Because I'm of mixed parentage (mother from Tottenham, father from Belgrade) my heritage dictates that in terms of skin colour I look so much better with a tan. Being brought up and bringing up my own family in the UK means that for a good 85% of the year I have a sallow, bordering on yellow, skin-tone and envy my friends their English rose complexions and pretty freckles. Had I been brought up in the Med say, or anywhere with a decent whack of sunshine throughout the year, I'd be the colour I am meant to be.
I grew up at a time when you leapt outside at the hint of any sunshine whatsoever and plastered yourself all over with Sun Oil. No spf, no nothing - apart from the ability to baste slowly like an oven roast chicken. This was a BAD THING and I have brought my own children up to use proper sun-care even when lying in the park with their mates with a dull cloud overhead.
Now I take much better care with my skin in general when on holiday and with my face by only using moisturisers with added spf protection when I can. But I do need that healthy glow as well, so am glad that the fake tan industry has stepped up to the mark and produced some products that make you look good without that ghastly fake-tan orange glow. Up until recently every D list celebrity was to be seen sporting a toxic and shocking fake-tan but now there is no excuse as some of the products on the shelves are really good at giving a natural glow that is both easy to apply and easy to wash off.
My fave's at the moment are these two little wonders which make sure my summer legs look good in an instant and the rest of my body has a more permanent all-over-glow that doesn't include me being Tangoed anytime soon.
1. Jambes de Gazelle from Guerlain's Terracotta range.
2. he-shi Quick and Easy Dark Foaming Mousse.
You need a mitt to apply this evenly but unlike a lot of others it doesn't smell bad, goes on really smoothly and develops into a really natural looking tan with not a hint of orange in site. You will need a bit of practice if you've never faked your own tan before especially around the elbows and back of the heel - a dead giveaway if it goes too tanned as these parts don't really tan very well naturally and can look a bit wrinkly. The effect lasts for a week and you can go over it to get a deeper tan - though I would advise letting it develop over-night and seeing if you want more.
With these two on the bathroom shelf you'll be set for a bronzed summer - I write this looking out onto a typical Bank Holiday weekend day with a gale blowing and the threat of rain. So we need these products to remind us of sunnier climes and that we don't need to live in a pale old world.