Because that’s what motherhood is, right?! Some days it feels like you’re playing a video game where you skipped the tutorial and you’re just sort of running about with no idea how anything works. I think it’s called winging it. But we’ll turn that into a pun-filled post about eyeliner another day.
Whilst Gemma is all about embracing her natural English (Scottish?) Rose, a spray tan was a pretty regular occurrence for me before Project Baby. And even during my pregnancy I went for a monthly spritz. Yeah, yeah, I know. A spray tan during pregnancy. Turns out all those scare stories are as fake as my tan was. These days I’m lucky if I get five minutes to sit down – alone – after all the tidying, cleaning, washing (babies should come with a laundry warning) and you know, trying to catch up on This Is Mothership.
A bit of a glow just makes me feel better and look healthier, even when I’m surviving on four hours sleep and an IV drip-worth of coffee. With no babe-free hours in the day to go for a spray tan and no inclination to get my sheets dirty (and create more washing for myself) it’s lucky that the newest formulations are totally mum friendly: they don’t smell, develop in a matter of hours and look totally natural.
THE BUDGET ONE
Loved by beauty industry insiders, this budget buy develops into an entirely believable tan in only a few hours. Apply when the babe goes to bed and wash off just before you do. It also comes in a gradual lotion and a mist but I find a mousse formula easiest to apply.
THE LUXE ONE
I know it’s kinda pricey but believe me on this one. I trusted it enough to wear this with a white dress. My wedding dress to be exact. Three days before my big day I had a Sienna X spray tan with James Harknett at the W Hotel (jamesharknett.co.uk) and to keep it looking fresh I moisturised post-shower with an oil-free moisturiser each morning then each evening I applied a thin layer of this. Intensely hydrating with a low level of the tanning ingredient DHA, it saturates skin in moisture whilst gently boosting radiance. And if we don’t deserve a treat now and then, I don’t know who does.
THE FACE ONE
If I’m looking excessively pale I mix a few drops of this apricot-scented elixir into my night cream using the palm of my hand as a mixing bowl and apply as usual. The concentrated droplets interact with the amino acids in your skin so you wake up and – TA DA – an entirely natural, tailor-made glow. Because you add it to your regular moisturiser, it warms up your skin without drying it out. The number of drops you add depends on the desired depth of your tan; after trial and error I’ve deduced that three is my magic number. So simple yet so effective, it must have been designed by a mum.
THE MULTI-TASKING ONE
Celebrity tanner James Read is the brainiest in the business when it comes to thinking up the quirkiest tanning offerings that you didn’t know you needed until they existed. This subtle gradual tan in a cooling face mist formula is foolproof to apply but the best bit is that it’s packed with ingredients that hydrate skin and help to reduce puffiness. Utterly genius and if it was up to me, it would be a legal requirement to hand this to every post-labour mama on their way out. Perfect for those mornings where you wake up, look in the mirror and think, "OH GOD!"