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Glossip Girl: The celebrity tanning tribes

July 14th 2014 / Emma Gunavardhana

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From pale and interesting to dark and mysterious - which tanning tribe are you?

Let’s face it, we’ve all faked it at some point, but while dark used to be the thing there’s been an evolution in how we tan. Innovations in self-tan mean that rather than looking as though you’ve been on a two-week holiday after each application we can now capture that elusive glow of having just ‘caught the sun’ and enhance the skin tone we already have, rather than cover and conceal it.

In recent times it’s become clear that there are some hard and fast tribes when it comes to tanning; from the pale and interesting to dark and intense via the the healthy glow, the tan has evolved. The stars have picked their tribe and let’s face it, they’ve never looked better...

Pale and Interesting

Ellie Goulding flies the flag for the ‘almost tan’. Like a blanched vegetable, Ellie’s tan serves to enhance and bring her own natural skin tone to life, rather than hide it. It’s the kind of tan that perfects all the things we’d rather conceal such as veins, discolouration and those pesky pores. It’s a new era in tan, created in large part by tanning genius James Read, who has created a range that fuses tanning and skin care. Gone are the days of compromising your skin to achieve your desired tan - now you really can have both.

What to use:

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James Read Gradual Tan for Body, £24

Garnier Skin Naturals Summer Body Light Moisturising Lotion, £7.50

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Tanning Moisturiser, £5.35

The Healthy Glow

There are tans that just make you look healthy, and take your natural skin tone just those few shades deeper. Think Jessica Alba, Gisele and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who never look anything other than glowing. It’s a tough tan to manage because achieving that perfect shade is all about knowing when to stop. One layer too many and you’ve gone too far, so when trying this at home the mantra that should be going through your head is ‘less is more’. Think of it like adding salt to your cooking, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out...

What to use:

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Sienna X Gradual Glowing Self Tan, £15.95

Elemis Total Glow Self Tanning Cream, £25

Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Dry Mist, £7.79

The Rich and Intense

Let’s just lay our cards on the table here and address the fact that a dark tan has come with some negative associations in the past, but this new era of darker tanning put terms such as ‘tangoed’ and ‘creosote’ to bed. This is the tan sported by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and, at times, Victoria Beckham. J.Lo may be Latina, but look at her colouring back in the 90s and it’s clear that the bronze goddess we know and love today has had a little help in the tanning department. It works for J.Lo because the tan is complemented by her honey-hued hair and the bronze and golden tones in her makeup. 'Less is more' flies out of the window if this is your desired look, but maybe apply over a few days and take before and after pictures so you remain a little bit La Lopez and not Magda from There’s Something About Mary.

What to use:

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Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan Dark, £21.30

St Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse, £28

St Moriz Instant Self-Tanning Lotion, £4.99

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