Five of the best gradual tannners
Gradual tans are definitely one of the most undervalued beauty tools. Dual functioning, they moisturise as well as make the skin look ten-fold more healthy. Also, if you're uncomfortable using fake tan, or simply prefer a more natural looking colour, they won't disappoint. Furthermore, there is far less room for error when you're using gradual tanners, and they tend to be more price-friendly too.
If you want to ensure the most even finish, much like fake tan application, you'll need to exfoliate and moisturise. I do it in the morning and then apply the gradual tan at night. That way my skin is primed for the product but isn't so greasy that it will slip off and streak. Usually, and they do vary in strength, it takes two applications to see a tanned glow.
For very fair skin, I would recommend Dove's Summer Glow and Johnson's Holiday Skin in shades fair to medium, as they're both relatively slow-builders. If your skin is very dry and usually doesn't react well to tanning products, you should try Palmer's Natural Bronze Body Lotion. The ingredients deeply moisturise the skin, ensuring the colour it delivers will last longer.
Clarins' Radiance Plus Self-Tanning Lotion is a beautiful product that does lovely things to the skin. It develops a little bit darker than the other gradual tanners. In saying that, I lashed it on a bit haphazardly but it came out perfectly even.
For gradual tan aficionados, you won't be disappointed with Cocoa Brown's Gentle Bronze. A new product on the market, it absorbs easy, dries quickly, and gives a lovely natural tint to the skin.
BB Beautifying Blushable Cream Stick, €3.49, NYC, available in selected pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide
This hasn't left my make-up bag since I started using it. It's creamy and delivers the sort of pigment and quality you'd expect from a product ten times its price.
The Hyaluronic Molecule, €34.99, Fountain, available from Brown Thomas Dublin
This is one of seven beauty and health supplements that has just arrived to Brown Thomas amid a storm of hype and anticipation. It comes in easy-to-take liquid form that promises to boost beauty from the inside. All I can say for sure is that after three weeks of trialling, my skin looks heaps better. And the only thing I've been doing differently is taking this.
My Hero! Lucy Nagle Designer
Anthelios XL Melt in Cream SPF 50, €17.75, La Roche Posay, available in selected pharmacies nationwide
I wear this everyday, even in the winter. To me, it's the best sunscreen as it's perfect even for sensitive skin and suitable to use every day. It's lovely and light so can be worn under make-up. It has really high levels of UVA as well as UVB protection, so it's essential in the fight against skin damage. I wish I had been as good as I am now in wearing this in my 20s.
Environ Ionzyme C-Quence range, from €59.95, available in selected beauty salons nationwide
I have been using the Environ skin care range for years. It was developed by a leading surgeon in Cape Town, South Africa. The range is designed to improve the health of your skin using natural vitamin Cs, As and peptides. You slowly work your way up to the higher levels of vitamin A in the range so your skin adjusts naturally. I'd highly recommend it to women of all ages.
Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, €35, YSL, available in selected department stores nationwide
This has been a product I've sworn by for years. It hides a multitude of sins. Great as a concealer or a highlighter. It has tiny light particles and mineral extracts to create a healthy, natural glow. I've tried other highlighters from other brands over the years but keep coming back to this one by YSL as to me it's by far the best. I love the packaging too.