Tuesday, 1 May 2007

#17 To those who wait...

The gradual tanning market has gone a leedle bit crazy. I was already aware of the popularity of the products – I’m being sent at least three new ones every week – but it wasn’t until I wandered around my local Boots in search of Hayfever tablets that I realised the extent to which the market has shifted. There were shelves and shelves of the stuff. They even had their own section. No longer lumped in with the body creams or lowly, bog-standard self-tanners, gradual tanners are being sold in pride of place, popping up on every end-of-row display with explanatory signs informing us that it’s time we gave our bodies a daily dose of sunshine. On top of the in-store information overload, I’m also getting regular emails from ‘The Marketeers’ – those people who send out statistics in the form of lengthy PDFs – telling me that the ‘ladies’ are going crazy for a daily dose of hydrating colour that won’t stain, won’t rub off and won’t stink their partners out of bed. I, like most women it seems, like the idea. You can’t really go wrong can you? You rub it on. It doesn’t do anything too drastic. It doesn’t smell too bad. You just get on with your day and voila, after a couple of weeks, you’ve got a convincing glow that looks impressively real. Or does it? Well, just to be superbly irritating – it depends. Texture? Garnier Summerbody was too light in texture for my skin. I needed to use a separate moisturiser beforehand, or my legs reverted to their scaly ways. Scent? Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion smells even sweeter (and more artificial) than the original – as though they’ve packed it with extra teeth-jarring sugariness in an effort to mask the customary self-tan stink. Not for me. Many people love Johnson’s Holiday Skin – the gradual tanner that got the ball rolling. I picked the wrong time to try it as it made a small patch of eczema flare up into a persistent rash. I’m currently trialling Shiseido Daily Bronze Moisturising Emulsion. It says it can be used on both the face and body. I’ve only tried it on my legs, but it’s done a darn good job. It doesn’t smell bad either – in fact, I can’t remember it smelling of anything – always a bonus with tanners. I still chase the colour with a shot of cream on drier days, but that’s OK. Two days in and my pins have lost their customary pallor - far speedier than the colour served up by the competition, but without any tell-tale marks or missed bits. Good stuff. No waiting. Who'd have thought it?

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