Friday, August 5, 2016

You've Lost That Summer Feelin'

After a loooong week of meetings and playing email catch-up after my glorious week of basking in the sun in northern Queensland, I am looking at my forearms with a great deal of sadness: that summery glow seems to be disappearing faster than a heavily reduced Chanel handbag in a Hong Kong department store.

How to hold on to that summery glow?

Other than the very obvious spray tan (still terrifies me, although I tried out a St Tropez spray tan recently and it wasn't as Clockwork Orange as the early years of fake tans), there are still a number of products on the market that can keep you looking more outdoorsy than you actually are.

First up is St Tropez's new In-Shower Gradual Tan which generally attracts good reviews and - Fun Fact! - has been St Tropez' most successful tanning launch ever. I haven't tried this one myself (I am currently unable to reach past my knees on account of my big preggers belly) however my one reservation is that once you apply it in the shower you need to turn off the water and stand there for 3 minutes. That's fine - you can let your hair conditioner soak in at the same time - but you expect me to stand around for 3 minutes in the freezing cold dripping wet? On the plus side, this product isn't going to have you emerging from the shower stall looking like you've changed ethnic groups - the tan is low-key and of course a gradual build, so you can slow that down by applying the product less if need be.

Kate Somerville Tanning Towelettes. A little like the towelettes you get at KFC and Red Rooster when you dive in to foods cooked to reduce your life expectancy, this self-tanner is wiped all over the body after showering, is sealed in with an application of your favourite moisturiser and, following a good night's sleep, you'll wake with a glow. Use these guys once per week.

Sun 365 Self-Tanning Concentrate allows you to turn any facial or body moisturiser into a self-tanner, with the added bonus of enabling you to control how much colour you get by adjusting the amount you mix per use. Personally, I prefer to let the professionals create the formulation, but I really like the idea of this - and also the joy of choosing the fragrance of your self-tan yourself. So many self-tanning products are stinky in their own unique way - whether it be too chemical smelling, or too much floral overcompensation. Added bonus: it's much cheaper than a lot of products on the market.

Then of course there is the stable of celebrity-created tanning products: the JBronze range, created by perma-tanned, ultimate beach babe Jennifer Hawkins...

 and Lara Bingle-Worthington's range, The Base which is - depending on how you like to shop - only available online. Without having tried it myself, I have read that the Instant Tanning Mousse magically smells like doughnuts, is uber-easy to apply and yields a warm golden glow. So on a number of fronts, this product sounds like a winner. There is also a Body Glow Oil in the range which dries non-greasy, doesn't stain your clothes and again reportedly smells like a doughnut.

And to finish, some DIY tanning tips from Lara:


DO exfoliate 24 hours before tanning, use an exfoliator that contains a AHA.
DO rub half a lemon on the area that streaks or splotches appear for two minutes before lightly buffing it with a damp towel.
DO use a tanning mitt when using your self tan.
DO mostiurse the dry areas on your body before tanning, i.e Hands, feet, knees, ankles and any dry areas.
DO make sure your self tan is clear on the skin by rubbing a wet wipe over the skin first. If you want to go darker, apply a second layer an hour later, DON'T apply on the next day.
DO pick a self tanning product that suits your skin tone.
DO use a cold compress on your face before tanning to minimise your pores.
DO build up fine layers when it comes to the face.
DO start from your ankles and work your way up to your shoulders, saving your arms and hands for last.
DO moisturise daily so your tan lasts longer.
DO apply vaseline on your eye brows before tanning your face.
DO exfoliate after 4 days to help your tan fade evenly.


DON'T shave the day after tanning, if you have to, use an electric shaver as this will not remove your tan.
DON'T use a tan that does not suit your skintone, you want it to pop your complexion with colour, not overpower it.
DON'T over-rub your self-tan when applying.
DON'T apply product directly onto hands and feet, work the excess product from the arms onto the hands and the excess tan from the legs onto the feet area.
DON'T wash your hands for at least 8 hours after tanning, otherwise you will get the white hands brown arms look.
DON'T clean your teeth after applying your self tan, do it before, this will stop it looking white around this area.
DON'T exercise for 24 hours after tanning.
DON'T use oils on the skin after tanning, this will strip your self tan and make it look uneven.
DON'T apply more than once every two days when using a gradual tan, otherwise your tan will look unnatural.
Happy (safe) tanning ladies!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Black Out Curtains

With the relentless march towards sleeplessness coming closer to its final destination, I have decided I probably need some kick-arse Anna Wintour style sunglasses to hide the bags under my eyes from the friendly people in my neighbourhood.

Living in a city like Brisbane makes it hard to go anywhere without bumping into people you know. This is a lovely thing, but some days (i.e. the days when you haven't brushed teeth or hair) it's the last thing you want. I also find that the day you're in your least flattering jeans and haven't a scrap of make-up on your face (oh the humiliation of not being in either adorable boots or fabulous heels and sans mascara to add to the horror!) is the day you are guaranteed to see an ex-boyfriend or a frenemy and all you want is to look a bit glamorous and just a touch more put together than that familiar person in your line of sight. Never happens though, ammiright?

I recently came across Thierry Lasry sunglasses while floating around Sydney: described as sunglasses based on the concept of futuristic vintage with an updated, modern and avant garde touch, I think these are pretty much exactly what's needed to evade the Fashion Police over the next few months.

While there's not a whole lot new that can be done with sunglasses, it's nice to have a newer player in the game apart from the usual Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford, D&G. At this stage, I've only seen Thierry Lasry stocked in Brisbane at Scanlan Theodore and boutique opticians.