BEAUTY: Ready, set, glow – here comes the colour of summer
What with our unpredictable weather, your best bet for catching a tan is by applying it yourself. Katie Wright selects summer's best bronzing buys
WE all hope by the end of summer we'll be bronzed to perfection, but somehow the reality – not enough holidays, the good old weather – always scuppers our plans.
Thank heavens, then, for the self-tan saviours that will turn lacklustre limbs from pale to golden, even when it's pouring outside.
Even better, this year there are a whole heap of innovations making the bottle-bronze process easier than ever.
Whether you're a fake-tan fanatic or a newbie to the DIY game, these are the products that will have you glowing in no time...
THE SUPER SHEET MASK
Love a weekly sheet mask? Switch your regular treatment for St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask, £15 for a pack of two, Boots, for a powerful dose of hyaluronic hydration and light tan in five minutes, or a darker glow in 10 (www.boots.com).
THE CLEAR WINNER
Not only is Tan Luxe Hydra Mousse, £33, QVC, packed with nourishing raspberry oil and vitamins, it's also the first ever completely clear tanning mousse, meaning no more stained clothes or bedsheets. Genius (www.qvcuk.com).
THE PHOTOSHOP FAKER
Like an Instagram filter you spray on, ModelCo Tan Airbrush In A Can, £15, is a glow-giving spray-on self-tan. The beloved Aussie brand has just landed here in the UK, bringing that Gold Coast glow to our shores - hurrah (LookFantastic.com).
THE MAN TANNER
Another Aussie import, Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Foam For Men, £13.99, is a foam tanner formulated with a fresh masculine scent for all those bronzing blokes out there (www.bondisands.co.uk).
THE COCONUT COOLER
A lightweight spritz that works as a make-up primer and setter, UTan & Tone Coconut Tanning Water, £18, delivers an even, sun-kissed glow in four to six hours (utanandtone.com).
THE OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
Solait Overnight Tan Mask, currently reduced to £3.29 from £4.99, Superdrug, imparts a gradual golden glow while you sleep. Use it nightly until you've achieved your desired colour (www.superdrug.com).
THE POWER POWDER
Previously only available as a loose powder, Vita Liberata Trystal Pressed Self Tanning Bronzing Minerals in Sunkissed, £25, now come in a handy compact. Swirl on with a kabuki brush (short make-up brush with big, dense bristles) for instant bronzing plus a natural-looking tan that gradually develops over time, even when you've taken your make-up off (FeelUnique.com).
THE DOUBLE WHAMMY
Smooth on Skinny Tan 7 Day Tanner, currently reduced to £13.19 from £19.99, Superdrug, and you'll get an instant rose gold shimmer, while a deeper tan develops overnight. The cream tanner comes in Dark and Ultimate Dark shades as well (www.superdrug.com).
THE DARK DELIGHT
For a rich two-weeks-in-the-Caribbean level tan, you need Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter 1Hr Instant Tan Extra Dark Tan Mousse, currently reduced to £5.29 from £9.95, Superdrug. The new shade from the best-selling brand develops rapidly and lasts up to seven days (www.superdrug.com).
TRIED AND TESTED
:: Can a lip plumper and liner combined create the pillowy lips you've always wanted? Katie Wright puts Code's duo to the test...
"When it comes to lip plumpers, I've been stung in the past – quite literally – by innocent-looking liquids that within seconds cause a fiery burning sensation that lasts for what feels like hours. There's no such agony with Code's pink gloss, just a minty tingle, and thankfully, it's not as neon pink as it looks in the tube. The intense shine makes my lips appear fuller straight away, but the real revelation for me is the lip liner. A lovely neutral brownish-pink, it glides on like a dream and is the perfect base for my favourite matte liquid lipstick, meaning no feathering at the edges and plumper-looking lips. Plus, it never goes blunt (just twist the lid tight to sharpen) and it really stays put. This wonder-liner is going straight in my make-up bag and staying there."
:: Code Lip Intense Plumper, £20; SSL Soft Smooth Lip Liner, £18 (www.code-beautiful.com)
BUY IT NOW
Nars Orgasm Blush is the stuff of beauty legend, the kind of product that would cause massive hysteria among make-up obsessives should it be discontinued. There's no chance of that, however. In fact, Nars have just unveiled a liquid version of the Holy Grail shade, offering the same peachy punch but now with added dewiness. It's a liquid dream come true...
:: Nars Orgasm Liquid Blush, £23, Space NK (www.spacenk.com)
:: A BLONDE MOMENT OR LIGHTER FOR LIFE?
Unless you were born fair-haired, staying blonde is a labour of love - and a major financial commitment. New research reveals 81 per cent of blondes are completely loyal to their colour, with 73 per cent spending an average of £600 a year to maintain their golden mane. The survey, by Fudge Professional, also found 76 per cent of women believe their hair colour is part of their identity, and 40 per cent of bottle blondes would rather go make-up free than face the prospect of a world without peroxide.
STEAL OF THE WEEK
Missguided's new fragrance, Babe Power, has become the fastest seller ever at The Fragrance Shop, beating luxury brands like Paco Rabanne and Dior. The unashamedly gourmand juice has proved a massive hit with beauty bloggers and consumers alike, and at only £27.50 for 80ml, it's a seriously good value too.
:: Missguided Babe Power, £27.50 for 80ml (TheFragranceShop.co.uk)