Pale and Interesting

I have not had a suntan in over a decade. If memory serves me correctly I tanned rather well, but I didn’t enjoy baking in the rays. I tried the solarium  a couple of times and I hated it – it felt like a coffin on the sun. It became clear that exposure to sunlight, real or manufactured, wasn’t for me. Every summer I smeared fake tan all over my body and my face. When I did it myself I looked grubby and orange. I’m also not a keen on the biscuit smell associated with home tans. I had a few spray tans in a salon. The result was better, but I found it inconvenient, costly and sticky. I heard of a home tan service where a beautician rocks up at your house, pitches a tent and sprays your bare skin with tan in a can. Before a holiday I booked the treatment, expecting her to arrive with a load of kit to douse me in synthetic glow. Instead, a sheepish lady came to our flat with a bottle and a sponge. She instructed me to strip off and stand on two flimsy pieces of kitchen roll that she placed on the rug. She proceed to paw at me with the damp sponge which kept slipping out of her hands and bouncing on the floor. My husband came home to find a stranger smudging orange goop on my naked skin and the carpet splattered beyond repair.

This was my last tanning attempt, much to the husband’s relief. Since then I’ve embraced my spectral complexion. In fact, now the sands of time are slipping south, I’m glad I’ve resisted tanning of any kind. On sunny days in the city I’ll even wear a big hat for extra sun protection. I think that beautiful bronzed skin looks great, I’m often envious of the glowing, sun-kissed limbs of my friends, it’s just not for me. But if history has taught me anything, I am destined to remain a whiter shade of pale.

I think facial sun block is the cornerstone of any beauty regime. There are some great products that are light as air, don’t clog pores and have great skin-care benefits. In the summer I don’t moisturise in the morning, instead I use high UV block as a base for my makeup. I’m particularly fond of Clinque’s City Block and La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Range. They are light, moisturising but not greasy. Sometimes, I’ll mix a dab of foundation in with the sun block to create customised coverage. Cover FX and Kevyn Aucoin‘s Sensual Skin Enhancer are particularly good for this, but any foundation or liquid/cream concealer will do.

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Left to right from top: Clinique Super City Block, La Roche Posay Anthelios, Nuxe Sun, Shiseido Wet Force, Decléor Aroma Sun Care, Ambre Solaire.