Wednesday 19 June 2013

Faking it

I can only apologise Ladies and Gentlemen (and yes, it's really good to know that some of the boys out there are following my blog - merci Messieurs) - I've been in something of a blogging hiatus for the past few weeks.  It's not that I haven't had anything to write about, on the contrary, but I've found the continuing unsettled weather has really affected my mood and my "aftermyownfashion" mojo.  Add in a birthday, a First Communion, a house full of visitors and the usual end of school year madness and I went momentarily AWOL. But guess what - the sun came out - and suddenly my world righted itself amidst the daily madness, so we're back in business - Summer business.

Photo: Pinterest

So, with the sun out, that means getting my legs out (which I had pretty much given up hope of this year to be honest) and thus we encounter the beauty ritual that dare not speak it's name - yes, it's time to talk and indeed get to grips with - fake tan.


Now, I may have come to fake tan rather late, but boy is it a 21st century revelation, and with a bit of trial and error, it's a game changer. I am of Celtic origin, aka white as a sheet at all times of year, burnt to a crisp in about 5 minutes without factor 50 or above. In short, I'm never the beauty on the beach, I'm always blotchy and acutely aware that I'm frying and getting ridiculous tan burn lines. But in my head I look like this:

Photo: Pinterest

Yes, there I am - golden, glamorous and just a touch Old Hollywood meets Capri. Indeed many years ago in my former London life I was sent on a bonkers free weekend to LA and got to stay in the Hotel Bel-Air (I know, sounds like a plotline for "The Hangover Part IV"...) and my embarrassment was complete when I realised that rather than looking like the cool, bronzed, poolside beauty I imagined myself to be, I was a perfect shade of lobster red before my fellow pool companions had ordered their first Cosmopolitan - the shame lives with me still...

Photo: Hotel Bel-Air

So if you can't have the real thing (and anyway, we all know sunbathing is bad for you) it's a question of finding what works, without looking too streaky, too TOWIE*, too Jordan** or just too plain orange - no-one wants to look like they've been Tangoed***. Obviously you can go the professional spray tan route and that's a whole different ball game, but this is the DIY version.  My go to gradual, 'it won't hurt' tan is Dove's Summer Glow which goes on like a normal moisturiser, doesn't smell too biscuity and develops into a warm golden overall glow, which for pale skins like mine is often enough.

As legs can take a bit of stronger colour I build on the Dove layer with Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer. This has to be worked in really well - alot of makeup artists recommend a buffing mitt, and as ever you need to be careful on elbows, knees, ankles, and hands - orange palms are such a giveaway.... With careful application, it can look pretty good.

I have also been trying Biotherm Self-tan gel for Fair Skin, which has a good smell and goes on easily and dries quickly. It is quite pale, and possibly a little yellowy in final colour for some skin tones, but again for my pale skin,  I think it looks quite realistic.

Fake tan used to be something that you either couldn't keep a secret, because it was so streaky, strong-smelling and well, orange that you gave yourself away immediately, or something that you did keep a secret because you'd been for a spray tan and passed it off as 'real' - "Oh, this old tan?  Yeah, I've just been doing a lot of gardening..."  Thankfully, Kate Moss has recently added her not inconsiderable fashion credentials to the excellent St Tropez tan range, so we can now all follow in her footsteps and openly fess up to having hit the bottle, whilst dreaming that it will in fact, make us look like this:


Other ranges such as Clinique Self Sun and James Read are also to be highly recommended - I've used Clinique for my face for a few years now and James Read has an overnight Sleep Mask that has had rave reviews: you apply it as you would a night cream and wake up in the morning with a beautiful sun-kissed glow - genius and they promise that it doesn't all come off on your pillow whilst you're getting your beauty sleep. I'm definitely going to road-test this one.

So here's to faking it, loud and proud and to a great, bronzed summer, without the sunburn.  What to wear? That comes next.


* TOWIE - UK Reality TV show "The Only Way Is Essex" where the whole cast is perma-tanned, wait for it - orange.

** Jordan - Former glamour model - always a lurid orange.

*** Tango - British fizzy drink, very popular in the 70's and 80's - colour, you guessed it - bright orange. The accompanying TV ad had people being 'Tangoed" and turning orange - yup, someone really got paid for that bright idea....


Helen said...

yey! you're blogging again! I've missed your words.. See you later!

Juliette Chisholm said...

Aww thanks, I've been missing it too, so it feels good to be back. x

Unknown said...

Welcome back Missus - missed ya!

Juliette Chisholm said...

Thank you my dear, it's good to know you are out there reading. x