May 3rd 2019
Fake tan is probably one of the most innovative beauty categories out there: what started as Nutella-esque, steak-prone paste has evolved into light as air, cooling and quick developing faux glow godsends. In the last few years we’ve seen many developments in texture and delivery methods, from fast-drying mousses, bronzing sheet masks and in-shower tans that develop in mere minutes. We can choose from adjustable gradual tans, drops to add to your favourite moisturizer and there’s been a huge expansion of the natural and organic category, with the increasing use of natural DHAs derived from ingredients such as sugar beet that are usable in pregnancy (The Organic Pharmacy and Balance Me are leading the golden charge here).
Last year was the year of tanning while you sleep, with nocturnal launches including Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask and Tan Luxe Sleep Oil. This year the newcomers making a splash include 'reach everywhere' tanning waters that feel weightless on the skin yet are capable of developing seamless all-over tans and rollerball oils that create glossy tans and nourish parched limbs. Colour adaptive technology is also helping to rid us of the radioactive tan terrors- peach, green and violet undertones ensure that orange is never an option. Read on for the key players…
Founded by one of our favourite beauty industry blokes, the charismatic and confidence enhancing Jules Von Hep, Isle of Paradise has one salient USP: keeping it real. That goes for the end-result tan, and the campaign representation of women's’ bodies. Women of all shapes, sizes and skintones feature on the brand’s website and social media feeds, and all of the fake tan textures work on the principles of colour correcting so that you get the glow you signed up for, not a satsuma situation. Peach is designed to brighten pale skintones, green counteracts redness and delivers a ‘medium’ tan while violet neutralises sallow and ashy tones to create a beautiful finish on darker skin. The Self-Tanning Water, £18.95, is particularly futuristic- spritz on in seconds and buff in with a mitt for an even colour that develops in four to six hours. All of the Isle of Paradise offering is also vegan, cruelty-free and organic and smells more like a coconutty sea breeze than soggy biscuit.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water, £18.95 for 200ml, buy online
Tan Luxe Wonder Oil, £40, will look more like a luxe fragrance than fake tan on your bathroom shelf - it has more than a hint of the Byredo about it. Like the high-end Scandinavian scent line, Wonder Oil is gloriously minimalist and fuss-free, with a tagline of ‘no drama’ and a large rollerball applicator that glides over skin to distribute the golden-hued tanning oil. The ball does take a few runs to get going - run it on a piece of paper if yours is a bit stiff at first, but once on the tanning oil delivers a glossy, hydrating glow, and you can definitely detect the raspberry seed oil in the formula- it smells like a bowl of berries, but it’s not sickly sweet. A new-gen tanning option that’s particularly well suited to dry skins.
Tan Luxe Wonder Oil, £40 for 100ml, buy online
Summer in a bottle in more ways than one, James Read Coconut Water Tan Mist, £25, is a lightweight mist formulated with a 100 per cent coconut water base, which is in evidence on first spray- it smells tropical but not overly Malibu-esque. Cooling, incredibly fast drying and infused with hyaluronic acid, the golden colour develops over three to five hours. This
James Read Coconut Water Tan Mist, £25 for 200ml, buy online
Not the latest health drink fad, but the newest tanning tech advancement by Vita Liberata. Invisi Foaming Tanning Water, £25, is, as the name implies, colourless on application, so it’s transfer-free and won’t turn your sheets a lovely shade of rust. It’s also organic, with aloe vera as its primary ingredient and no fragrance, alcohol or animal-derived elements to speak of. Another speedy dryer, it’s available in three shades to tailor your tan, and it’s also rich in glycerin and hyaluronic acid to leave skin moisturised, decreasing your likelihood of patchiness and also softening skin up nicely, which is always a bonus.
Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tanning Water, £30 for 200ml, buy online
If the idea of being transported to farflung climes by way of a tanning face spritz appeals right about now, St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mist, £22, will be just your bag. Used to create the ‘tropical tan’ sported by models at Temperley’s SS18 show, the spray conjures up a medium degree of ‘sunkissed’ and doesn’t need to be rinsed off (the backstage skin finisher’s dream). It’s intended to smell like paradise- think exotic florals, so do be aware of that if you’re avoiding fragrance, but the tanning agent is 100 per cent natural and vegan friendly. It layers on weightlessly, so beware of overdoing it- it’s almost too easy to use…
St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mist, £22 for 80ml, buy online
According to Mintel, Australian made sunless tanning brand Bali Body is storming it on social media- it’s one of the most successful self-tanning brands on Instagram in particular, engaging with its 1.1m followers by way of a consistent reel of bikini shots and consumer reposts. The strategy’s clearly working, but the company's hero product has an old skool feel. The Bali Body Tanning Oils, £17.95, aren’t fake tans per se- they’re intended to enhance your tan by stimulating your skin’s melanin production. I shall now sound the alarm that the max SPF protection you're getting is pitched at SPF 6, so definitely don’t use these alone in the sun. Think of them more as a natural body oil blend that will make skin more supple and luminous post-sun exposure, rather than basting yourself in them on the beach, despite what the Insta feed may imply (there's a non-SPF version too).
Bali Body Watermelon Tanning Oil, £17.95 for 100ml, buy online
Rounding off with tan removal tech, if your tan is more camouflage effect than clean and even, it’s probably time to slough it off. Enter Tan Luxe Glyco Water, with a 3% glycolic acid formula that sweeps away tan residue and dead skin cells in seconds. It’s the smoother, softer alternative to harsh scrubs, and it can be used as a tan ‘primer’ to exfoliate skin pre-tan application. It’s yet to hit the shelves, but we predict it’ll be flying off them when it does.
Tan Luxe Glyco Water, £22 for 200ml
May 4th 2018
July 11th 2017