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As my real life chums know, I am adamantly opposed to fake tan, mostly because while real people come in all sort of colours, bright orange is not of them, and for a good reason. But! Over the weekend, both barsine (no fake tan fan herself) and my friend Louise recommended Rimmel's Sun Shimmer, which they claimed was very subtle and perfect for the typically pasty Irish legs and, more importantly, just washed off in the shower so if it went hideously wrong you didn't have to go around with streaky russet legs for a week. And so I bought some and earlier today I tried it out in the privacy of my own home. And lo, it works! My blindingly white legs are now a very pleasant and totally natural golden brown - the colour they used to go when I was a kid; for some weird reason, despite being very, very white, I used to tan beautifully as a child, when slathered in the requisite SPF15 to stop me burning. My dad and sister Rachel still tan and have golden skin, so maybe I inherited my dad's skin as a kid and somehow it mutated into my mother's fair pastiness as I got older. Except that's physically impossible. I dunno. Anyway! I have discovered that I can use fake tan to stop my legs looking all pasty without turning them radioactive orange, which is a good thing.

It's not going anywhere near my face, though. I draw the line somewhere....


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2004 07:01 am (UTC)
I used to tan beautifully as a child, too. I think we wore SPF 8, mostly. But now I seem to be permanently pasty, with patches of pink.

I suspect it's because I no longer spend as much of my day outdoors as I did when I was seven or eight. Spending three or four hours a day playing outside starting in March was probably great for slowly building up a good base tan. And once school was out, I don't think I went back inside unless it was raining or I was asleep.

Of course, my mother and my sister still tan nicely, so maybe that doesn't wash.
May. 31st, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)
Ah, if only we had matching lavalieres....

I must try this Sun Shimmer stuff on my equally blinding-white legs - it just washes off rather than dying you brown, you say?
May. 31st, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
Some day, Lisa, some day....perhaps our parents will give them to us, just as Ned and Alice wakefield did?

Speaking of our parents, I was up there yesterday, and Mary's Folly [our parents' house extension, to anyone reading this who isn't related to me] is ready for action! It's incredibly weird, because there are all these new windows - in the middle of the kitchen wall - which just look freakishly wrong and strange. It should be nice when it's finished though.

And as for the tan, Helen and Louise say it washes off, as does the packet, but I haven't tried it myself yet.
May. 31st, 2004 08:59 am (UTC)
I've used the Body Shop's fake tan a few times, and I think it's all right and non-orangey. The only problem I had the first couple of times was not putting enough moisturiser on my feet, so I ended up with very dirty looking ankles! Last time, which was sometime in April when it first started being a tiny little bit sunny, I used normal moisturiser on my legs and vaseline on my ankles before I put the tanner on, and that was way better.

I second kylegirl's suggestion that it's not being outside as much that prevents me tanning like I did when I was younger. All the way through junior school, I was in skirts, short socks and tshirts every day from Easter until the end of term and outside for a couple of hours every day, and then I probably spent a few hours outside on the weekends and summer holidays. Then I spent a fortnight most summers camping in France, where you had to be outside most of the time. And I'd only have sun screen on for the very hottest days of the year, because you don't really need it on the average May day in the UK, but it all adds up. Nowadays. I'm only likely to be outside for an hour or so a day, and I've got jeans on most of the time.
May. 31st, 2004 09:10 am (UTC)
not being outside as much that prevents me tanning like I did when I was younger

Hmm, possibly. That said, last year at Glastonbury I spent nearly four solid days living in a field in blazing sunshine, in shorts. Arms? Tanned, despite wearing a long-sleeved shirt for hottest part of day, and heavy-duty sunblock the rest of the time. Face? Slightly tanned, even with sunblock and hat use. Legs? Pasty white. I think they've run out of melanin, or something.
May. 31st, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
I do agree that there's something bizarre about legs. Legs are somehow impervious to tanning. And yet they're the parts that I most want to become tanned! I don't really care if my arms and face get tanned. Life is so desperately, desperately unfair.
Jun. 1st, 2004 01:14 am (UTC)
I always think that my legs are somehow in the shadow of the rest of my body (I too have the upper body tan, lower body pastiness thing) and that's why they stay white. If I'm wearing a skirt my theory really makes sense -- the skirt acts as some kind of 'leg parasol'.
Jun. 1st, 2004 02:55 am (UTC)
Gosh, I feel like far less of a freak now, as I am also brown of arm, pink of face but white of leg. You may be onto something with the shadow theory, which would also explain why my knees are generally browner - they stick out and therefore avoid the leg parasol effect.
May. 31st, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
i'm ghostpale and freckle if so much as a lightbulb shines my way so thanks for the recommendation! not sure if i'll try it though as i'm still traumatised from the last time i used rimmel wash-off tan (a fourth year musical which also involved enforced wearing of orange halter neck belly tops - we weren't allowed wear bras and had to run about girlishly - and hot pants. ouch.

yet i too was sallow as a child. odd! maybe it's an irish-skin thing...
Jun. 1st, 2004 02:59 am (UTC)
Don't be scared of this stuff! I used the "light" shimmer, although there is a darker one, which is a bit scary, because it's not for dark skin - it just turns pasty caucasians orange. Urgh.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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