Tag Archives: tanning


Fake-tan, or self-tan it is often referred to nowadays, has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Long gone are the days of radioactive orange, streaks, smudges and the overpowering biscuit scent.

Thank you to these recent developments in self-tan, I was finally seduced and treated myself to my very first spray tan yesterday. I am naturally very fair – an English rose, so unless I go on holiday for at least a month it would be wishful to think I will go any darker than a simple sun-kissed glow. Obviously living in England, where our winter far surpasses our days of sunshine (current heat wave aside), and working indoors doesn’t help my milky complexion either.

It wasn’t always liked this though, as a child I would tan like an apple browns. Then as soon as I hit my teens my skin decided it didn’t want to tan anymore, and my days of deep golden glows were replaced with heat rashes and lobster legs – I know, very attractive.

Therefore as I dusted off my shorts and summer dresses this week, I decided enough was enough. Now, I am relatively happy in my body, so when I start to pick outfits to cover up my pasty legs (when I actually like my legs), something is wrong. Plus, I am donning a little backless white number in three weeks time for my 23rd and I do not want to look like a complete milk bottle – all in all the perfect time to get initiated with self-tan.

I was definitely spoilt for choice when I came to pick my tan, from the breakthrough St Tropez, ever-popular Fake Bake, or new favourite Sienna X. In the end I opted for Sienna X because it was on offer at my local salon, however its huge celebrity following also swayed me, with the likes of Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Harry Judd, and the rest of the Strictly Come Dancing crew as fans.

The first 12 hours were the best – I was finally a gorgeous deep brown, but after the 8 hour setting period wash off I turned a creamy caramel tone. Both shades looked equally as natural though, and most importantly natural to my skin tone. What I love the most about Sienna X is their grade system, you can choose between an 8 and 16 depending on how dark you want to go – I decided on a grade 8 as a beginner, and all tans fade naturally between 5 and 7 days. Although the darker you go more exfoliation and scrubbing would be needed to banish the stubborn leftover patches.

I have only used gradual tans in the past, but most of these have left unnatural yellow blotches, so kudos to Sienna X for converting me. I can firmly say I will be joining the ranks of self-tanning, starting off with occasion tanning and then if I am brave enough I might even give a home tan a try one day. Self-tanning is safe, and if it makes you feel good, then why not? We all know of the dangers of the sun and sunbeds, and whilst the sun can be good for you if you stay protected and take it in moderation (the sun gives out vitamin D), sunbeds are one area of tanning I will never be trying out.

I have always been one to protect and perfect my skin, remember prevention is always better than cure, and what you do with your skin now WILL affect you in the future. Don’t want wrinkles or damaged skin? Then don’t cook yourself; because you wouldn’t put your hand freely on a BBQ would you?

These developments in self-tan are likely to progress even more so in the coming years, and I am really excited to see where the market will go. Already self-tanning has become a huge part of both women AND men’s beauty regimes, so why should it be considered any different to make-up; it is in a nutshell make-up for your body? That is to say I still think we should steer clear of the umpa lumpa look, I am all for enhancing natural beauty, but orange is just not natural.

For more information please visit Sienna X

Five helpful tips when self-tanning:

1)   Exfoliate and de-hair 24 hours before tanning.

2)   Self-tan 24 to 48 hours before a special event to make sure your guide colour has fully washed off.

3)   All tans vary, but leave 8 hours for a Sienna X tan to develop before putting on light or tight clothing.

4)   Again during the development period avoid water and perspiration – it can cause drip marks down your tan.

5)   Moisturise daily to prolong the life of your tan and to keep skin hydrated.

Don’t want to self-tan, but don’t want to cook either?

Parasol Sun Care: Perfect for those who suffer from sensitive skin – a one day application lotion, which protects the skin from sunburn and prickly heat. This product saved my life last year on holiday, I didn’t burn or suffer from a heat rash once, and I still came home with a golden glow.

Elemis Tan Accelerator: Prepare the body for sun exposure by stimulating its natural melanin production prior to your holiday. This is great for sun sensitive skin too, or for those of you who just want a little helping hand to prolong your tan. I haven’t used this as of yet, but have read amazing reviews; I cannot wait to try it next time I go away.

Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil: You may have read my review on this oil a couple of years ago, simply apply over the top of your usual sunscreen to aid tanning. Oil isn’t the safest way to tan, but this Hawaiian oil has an added SPF for extra skin protection.

Closet Charms is also supporting Fake Bake’s Save Your Skin Campaign. 


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SUNKISSED…if only for just one day

This product review was written for a lifestyle unit at uni…

As ever our British summer has either come too early or too late for any of us to truly enjoy the holidays…unless we are lucky enough to be jetting off to somewhere hot, the up and down classic British climate makes it even harder for anyone of us to catch some rays, and get that summer glow feeling.

So if you are suffering from the lack of sunshine in your life, here is a short product review I wrote for a lifestyle journalism unit at uni last year…

Sunkissed…if only for just one day!!!

Its summer time again, the bikinis are out and we are all competing for the most natural – and less orange looking tan. Un blessed with fair skin I tend to spend the summer looking like a lobster or hiding in the shade, but with all those fake tan products over filling our shelves I thought to myself, maybe there is a less painful, and healthier way to get a good tan this year. L’Oreal’s new sublime instant one day bronzing tan for face, body or legs promises a summer glow in just a few minutes.  A fake tan virgin I was rather dubious of turning streaky. Even though it was rather like rubbing chocolate into my skin, I did warm to the sickly sweet caramel looking gel. However I was very impressed to how easy the gel was to use, rubbing it into my skin just like a normal moisturiser. Once the gel had dried, it did lighten and my legs did look tanned. Depending on how light or dark you want your tan to be, you can rub as much or as little of it into your skin as you need to. This makes it perfect for a special occasion when you need an extra colour boost for a party or date, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily it washed off allowing you to touch up any mistakes. It did not look perfectly even up close but practice does make perfect, just add in a good exfoliation to even it out and avoid streaks. 

(For those of you who do have the pleasure of jetting off to somewhere hot soon, I would just like to tell you about Hawaiian tropics tanning oil that my friend introduced me to before I went to spain. Being naturally fair-skinned I never thought I would see the day I had a natural tan, but I used this product when I was away and the results were amazing. Apply suncream first then add-on top…it not only protects your skin but helps you to tan (and the layer of suncream underneath gives extra protection). I did not burn once and have received many comments about how brown I look.)