Many of us crave a golden tan. We seek a healthy glow which not only makes us look wonderful but also gives our spirits a boost.

Tans which vary from golden glows to bronzed sheens have been bringing top fashions to life on the international catwalks. Closer to home on the high streets sunkissed looks look great with the latest summer fashions.

With increased awareness of the health risks of sun worshipping faking it has become an art. This safe alternative means you won’t even have to step outside your bedroom or bathroom and can still emerge looking as if you have been in the sun while others trudge home from the beach, beetroot faced and cranky.

Sublime Bronze Express-Pro, for body (€21.99 ) and face (€18.99 ) from L’Oreal has an innovative wide diffusion spray and the fine, dry mist dries instantly for an even result. There is no need to rub the spray in so there are no telltale orange palms, only beautifully bronzed skin.

Perfect for the self-tan-phobic who is put-off by the smell of self-tan this product has been formulated without this smell - its new fresh citrus fragrance means no-one will know your secret.

With two Sublime Bronze Express-Pro Body variants, for light and medium skin tones as well as a spray for the face, you have the ability to create the tan you want. The fair skin variant gives you a subtle, barely-there glow while the medium shade gives a richer golden looking effect. Apply once for a light shade finish or layer, over time, for an intense bronze result.

Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Tinted Gel (€21.99 ) is a one step solution for women searching for an instant bronzed look that lasts. This classic tinted self-tanning product illuminates your skin with a shimmering sunkissed look and develops to give a natural-looking long lasting tan.

Colour confidence

It is a good idea to test a fake colour for your skin type on an area that is hidden from public view, such as the top of your leg.

Do it at least six hours before you want results. Then decide if you need to be more sparing or generous in your applications.

Your natural skin colour matters, too. If your skin is sallow or you already have a tan you can be more liberal with the product.

It is wise to moisturise the skin at least two hours before applying self-tanning cream. This will help the product blend in. When applying put it on as evenly as possible and wash your hands afterwards. Otherwise you will end up with a tan on the palms of your hands which could provoke a bit of discussion.

Avoid bathing for one hour after applying and let the cream or foam absorb fully before dressing. Don’t let skin get in contact with bedding either.

Most mistakes are made by not blending in instant tans. It is important to blend in the product thoroughly or you will end up with unsightly brown blotches on your face or body.

The colour should fade gradually over a week. If you want a top-up or are keen to achieve a deeper tan, re-apply.

Fake it

Celebrity tanning artist James Read with L’Oreal Paris, whose clientele includes Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, offers the following tips to achieve a flawless tan:-

1. Preparation.

o Wax 48 hours before

o Shave 24 hours before

o Exfoliate 24 hours before tanning

o Make sure you apply moisturiser onto problem areas, ie, hands, feet, knees, elbows, wrists,

2. Application: when using a spray…

o Use protective gloves or wash hands immediately after applying self-tan spray

o Do not over spray in a certain area, evenly apply the spray. This will make sure that the tan is perfect.

o Cover feet with towel, this will prevent over spraying.

o Cover hair with a towel.

o Start from the top of the body and work down, leaving the hands and feet until last.

o Clean nails and eyebrows after spraying with a damp cloth.

2. Application: when using a gel…

o Apply gel and spread evenly over the face and body paying careful attention to your elbows, ankles and knees

o Wash your hands well after application and use some cotton wool pads to apply a small amount of gel to the backs of the hands.

o Use gel daily until the desired tan is achieved and then two to three times a week to maintain your tan.

3. After tanning care:

o After applying the self tan use a mitt to buff around the feet and wrists, making sure they look perfect.

o Leave tan on for at least eight hours but for best results sleep with the tan on.

o After you have washed it off moisturise your body. It is important to do this every day; this will make the tan last longer and stop the tan from breaking up.

o After three days exfoliate, this will make sure the tan fades evenly.



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