How to make you tan last longer than your holiday

ELLE’s Beauty Assistant Georgia came back from her summer holiday yesterday looking as brown as a berry.

About five minutes after the catch-up chatter had died down and everyone on the beauty desk had their heads stuck back behind their computers, we both piped up at exactly the same moment, ‘Let’s do something on how to keep your tan…’ A day later, here it is.


By Georgia Collins

I shouldn’t admit it, but I’m a tan obsessive. And not the stuff you get out of a bottle either, the real deal. The kind of tan that can only be achieved from being stretched out in the sun for several hours a day, (head-to-toe in factor 30, of course). I love everything about having a tan. My clothes look better, I feel thinner and more confident. Is it any wonder that the minute I get home from my annual sojourn, I become obsessed with holding on to my precious golden glow.

Although it goes against my tan-preserving instincts, exfoliation is essential. It makes your tan brighter and last much longer. I swear by Spearmint Exfoliating Sea Salt Scrub, £39, by Cowshed, which gives skin a proper polish and preps it for Tan Extending Phase II: moisturiser. Crème de Corps, £41.11, by Kiehl’s is a thick, rich lotion that delivers a proper hit of hydration to my parched, post-sun skin. It feels and smells creamy and is the first thing I reach for after my morning shower.

Tricks of the eye work, too. To make my hands and feet look browner, I use a slick of punchy, bright varnish. I’m currently obsessed with Ruby and Millie’s Summer Brights Collection, £9.50 each. They’re the colour of Smarties and brilliantly hard-wearing.

I wear blush all year round but it really comes into its own when blended onto tanned cheeks – nothing lifts a fading tan quicker. Cream or gel formulas work best because it looks like their sheer colour is emanating from under your tan – in other words, they give the best natural look. Creme Blush in Turkish Rose, £22, by Becca is still hard to beat in my opinion.

And finally, because paled out lips make a tan seem richer and darker, I shall be liberally applying M.A.C’s new and amazing Lipstick in Closer to Real, £12. This may be the perfect nude.

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