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Fake Tan - The New Normal

With the sun peeking it’s head from behind the dreary rain clouds of winter it’s time to make sure you’re prepared for the leg-baring-vest-embracing weather that can’t come quick enough. And that means perfecting the art of pre-summer fake tan to make even the savviest of sun worshippers jealous.

According to St Tropez, 41% of UK women now use self-tanning products. We all want that sun-kissed summer glow, but it’s not always easy to achieve the perfect natural tan with products that are predominantly unnatural. With 64% of what we put onto our skin being absorbed into our bloodstreams it’s important to make sure we’re knowledgeable about the products we’re using, which is why Irish company TanOrganic has invented the world’s first eco-certified tanning products, made from 95% certified organic ingredients.I took to the bottle to find out whether more natural means less noticeable.

TanOrganic has a two main tanning products, a self-tan ‘lotion’ for a more immediate darker tan or a self-tanning oil to build up a gradual tan, lighter than the lotion but darker than most gradual self-tans. I chose to use the self-tan lotion as I love to see quick results and wanted to see how it faired against the likes of St. Tropez in a single overnight application.

The first thing I noticed about the product was it’s smell, it has a sweet citrus orange scent much unlike the biscuit smell of other fake tans, it also came in a glass bottle which already gave it a more sophisticated feel. The dark coloured glass is used to preserve the highly active organic ingredient and also means there are no dioxins leaking into the natural formula.

Barefaced simplicity

On Happy Human

Go into any department store or supermarket and you quickly appreciate the overwhelming number and variety of products available to keep you looking young and beautiful and smelling attractive. Much of the advertising in magazines, on billboards and television market these products - we are bombarded daily, all with the same message: you need this product to be healthy and/or attractive with the subtext: you are not enough as you are.

Even though we know that people on television usually wear a thick layer of make-up, and that air-brushing and photo-shop routinely hides every blemish in photos in magazines or on the internet, we still allow our perception and expectation of beauty to become ever more unattainable. The beauty ideal is to remove almost all hair from our bodies, except for our head of hair which should be thick and shiny and coloured. Eyelashes for some bizarre reason should look thick, dark, long and curled. Our teeth have to be straight and bleached whiter than nature ever intended. Frown lines are frozen, lips plumped up and a layer of perfectly applied make-up is needed. Even the 'natural' or 'nude' make-up look requires at least 10 types of product to achieve. Nail polish is now nail art.

Despite being more media-savvy than ever, we remain susceptible to the clever billion-dollar marketing campaigns promising us the next perfect fix to solve the problem we never knew we had. And yet we let ourselves fall for it over and over again because more than ever we are judged on how we look, not on who we are. The more occupied we are with our appearance, the less time, energy and resources we have to spend on less superficial, more worthwhile pursuits.

As a result, look into most bathrooms and you'll find many of the following, most of which are completely unnecessary.

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