Paint the town orange

At home, a bit of fake tan is an essential for most nights out for me and my friends, especially as I’m fair skinned. So, when I arrived in Oxford it was to my dismay that when I asked my friends if any of them had some fake tan for a crew date they all looked at me blankly/laughed at the stereotypical request that matched my accent. I don’t understand the aversion! It would seem my powers of persuasion have sufficed and my friends have been swayed, I managed to convince FIVE of them to have a spray with me before our college’s ball this weekend. It’s an Oxford revolution!

The trend of a tan dates back many years and it is thought to have been started by the one and only Coco Chanel. During the second world war women used gravy browning as a type of tanning product because there was a huge shortage of stockings. Then, in the 80s the artificial look really took off, this is often attributed to the cheap holidays to Spain that became available meaning everyone could get a taste of the sunshine that had often been denied to them. It is only in the past decade or so that the trend of faking that golden glow has with make up like products has taken off. Prominent figures in British celebrity culture from Katie Price to the cast of The Only Way is Essex can be credited for the soar in sales at various points. In 2011 it was estimated that £35 million is spent on fake tan products each year and St Tropez released figures stating that 41% of the population use fake tan.

It’s not just the obvious advocates of the trend that use fake tan, virtually every person on TV or on stage will use some sort of tanning product to get the right complexion for the lighting they have. So with such a widespread use of this trend I think it’s time Oxford jumped on board, no doubt many hacks will be exposed to it when they start their media careers.

Most people love a summer glow. especially for a special occasion but it’s really important that the dangers of sun beds are made absolutely clear. Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts embarked on a successful campaign in 2012 that saw the age limit raised from 16 to 18 sending a positive message that young and delicate skin needs to be protected against the damaging impact of concentrated bursts of UV radiation.

So, while I’m not advocating looking like a wotist it’s clear that a tan is the perfect accessory to a pair of summer shorts or a ball gown alike. It’s definitely the case that faking is better than baking.

Top 5 tips for a perfect fake tan;

  1. Invest in a mit and a friend (preferably next door) that will do your back and other awkward parts
  2. Don’t pick up your ball wrist band before your spray tan (although I’m sure none of you are as stupid as me).
  3. Avoid getting dressed for as long as possible post tan and when you do stick to baggy, old stuff that doesn’t stick and you don’t mind turning a nice shade of brown.
  4. EXFOLIATE the day before, patchy elbows and knees are not a good look.
  5. Don’t count Mississippi-ly.

The Tanning Shop in Oxford offers spray tans for just £9.99 from Sunday to Tuesday and is located on Blue Boar Lane next to Christ Church. Picture of ross from friends Picture of my wrist band