February 14th 2017
The fake tan turnaround: why it's time to love the skin you're in
June 17th 2015
The creosote-coloured tan is over, says Editor-in-Chief Susannah Taylor. Here's why the fake tan is getting a makeover of its own this season...
There was once a time when the darker you went in the sun, the healthier, more beautiful you were perceived. ‘Wow you look amazing’ people would shriek if you looked the colour of a chocolate Digestive. How times have changed though. With skin cancer seven times more common now than it was in the 1970s, people are now far more savvy today when it comes to sun damage than they have ever been and the definition of ‘bronzed’ is finally being given a makeunder. To be blunt, a creosote tan = ultimate sun damage. Whether you bought your mega-tan off a shelf or cultivated it on a beach on a faraway shore, looking deeply tanned is neither considered safe nor as stylish as it once was.
The dawn of tanning...
At the beginning of the 20th century, the tan wasn’t considered glamorous at all, in fact, it was a mark of a labourer and being part of a lower social class. Fashion historians believe that Coco Chanel was responsible for making sunbathing fashionable when she returned from a cruise in 1920 with a tan, setting a whole new precedent for beauty. The really deep, dark tan was sported by the likes of Marie Helvin and Farrah Fawcett in the 70s, but if the untanned style-setters of today are anything to go by (Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Alexa Chung, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner come to mind), there's a new trend emerging for accepting your skin as it is and that pale is and can be pretty.
The death of the fake tan...
Recent beauty industry reports have stated that self tan sales are down 20% over the course of last year, and many think that the dawn of Bisto-brushed reality TV casts are to blame. The stars of TOWIE, Geordie Shore, Katie Price et al, have given the dark self tan a very bad, very naff name. As a result, the dark self tan is bracketed with false nails, false lashes, dirty sheets and big fake hair extensions - it's associated with trying too hard. And the real style-setters, on the other hand, have gone to the other end of the tan spectrum and the Spring/ Summer catwalks were awash with paler more polished looking skin.
The re-birth of the natural tan...
Don't panic, if you’re a habitual self tanner, then it’s not necessary to ditch bronzer entirely, a hint of a gradual self tanner product will give your skin a summer glow without looking obvious and provide a subtle lift for the very fair-skinned. Some of my favourites are St Tropez’s Everyday Gradual Tan in Dark, £14.50 and Dove Summer Glow in Normal to Dark, £5.25 which will take you one shade darker than your normal colour.
Lucia Pieroni, a top makeup artist responsible for many of the catwalk show looks from Chloe to Missoni this season says it's all about looking like ‘Gorgeous Californian girls, sunkissed and glowing,’ whilst Terry Barber, head of makeup artistry at MAC says we should all be ‘Layering bronzers and highlighting powders to create a real, warm look.’ He confirms that ‘Solid walnut is out.’
It's official: this season, can the big tan. It will do nothing for your skin nor your style credentials.