When an Instagram post generates 163 comments, you know you’ve touched a nerve – a fake-tan-gone-totally-bat-shit-wrong nerve. Yup.
The only non-lovely thing, after such a long, cold, harsh, near-Dickensian winter, was slipping (groaning) into my bikini
This Easter, we ventured to the Canary Islands for some post-winter sun, which was lovely for many so reasons, the main one being, erm, the sun. The only non-lovely thing, after such a long, cold, harsh, near-Dickensian winter, was slipping (groaning) into my bikini. I got that same feeling you get when you ditch winter boots for shoes in spring. Argh, white (in my case) ankles. Knowing myself, I’d pre-empted this incoming discombobulation and packed a tube of fake tan picked up from Boots the week before. Skinny Tan (awful name? Or is that just me?) had me at ‘vegan no nasties’, plus, I applied the same logic I apply to most purchases: it’s expensive therefore it must be good.
I could sense something bad was about to happen, but I carried on regardless
Day one of my holiday, I stripped off and began applying Skinny Tan in the hotel bathroom. It went on like glue – white glue – and took ages to rub in. I could sense something bad was about to happen, but I carried on regardless. On it went like the thick white coating swimmers slather on themselves in the hope of surviving swimming the Channel. A small voice inside my head began chirping, ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ But I didn’t. I quite liked the saccharine-sweet biscuity smell and, anyway, my peely-wally Scottish skin was so blue it clashed with my new blue-and-white stripy Zara dress. Something had to be done.
‘Matt, can you call room service? I’ll be needing some bleach in here…’
The following day, the first thing I looked for was ‘tidal ankle’. I’m crap at applying fake tan around my feet and invariably end up looking as though I’ve stepped in cow poop. To my amazement, my feet were fine – a bit too dark, but more or less fine. That’s when I saw my hands. ‘Matt, can you call room service? I’ll be needing some bleach in here…’
Holy shit, what had I done?
A solid, dark brown line zigzagged across my knuckles. Holy shit, what had I done? ‘Mummy, can you get that weird brown stuff off you?’ enquired my six-year-old son, Nathaniel, as I attempted to hug him. That morning, at breakfast, I posted a pic of my new brown paw gone wrong on Instagram and spent the following few hours LOLing at the comments. Apart from truly appreciating the importance of pockets in sundresses, one good thing to come out of this was, thanks to the comments, discovering new fake-tan brands I’d never heard of. After being chastised for my tan gone wrong by two beauty editors – women who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to faking golden glows – here is the edit I wished I’d had before I ‘slipped’ into my bikini.
A gradual tan that goes on like a thin body lotion is more likely to have better results
Be patient, go for a slow-glow…
Add a few drops of “Clarins tanning drops to your moisturiser”, commented Susannah Taylor, founder of Get The Gloss, on my Instagram post