“Fake it till you make it” doesn’t just apply to your career. It works for tanning, too.
Faking a tan is the best thing you can do for yourself—aside from investing in higher education and eating enough veg daily, of course.
Wary of skin cancer and the leathery skin that accompanies prolonged sun exposure, smart folks know that self-tanners, along with bronzer, are some of the most effective tools in a beauty closet. It makes you look healthy and glowing. And like you have a life.
My friend Celine, a self-tanner addict, once showed up looking like a refugee from a disaster movie. “Uh, what happened to your face?” I asked. “You’re green!”
“Oh, that’s just my self-tanner,” she said dismissively. “It’ll look much better tomorrow.”
“Well, at least your face matches your dress,” I said, motioning to her camo tunic.
True enough, I saw her a week later and she looked amazing. Like she had just emerged from a weeklong affair in Saint- Tropez and spent the entire seven days frolicking on the shore while her French beau laughed with a French accent.
That’s the power of a good tan. It can transport you to a destination, a way of life that’s probably completely opposed to your actual life. (Case in point: My friend spent the entire weekend at home, watching movies.)
“James Read is the best,” my friend informed me via text.
“The teen star?” I quickly texted back, ending my question with multiple eye-roll emojis.
“No, dummy,” she snapped. “The self-tanner guy.”
Dubbed the “King of Tans” by Sephora, which does brisk business with his $34-Gradual Day Tan for the face and $38-Tan Accelerator (and plenty others), Read started from the ground up. He worked the shop floor before owning his own tanning studio in London.
According to Read’s site, “Our hero innovation, Sleep Mask Tan, is the world’s first overnight tanning product to combine skincare benefits with a golden glow. Taking the beauty world by storm, Sleep Mask has graced the pages of the most prestigious publications across the globe; not to mention an unrivaled celebrity fan base, which includes Ellie Goulding, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Cara Delevingne.”
For those seeking a more affordable tanning approach, Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse, which retails for $12, offers a deep bronze finish for the body. If you’re naturally morena, then this is ideal as it delivers results after a single application. For those with lighter complexions, proceed with caution. (The brand offers a scale of hues, from medium to dark.)
As far as I know, neither tanners are available locally. James Read is available at Harvey Nichols and Sephora, while Jergens can be found on Amazon and Target and other large retailers in the United States.
Now that beach season is over, and you spent most of it indoors marathoning “The Girlfriend Experience,” you don’t have to look like a pale, wasted shell next to your travel hungry co-workers.
A skin illuminator is one way to “fake that glow.”
Laura Mercier’s version, an illuminating hybrid product, can be dabbed on cheeks, eyes, shoulders and cleavage (or wherever the sun is supposed to touch your skin) for a glowing effect. The long-wearing formula has acolytes who swear by its “stay true” hue and color payoff. Choose a cool shade or warm rose gold highlight, depending on the glow you’re aiming for.
The classic “works every time” award goes to Guerlain, which has gilded the faces of celebs and models since its inception in 1984. The brand has recently developed its signature bronzing powder, adding more hues to accommodate more skin tones. Now that fashion and beauty brands have redefined “nude,” acknowledging that nude doesn’t just mean “white,” Guerlain has done the same, with a range that goes from shade 00 Clair Blondes to 09 Intense.
Darker means skinnier
One of the quickest ways to “fake” a skinnier bod is to simply tan. Darker skin hides imperfections, like cellulite, and adds shadows, thereby “shaving off” visual pounds. Mariah has been known to sculpt a fake set of abs using tanning products. (I saw it myself during her more zaftig phase when she hit Manila in the early 2000s. But as a die-hard Mariah fan, I must say this: she looks amazing no matter what size. And I am dying to watch her upcoming E! reality mini series.)
For assistance in body-shaping, Murad has a three-part regimen that involves toning and firming. According to the folks behind the brand, “Based on clinically proven theories developed by Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles and founder of Murad Inc., Murad Inclusive Health Spa’s Firm & Tone Treatment Series firms skin by up to 78 percent and reduces the appearance of cellulite by up to 69 percent in eight weeks.”
The Murad Spa in Rustan’s offers the half body treatment at P3,200 and P5,600 for the full body treatment.
If you don’t have the time, or the idea of someone slathering creams on your body doesn’t appeal to you, you can invest in the serum and cream, which contains vitamin C to increase skin elasticity as well as firming ingredients like oat beta glucan and soy flour.