The best quick self tans for if you really must this Christmas

Winter is the very best time of year to embrace the pale because it's winter. The thing is, parties happen. And you get dressed up. And suddenly your blue pasty skin doesn't look so mysterious.

I try my best to avoid tanning whenever I can, at every time of year. I can't be dealing with all that prep when I have shopping and mince pie eating and mulled wine drinking to do. But when your party outfit is completely black, and your arms are on show, sometimes a little glow can just polish off the look.

You don't have to go messing around with exfoliating and scrubbing and waiting the night before though. Because that wouldn't be ideal when you're just about to step out the door. And you're already half an hour late.

In case you find yourself looking more Halloween than Christmas, we recommend you keep one of these instant-tanners in your bathroom, along with a tanning mitt, bronzer and big bronzer brush. Using a mitt to apply your tan makes it much more even and saves you having to wash your hands. Time is of the essence in these situations!

Dusting bronzer over the tan once it's dry will fill up any sneaky bare bits, and it will help match your bare skin to your face. Remember to use the tan sparingly - especially if you've been white as a ghost for months - you just want a glow, not the Marbella effect. For the same reason, get the lightest shade in the range.

The Tans

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs €11.26



I switched from the spray can Sally to the lotion during the summer and I find it much easier to use than the can. Obviously, I use it all over myself - Sally Hansen, not just for legs! - and it's just constantly reliable.


Another old reliable, although it's not quite as easy to apply as Sally.

Vita Liberta Body Blur Instant Skin Finish €28.66



OK, it's a bit more expensive than the other two, but it is so good; the entire range is. If you can afford to splurge, do it on this.

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