Pam (English blonde, fair-skinned) uses Au Courant Instant Sunless Tanning Mousse (£24.99 HQ Hair): 'I prefer the colour on me to the St Tropez colour.' she says. 'It's easy to put on, dries fast and doesn't streak - I always use surgical gloves. I tissue off a bit on the knees, elbows and heels to make sure I don't get the dark patches there.'
Beauty Everything you need to know about fake tanning
Is it vital to exfoliate before you apply fake tan?
Yes - it makes all the difference between a botched job and a smooth finish. Exfoliating takes off the skin's dead cells and naturally makes your skin smoother and boosts circulation. If you don't, it means streaks, splodges and tell-tale orange patches.
I don't like fake tan on my face as I find it emphasises enlarged pores. What should I do?
This is one of the big downsides of self tans, even if open pores are not your problem. If you use it all through the summer, it tends to get ingrained in the pores, even with regular exfoliation. All sunless tanners use DHA (dihydroxyacetone) - which can have a drying effect on the skin - to temporarily colour skin. Some also use erythulose, which is known to be more moisturising than DHA. One of the most important things to remember with self-tan or bronzing make-up is that the skin needs to start squeaky clean and moisturised. Then you have the choice of dozens of bronzing alternatives. If you are young you can get away with a tinted gel or a liquid bronzer with pearlised finish for a bit of colour. If you are older, shimmer gets into the pores and wrinkles, so choose a matte bronzer applied to the apple of the cheeks with a brush. This season, the blushers are subtler, nearer to your own skin tone. Avoid the dark terracotta ones (unless you are dark-skinned). Try Dior's Bronze Luminizer brushed on the cheekbones and bridge of the nose.
Fake tans seem to have very different shades. Could you give me a list of dark, medium and light ones?
There are now literally hundreds of brands out there. All of them use exactly the same chemicals and amino acids to fake your tan. Some have added anti-oxidants, vitamins and moisturisers to protect and enhance. Everyone has slightly different skin tones and skin types so it all becomes very subjective. Clarins and Lancôme always come high up in the popularity stakes. In terms of spray-tan booths, some are better than others. But whatever you do, don't try a new brand just before your wedding or holiday. It's a recipe for disaster.