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Fake It 'Till You Make It, To The Beach...

Sophie has spent the past year trialling the most natural looking fake tans on the market to ensure you’re glowing on that first post-lockdown night out…

a woman on a beach with fake tan

After a very long love affair with extremely unnatural looking fake tan from the ages of 14 onwards, I vowed never to slather myself in the stuff again. Come 2015, orange was definitely not ‘in’ anymore (was it ever? I’m sure we all wanted to be orange once?). We were all beginning to accept that our natural, summer holiday glow was the way forward.  

That was until we were banned from going away (cheers, Covid). Pair that with having zero outdoor space – genuinely considered joining Tinder just to swipe right on boys with gardens – and only being allowed out once a day, and you get a very pasty Soph. So, I’ve spent the past year trialling the most natural looking fake tans on the market to ensure you’re glowing on that first post-lockdown night out (I can almost taste the Pornstar Martinis!). 

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Butter

A new product and championed by influencers, this illuminating formula promises to hydrate & nourish the skin with a natural blend of coconut, eucalyptus & peppermint oils – extra points for not making me smell like soggy biscuits. Unlike other products, it features green colour correcting actives to cancel redness on the skin and creates a really lovely veil of gradual, natural colourTheir products are also vegan and cruelty free – yay!  

£15.95, available at Boots.com.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops

Another winner from celebrity tanning expert and body confidence champion Jules Von Hep, creator of Isle of Paradise. These genius drops are a quick and easy way to transform your existing skincare routine. With a choice of light, medium and dark the colour correcting drops for face and body allow you to tailor your glow. Containing ultra-hydrating coconut, chia seed, and avocado oil, they can be mixed with oils, serums, moisturisers, and even foundation.  

£16.95, available at Boots.com.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Mist

This one is perfect when you can’t be bothered and just want a quick spritz on your face so you don’t wake up looking quite as zombie-like. Yes, I know that means your face won’t actually match your body but for the past year I’ve been exclusively wearing a dressing gown, so it’s not really been a problem (yet). 

It’s packed with vitamins and enriched with an impressive 95% natural ingredients. Plus, with a highly concentrated dose of Hyaluronic Acid, it is designed to intensely moisturise your skin. This means it absorbs fast to avoid any kind sticky residue being left over. Spray it all over and use a mitt to blend out, although I’ve found it tans the face perfectly without even blending – lazy girls rejoice. Another vegan and cruelty free product too!  

£31, available at Boots.com.

Amanda Harrington Illuminating Bronzing Mousse

I can’t lie, I was nervous to go back to a mousse after many a supermarket own brand did me dirty back in the day, but this is honestly amazing. Amanda Harrington is one of the beauty industry’s most respected sunless tanning experts, with a cult following and an A-list client roster of Hollywood’s and London’s elite.  

With three tones to choose from, this award-winning product uses a non-drip, super-blendable soufflé formula. It’s infused with Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera to deeply hydrate, CQ10 to firm and lift plus a boost of Green Tea extract to awaken and revive tired looking skin. You even get application gloves too!  

£36, available at Amandaharrington.com.

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

If anyone else used to lather themselves in Rimmel Sun Shimmer / spray enough Sally Hansen Airbrush legs to cover a small village, you’ll know what I mean when I say instant tan really has come on leaps and bounds. If you’ve got an impromptu night out (OMG, REMEMBER THOSE?!) and don’t have time to wait for self-tan to develop, this is your go-to.  

Powered by certified organic extracts and the brand’s innovative BodyBlur™ Technology, the light-reflecting lotion nourishes and protects skin, whilst helping to minimise the appearance of blemishes, imperfections and uneven tone. There’s a range of natural looking shades to choose from and it can even be used under foundation to give a glow before coverage.   

£29.95, available at Vitaliberata.com.

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