Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

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I went to a wedding last year and as I tipsily poked at my salmon en croute I suddenly realised that I was the only person in the room without a tan. Women do this annoying thing sometimes of all very quietly getting on with some undignified beauty routine (moustache bleaching, bikini waxing, botox) and it insidiously just becomes completely normal. Fail to get the memo and ten years later you look up and realise that you now look a bit strange for not doing it. This is where we’re at with fake tan.

 I gave up on fake tan some time in the early noughties. The sheer labour of it! The scrubbing, the shaving, the dirty linen and ruined towels. My efforts were never rewarded with the promised perfect results: there were always dark tell-tale patches here and there, dark hands and orange cuticles, followed by a blotchy fade that Rebecca ingeniously describes as the ‘tiger bread effect’. Not to mention having to go about your day periodically catching whiffs of yourself, as if you were wearing a bra filled with dog biscuits.

 But looking around that festooned function room and then down to my pallid arms and calves, I realised I wanted in. We’ve put a man on the moon: surely we’ve also come up with a fake tan that doesn’t make me go the colour of corn fed chicken?

 Isle of Paradise drops are what I ended up buying, mostly because I like Jules Von Hep, the company founder. He seems genuinely warm and funny and body positive which I can’t say of  St Tropez for instance, who come across as run by evil Austrian health farm owners. Jules also worked on Tan Luxe, Rebecca’s fake tan of choice, but at about £19.95 a bottle the Isle of Paradise is half the price. And it’s good! Not flawless, but leaps and bounds better than The Body Shop watermelon scented original from 1997.

Have a shower and exfoliate. Once you’re out, put some drops into your palms with your body moisturiser, mix it up, then slather on (maaaaaaaybe  a little bit more carefully than you usually would, but still). You go a bit golden, and if you likey, the next day you can put on a bit more. No dark patches, no tiger bread effect. I buffed off the excess in between my fingers and on my cuticles with a dry flannel, as they did go a tiny bit orange when I first tried the drops. But I didn’t have to use one of those disgusting mitts or sleep in black bed sheets or worry about an orange ‘colour guide’ rubbing off onto my t-shirt or seeping into my pores. There is a slight biscuit smell, but markedly less offensive than I remember – you’d be safe attending Crufts in this.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops, £19.95

Claire Rigby