Anyone who knows me, knows I love to be tanned! It makes me feel glowy and radiant, and is the perfect accessory to any outfit.
I remember my first time applying fake tan very clearly – my sister had been spray tanning herself for a while, and I was so envious of her glowing skin and sun-kissed look. So, I decided one night after school to do my own tan, without reading the instructions, and worse, without using a mitt! So, anyway, I end up having a splodgy tan on my arms and legs, which of course also had to be on PE day! I ran round the athletics track ashamed and embarrassed at the state of my tan. But since that day and forever onwards, I have always been tanned. It was through trial and error I learnt how to best apply it, and what products to use. Being tanned has become part of my identity, and when I left sixth form, the awards I were given from my teachers were for ‘Best Nails’, ‘Most Hardworking’, and the award for, “always rocking up to lessons with a stylish Mediterranean tan (especially on Fridays!)”.
Here I have compiled my favourite fake tans that are both good-quality, and affordable. If you’re like me and apply tan several times a week, you will understand how expensive it can be, so finding an affordable tan you can depend on is key.
“Keep your standards high, and your tan dark”
Using a fake tan mist/spray is ideal for tanning those hard to reach areas that are really difficult to do with a foam or mousse. This tan is easy to apply (so I’d recommend it for beginners), quick to dry and has little to no smell. It comes in a range of shades (I go for the dark), however opting for a light or medium shade would be a good idea if you’re a fake tan newbie and nervous about the outcome.
I do find being tanned makes me look and feel much slimmer, however, that’s not where the name ‘Skinny Tan’ comes from! Skinny Tan products are made with 95% naturally derived ingredients including hydrating coconut water, aloe vera and guarana extracts, formulated without parabens or sulphates, alcohol free, vegan and cruelty free. This tan works within an hour and will leave you with a long lasting result.
This foam tan is affordable, easy and quick to apply, and develops in only 1 hour. However, if you’re like me you’ll apply 3 layers and still leave it overnight because you’re extra AF and want to be as dark as poss. The smell isn’t the best, and it will definitely turn your sheets orange if you sleep in it, but I’d recommend it all the same.
This tanning mouse is one of the cheapest in the market, and to be honest it’s one of the best. I love the shade it makes me, as it’s always quite a deep brown with no hint of orange. You can also almost always buy this tan on a special offer- I’m pretty sure I once bought some in Lidl 3 for £5.
This is the best of the best! The smell and colour is amazing, but be warned it’s DARK. If you’re not a frequent tanner, or just want more of a subtle look it probably isn’t for you. Just one layer will completely change your skin tone. When I’ve had this tan on before, I met a man who actually didn’t believe I was English- he thought I was Mediterranean because of my hair and skin colour. I am honestly the fake tan catfish – under my layers of tan there is a pale English girl who gets sunburned on holiday!
This tan isn’t the best gradual tan I’ve ever used in terms of how tanned you get from it, however it’s definitely the best smelling one. It’s really hydrating for the skin, so I usually apply it before going out on top of another tan, to smooth my existing tan out and removing any patches. It’s a bit expensive, but you can often find it on offer in Boots, so buy it when you can!
I was pleasantly surprised by this tan, due to the fact it works in a matter of minutes. You literally apply it, stand in your shower for a few minutes covered in it (it has a texture like glue) and then shower it off. It doesn’t make you mega dark or anything like that, but you do notice a difference. I first got it as a Christmas present from my mum when I still lived at home, because I’m pretty sure she was fed up of having to wash my tan stained white bedding constantly. If you’re looking for a natural glow only, and not wanting to look like you’ve changed race like I do, then I would recommend this for you.
I love this tan because of the subtle shimmer within it that makes you glow and sparkle. This tanning lotion hydrates your skin and makes it look and feel good. If you’re prone to dry skin I would highly recommend this product. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a gradual tan either, even after one application you will see a noticeable difference to your colour.
Similarly to the Dove product above, this tan is really hydrating and works wonders for your skin. This one, however, is better for if you have a naturally lighter complexion.