Winter's biggest tan challenges: finding something that suits your newly pale skin, that doesn’t look ridiculous against a backdrop of grey city skies, and is really quick to apply. We found three fake tans that work really well for winter skin
1. THE WASH-OFF ONE
He-Shi’s One Day Wash-off Tan, £14.50, a unisex brand with fans including Sienna Miller and Christine Blakely, looked promising, so we put it on trial. Our tan-loving tester reported: "The unsticky gel was easy to rub in and left a realistic colour that evened out my skin-tone. Before I was used to frantically fanning my body before putting on my clothes but as this dried super-fast there was no need. Because it’s a wash-off it didn’t smell, a major plus for me as I find the fragrance of fake tan a real giveaway and it tends to ruin the scent of your perfume. With just six minutes off the clock and no waiting to get dressed time, this got the thumbs up. And I like the fact it washes off – in winter it’s good to have that flexibility."
2. THE GRADUAL BUILD ONE
For a deeper tropical tan it's always best to build it up over a couple of days. Tanning Expert James Read, who has tanned the limbs of Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Mariah Carey explains, "Apply one fine layer of tan, leave it on for five hours and then wash off. Do this for three-days in a row for a natural built-up colour." By not leaving the tan on overnight (which is what we’re usually recommended to do) the colour doesn’t fully absorb, meaning it wont block pores and the colour won't fully progress. Our tester told us: "I used St Tropez Gradual Tan Body, £14, a tan and technique that does require dedication. It's great for big occasions but get organised and set aside 15 minutes a night for application. The results were definitely worth it though, I found that I wasn’t left looking scaly and my skin didn’t feel dry’.
3. THE NOT-TOO-FULL-ON ONE
For a more subtle tan either pick a dark mist and apply one light coat (a technique used at Erdem SS11 by Nichola Joss) or apply a couple of coats of a lighter tan. If you’re a little more experienced then go for option one, but otherwise keep it safe with lots of light layers. A great tan for this is Fake Bake’s Flawless Tan, £22, which comes in a fool-proof liquid spray. Our tester reported back with a silky light layer of natural colour. She particularly liked the ‘see where it goes’ formula which made streaking impossible and noticed it was transfer-resistant, so she wasn’t left with grubby coat collars. If you already have a favourite tan but it’s a little thick, thin it down with your favourite body moisturiser, but try one that’s not too oily as this will increase drying time.