Tanning naturally for me is not an option. It never has been, even after a year living in Italy as an au pair my skin stayed a pale shade of cream, only darkening after a month spend chasing kids around a play park – and even then it only went a darker shade of cream. Beige, if you will. Yes, I got freckles and yes my hair does lightening, but tanning. Nada. Because of growing up with pasty pale skin (which, I have no issue with, I love my pale skin now) I have always struggled to find the right fake tan. I find most intimating, from the application to how long to leave before you wash it off, to that weird way they flake and smudge. Fake tan terrifies me. Which is why I decided to hunt down the best fake tan none to pale kind skin. Here’s what I found out.
The best fake tans for pale skin
Vita Liberata Body Blur Light , £29.99
This stuff is amazing, if you're not wearing white. It's more make-up for your skin than an actual fake tan – but if you need a quick touch up on your legs to make you feel better about going trouser-less, this is the stuff for you. It's super easy to apply, makes your legs look amazing and lasts all night. That is until you sweat. Yep, sorry, it's great but oh my god does it rub off. Save this for an evening when you don't need to sit down. It does cover up any bruises or 'imperfections' though so it makes you feel like your legs look incredible.
Final mark: 7.50/10
Sunkissed Gradual Tan, £4.99
Hellllllooo golden glow. This tan glides on like a dream, and there's no intimidating orange colour so you just feel like you're applying normal moisturiser instead of turning yourself a suspicious shade of brown. I felt really 'sun-kissed' with this one, and got a lot of compliments on my colouring. Plus, you can build it as much as you want and keep applying it till you're the right colour for you. At the cheapest price, this is my favourite.
Final mark: 10/10
Fake Bake Gradual Tan in Fair, £24.95
While applying I did nearly have a panic attack about this guy. It's scary – it comes out brown and has that familiar biscuit smell we all grew to know while fake-tanning our pins in fresher's week. That being said, you go to sleep, wake up a funny brown colour still, jump in the shower and viola – you're a really nice shade of brown. I liked this, but I felt the colour was a little too brown for me. Great if I wanted to look like I'd just come back from holiday, but too dark to wear on a daily basis. It also streaked really easily, a problem I haven't had with the other tans. I found even though I applied it with a mitt all over, my feet still managed to look patchy where the colour didn't sink in. This could be my bad application, but for a tanning novice, I need it to be easy to apply.
Final mark: 7/10
Madame La La Tan in Light, £30
Madam LA LA is the top dog of fake tans. An indie brand and celeb favourite that promises to give you a 'natural LA glow.' The words 'LA glow' made me feel a bit scared, I'm not really an LA glow kinda girl. That being said, this stuff is legit. It lasts a long time, like over a week – your skin is essentially stained with a lovely glow. It doesn't streak and was easy to apply as it's a mousse so you can see what areas need doing. I reckon you could get away with putting this on pre holiday, and still looking tanned post holiday.
Final mark: 8/10
Sienna X 1 Hour Self Tan Tinted Lotion, £24.95
I've heard a lot about this one – good things too. But as soon as I put it on my skin, I was terrified. It's dark, really dark. Alarm bells. It's a nice colour, but this stuff is definitely for those who want to be darker than dark. I'd recommend it to my friend Annie, who looks fabulous and tanned all year round – but for people like me who blend into white walls it's not an option.
Final mark: 6/10
Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Anti Age Serum
I need to give a special shout out to this face serum. I've always struggled to find a way to make my pale face, look bronzed. Most bronzers make me look cakey, or are far too dark for my skin tone, but this stuff gives you a natural bronzed flushed and doesn't look fake. You apply it morning and night before your creams, so you can add as little or as much as you want - depending on how dark you want to go. It's like the holy grail of face tanning products, and even though it's quite pricey, it's definitely worth it.
Final mark: 10/10
Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen**
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.