fair,or,as I like to say, “interestingly pale”  – I do not tan naturally easily – although to be fair (LOL!), I am not really a “laze around sunbathing on a beach ” sort of person! The top half of my body does get a colour of a fashion ( ok, I go red!) but my legs remain lily white. I can remember having a successful tan whilst on holiday –  when I was in my late teens and I had obviously fallen asleep on the sun bed during the day after staying up all night dancing the night away! I can also remember having sunburnt eyelids – not very pleasant! What I can definitely recommend if you do tend to go red before tanning is to invest in some Rimmel Sunshimmer  – rub this bronzer onto the red patches as well as on your shoulders,arms,legs,chest and it acts as an after sun moisturiser and turns the red a nice glittery bronze colour !  Fabulous on your face too – gives a healthy tan colour ! Pack some into your suitcases!!!

Sunbeds are an option. I booked a course of sun bed sessions before I embarked on (another) teen holiday to Magaluf! However, I only lasted one session – I contracted chicken pox and that was that. I landed in Magaluf, pale and spotty…but not for long, thankfully! However, if you are not a person who can lie on a normal sun bed for at least 15 minutes before getting bored, then it probably isn’t a good idea!

About 15 years ago I had an all over tan treatment applied at a spa and unfortunately I turned a lovely shade of orange. Luckily, my holiday break that year was to the Lake District where I was able to wear long sleeves and trousers ! Nowadays, fake tans are more sophisticated and the orange look can be avoided.  Spray tanning at reputable salons and centres now produce flawless results – although not used myself, friends have recommended the LA Tanning company, Vita Liberata outlets and Fake Bake.

Alternatively, you could opt for the fake suntan cream and do your legs (and body) yourself. I currently use Body Shop’s Molten Bronze  – a dry body oil with a hint of natural fake tan – apply it every day and you will gradually build up a natural looking colour. For me, it just takes the edge off that lily white ! Johnson’s Holiday Tan and Dove also work in the same way. Facial wise, I’m currently using Leichner’s camera blend tinted moisturiser in “hints of beige”.  Not as heavy as traditional foundations but it gives a lovely flawless illuminated look – available in various “hints” for all skin tones.

For darker tans, and fans of TOWIE, try Lauren’s Way Glam Tan – you can see for yourself how good it is by looking at Lauren Goodger!  ( Lauren’s Way also do spray tans). Another recommendation is pHenomeal tanning mousse by Vita Liberata – this tan can last an astonishing 2-3 weeks – and is available in dark,medium and fair. The product has won the “Best Tanning Range” category in U Magazine’s beauty awards 2012/2013.

You could also boost your all over tan by sunbathing in “Tan Through Swimwear” – the swimsuits and bikinis have a built in SPF of around 6 , so it is recommended that suntan lotion of SPF 6 or higher should be used on areas not covered by the swimsuit. There is a large range on Amazon ; you could also check out the Tan Through website – they guarantee that their Cool Tan swimwear range are not see through when wet or dry. It could be just the thing to eliminate those “tan lines”!

If bare legs are not your scene or perhaps are not appropriate for the occasion, there are a range of tights to give you that just tanned and oiled look. The photo heading this blogpost is of Jonathan Aston Micronet Tights in Natural with Pretty Polly Naturals Oiled Tights in Slightly Sunkissed underneath. Believe me, they look and feel wonderful ! If you want to bare your just painted tootsies in a pair of sandals, don a pair of toeless tights – brilliant invention !!  For sexiness you can’t beat the  seamed retro hosiery  –  available in colours from nude to chocolate – these are great for darker skin tones or as an alternative to the usual black tights/stockings.

Now you’ve prepared your pins – look to have a pedicure, paint your nails a vibrant colour (I love corals!), find those TAN sandals and go, strut your stuff!

Linda x

Photo Credit: Adam Hobden




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11 thoughts on “To Tan Or Not to Tan…”

  1. The new in shower gradual tan by ‘St Tropez’ is fabulous… with the added bonus of washing the sticky-and-smelly-away before leaving the shower. You wash as usual, apply the tanning gel, wait three minutes, then rinse off with water… tan develops in 3 – 4 hours and takes 2 – 3 days to build desired (depending on preference) results.

    1. Thank you for the tip! I will have to try that out. I’m more a fan of the immediate tan though – My latest favourite product is Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Dry Oil. It is fab & is non streaky too! ?

  2. I need to try these, I’m white, white, white and live in LA so lots of dresses in the summer and I’ve learned to live with the pale, or opt for some sort of self done spray tan. I love Neutrogena micromist which comes in several shades and is a natural color.

  3. I am a fair-skinned redhead and my legs are the last to color! The rest of me tans great. I use products like self tanning creams and towelettes a few days before I will be baring my legs and have a little color so as not to blind everyone!

    1. You have the same problem as me – barring the red hair! I hope I’ve given you a few other alternatives to try.

  4. I slather on the 50 spf and don’t worry about it anymore. I used to tan (and rather very well) when I was younger, but once I saw my parents having to deal with skin cancer spots, I stopped tanning. Most of my holidays are on the beach, but I have my trusty sunblock with me at all times.

    1. I always spend a lot of time in the shade. My holidays are rarely beach orientated, although the heat and sun is just as intense in places. We do like to spend holidays in mountainous/volcanic regions … or we do the extreme opposite, and go city! Occasionally we incorporate beaches and deserts! We live on the coast/river estuary so spend our free time walking around the sea wall close to our house. My youngest son is extremely fair skinned – so I always have factor 50 on hand where ever we go!

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