The winter month are hard for a myriad of reasons: it’s cold, for one, the days are shorter, seasonal depression sets in, and then there is a severe lack of sunshine. Plus, unless you’re channelling some serious Virgo energy and booked a winter holiday months in advance, in anticipation of the cold weather, you’re probably not getting a lot of sunshine. Which means we’re all walking around pale, pasty, looking like death. Sure, that’s a great vibe for a Halloween costume, but not exactly the look you want at your glamorous work Christmas party.
That’s where fake tan comes in, a necessity in winter more than any other time of the year – especially for those of us unlucky to live in the UK. But even fake tan isn’t a miracle cure with no downsides; it has its own distinctive smell (everyone who’s ever used it knows what I mean), it streaks ridiculously easy, there’s always that one patch on your back that you just can’t reach, and it gets all over your bed sheets.
That’s where clear fake tan comes in. Sounds counterproductive, but bear with me on this one. Essentially, it looks and feels like water, smells like nothing, and won’t stain your clothes – or your sheets. Plus, they develop streak-free, leaving behind a natural looking golden tan.
Sounds like a dream, right? Well it’s absolutely real, and these are the best ones on the market. You can thank us later.
One of the leading self-tans on the market, Isle of Paradise has made waves in the industry with their products selling out almost as soon as they’re released. This clear mousse comes in light, medium, or dark, with each one working slightly differently depending on what you’re looking for.
For a light glow, the clear peach of the light mousses will brighten and illuminate, while the medium shade comes in a clear green that reduces redness, leaving behind a golden glow. If your aim is to look like you’ve just walked off a beach, then try the dark; a clear violet that counteracts dull, yellowish tones and leaves a sunkissed glow.
Everyone’s heard of St. Tropez – it’s like the Cadbury of fake tan. So it should come as no surprise that the most popular fake tan brand has an equally as fabulous clear fake tan to join the pack. Enter: the purity bronzing water. Kinda pricey, but it only needs three hours to develop and it smells like a tropical holiday. What’s not to love? Plus, it promises to keep your skin hydrated for at least 72 hours after application, which saves you from that horrible, scaley, patchy tan that comes from dry skin.
St. Moriz’s attempt at a clear tan might not smell as rosy and tropical as St. Tropez’s, but it’ll certainly leave you looking like you’ve been somewhere tropical – and that’s all you can really ask for, isn’t it? Plus, there are so many benefits that outweigh the negative smell, like the fact it doesn’t stain your sheets (the dream), and it’s packed full of Vitamin E to hydrate your skin and protect against the cold, drying air of winter.
Not as easy as a mousse, but NIP+FAB’s tanning mist definitely has its benefits. Like the fact it’s not sticky, for one, doesn’t transfer onto your sheets, and it’s 100% vegan. It’s a little bit tricky just because you can’t see where the mist is going as easily as you can with a mousse, but if you persevere and make sure you buff all of your skin with a mitt then you’ll be rewarded with an even, caramel toned tan. Its also packed full of glycolic acid, which works to exfoliate the skin so that when the tan does fade, it does so evenly. The dream.