Fake Tanning – The Bronzed Body in Ireland

Today’s post is all about the summer and getting that sought-after bronzed body many ladies (and gents) love! In Ireland, we’re notorious for having not-so-sunny weather more frequently than not, and for many women living on the Emerald Isle the lack of sun and pale skin are just not ideal. In the second decade of the millennium, fake tanning became quite a big thing, and in particular the past few years. That said, at first the ladies were a bit more colourful, with fake tan and the colour orange being synonymous with one another. Thankfully, tanning products have come a long way from making you look oompa-loompa orange and more bronzed goddess. As a fashion blogger who enjoys talking about beauty and skincare, and as a naturally tanned individual, I have always been curious about the world of fake tanning. Below you’ll find the public’s opinion of tanning and what their favourite products are, but also the products I have tried out for blog purposes!

The Public’s Favourites

To start, I asked the public to help out with this little research and overall 74 participants took part in my survey. The majority of the partakers were female, aged 19-30, however those over 30 and a handful of guys also took part. 71.62% of the group admitted to using fake tan products often, in comparison to the 14.86% who’ve only used fake tan once, and 13.51% who have never tried it. I found this really interesting, because honestly I thought the percentage of those who often fake tan would be even higher. Not only did I ask about everyone’s favourite choices, but I also wanted to know what everyone’s opinions were on the following questions (I find anonymity can bring out more honest answers).

“Do you think women in Ireland use fake tan too much?”

For my first big question, 41.67% of the group agreed that “Yes, they should take it down a notch” and 22.22% agreed that “Yes, they should embrace their natural skin tone”, which really made me think. Does this mean that when people are walking around or people-watching, do they think ‘Gosh, that girl is wearing way too much tan!’ or ‘If she’s Irish, she really should look more Irish’? At less than ten percent of the former, 33.33% of the group did answer that “No, they tan the right amount”, and funnily enough 2 participants did admit that “No, they should be tanning more”! Many fake tanning products state that their tan lasts up to 7 days, but the likelihood of women using their products on a weekly basis is very high, and this could lead to others thinking that Irish women are overdoing it with the tanning.

“Why do you use fake tan?”

For my second big question, of the 54 who do use tanning products, 30.14% agreed that they “like looking darker”. As a naturally tanned skin individual, I do find it surprising that in a nation where the stereotype is pale skin and red hair, (which I personally find stunning!), the majority of the group opted for this, and 21.92% of the group also admitted they “think I’m too pale”! But of course I did not ask my partakers what skin tone they are naturally, so I can only assume those who opted for these answers are in fact, pale skinned. An equal and much lower percentage to the aforementioned said that they use fake tan to “top up before/after holidays” and that they “wanted to try it out”. This showcases that the majority of women are definitely curious about fake tanning, and that lighter skin tones aren’t desirable. So when we think of fake tanning, what are the words that come to your mind? I added 5 options to the survey for this question, and the majority vote of 47.95% went to ‘bronzed’, however an amusing 32.88% voted for ‘orange’. Will the notorious oompa-loompa image ever fade from being associated with fake tan? Another question in relation this could be that fake tan can leave one or more issues after application, and 57.58% have had that “orange hands/fingers/feet/toes” finish that nobody ever wants! Other issues that were popular with the group include an unpleasant smell, streaky finish and uneven coverage. That said, these were “have you ever had issues” during and post-application, rather than regular occurrence, and in the past few years brands have really come down on such issues to make the tanning process & results more satisfactory.

Which are the most popular fake tan brands in Ireland?

Of course, one of the main questions was to determine which brands are most popular in Ireland, and of the 12, the Top Three were Cocoa Brown, Sally Hansen & St. Tropez, all of which had over 86.5% popularity. This included answers to which brands they’ve heard of but also which brands they have used. Close runners-up and also in the top half were brands St. Moriz, Bellamianta & bBold. I am happy to see that three of the top six brands were Irish, that shows we’re aware of and use our own brands, which in turn is great for supporting Irish businesses. A big factor to a successful tanning product is its type of tan, and gradual tan was the favourite choice though the instant tan and spray tan (in-salon) were a very close tied second favourite, and surprisingly the shimmer was the least favourite with 45.59% of the votes. Mousse was the favourite texture type of tan, with lotion/moisturiser and spray following as popular choices. The most popular products of the Top Six include the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse Extra Dark (€7.95), Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Tan Glow (€13.99), St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse (€22.95), St. Moriz Professional Fast Self Tan Mousse (€7.49), Bellamianta Self Tanning Gradual Moisturiser (€18) and bBold Smart Mousse (€16.60).

Furthermore, despite bloggers and digital influencers being popular, my survey shows that 34.72% admit that “Nobody influences them to buy tanning products”, the most popular choice for this question. I was genuinely surprised. Only 19.44% agreed that bloggers influenced them, also beaten by 25% of my partakers who deemed their friends more influential, 18% voted that reviews influence them, and one person voted a celebrity has an effect on them to purchase fake tan. So there you have it, the people have spoken and those were the results!

Thank you to all those who participated in my survey!

Killer Fashion Recommendations

As mentioned above, I have tried fake tanning products for blog purposes. At first I really did find it daunting, my initial introduction a few years ago was a white bottle with intense dark brown liquid within, a not-so-pleasant smell and honestly, I was scared to even try it! I stayed away from this but since the brands have upped their game and really switched it up. Today I can recommend a couple of tanning products which I have tried & tested, and found subtle but satisfactory results.

Derma V10 SolKiss Fake Tan Wipes was the very first product I used, and at the time they did they job, though left my hands a little more coloured than desired. The wipes did dry out very quickly if not stored properly or long wait in between uses.

bBold Smart Mousse was the first liquid product I tried out, and I sure was nervous doing so. Following my best friend Lorna’s advice, whom I deem a tanning expert, I was confident enough to give it a go on my legs and was surprisingly impressed with the results. My legs were streak-free and the product didn’t leave any strong scents behind. I was happy at how easy it was to use the tan and its mousse texture was definitely a plus. Killer Fashion recommends. Read the full review here.

Another product I tried out was the James Read Gradual Day Tan Body, which was brand new to me as I had not heard of the brand before either. It was an intriguing product; white in colour with a slight yellow tint that blended very well and gosh do I adore the packaging; there’s something about white & gold that I gravitate towards. It did have a funny scent to it, though not unpleasant, and gave results within hours. I did find that the product slightly tango-fied around my ankles, but nothing too major, (I probably used too much product around my feet!). What I did love about this tanning product is how long it lasted. I applied it once for three consecutive weeks and the results were very satisfying! Killer Fashion recommends. Read the full review here.

Most recently (May 2017) I tested the Bellamianta Self Tanning Gradual Moisturiser, which has given similar results to the above James Read tan albeit faster. It’s a very creamy moisturizer texture that glides on, though I found it a little too ‘runny’ when using an application mitt. That said, it does do what it says on the tan, with a gradual and natural-looking tan colour, that’s evident within a few hours. You’ll only need to use and apply a small amount of the product, and it’s safe to use on your face (though I have not tested that myself). Moisturising with a pleasant smell, I would return to this product if my natural tan were to fade away. Killer Fashion recommends.

Let me know what you think about the results, and join the conversation!

Nirina xx

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