Good evening dancers!
Fred’s still a little wiped out after last weekend (he’s not as young as he used to be), so you’ve got another installment from Ginger this week!
We had a fabulous time at the Southampton Friendly this year. You all danced incredibly well, and it was wonderful to see such a sea of turquoise in the final line ups. Plenty of shinies all around for Team Southampton!
But there’s no rest for the wicked. I hope you’ve all been practising, because the Bath competition is quickly coming up. So I thought I’d take the time to address the elephant in the room. The great big orange elephant.
Some of you may have noticed some rather glorious creatures gracing the floor of Richard Taunton last weekend. Their dance moves? Stunning. Their glittering array of costumes? Dazzling. Their skin? An enviable shade of golden brown (mostly)!
Tanning is a time honored tradition amidst the ballroom community, and as your ballroom careers with us continue, you’ll see shades that cover the entire spectrum from sunkissed goddesses to highlighter orange delights who, if the lights were switched off, would probably glow in the dark.
Whilst tanning is by no means a necessity, for any of you who want to achieve that classic ballroom look and have never tanned before, I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide a few tips for home tan application.
No matter what fake tan you buy, the result will only be as good as its canvas. Start by getting any shaving or waxing you want to do out of the way first. Hair removal after applying the tan will just exfoliate away all of your hard work.
Speaking of which, make sure to exfoliate thoroughly. This will remove any dead skin cells that the tan would adhere to, and help prevent the tan looking patchy. Exfoliate extra thoroughly around the ankles, elbows, and knees, as they tend to be a little more tan-grabbing!
Lastly, moisturise well. Not only will this assist with smooth application and help keep the colour for longer, many self tans can contain some drying ingredients. Best to give your skin a little extra love beforehand, particularly if it’s sensitive. Add a little extra moisturiser or vaseline around the ankles, elbows, and knees, again to help prevent the tan grabbing in these areas.
If you want to keep tan off the palms of your hands, invest in a self tanning mitt. This will apply tan to your skin more evenly than your hands will, and will prevent your palms getting super dark! Also, keep some vaseline to hand for any areas where you would like the tan to be a little lighter.
If you find yourself in the self tan aisle at Boots or Superdrug, you will quickly notice that there are an awful lot of products to choose from. Here’s a quick run down of the choices available:
Gradual tanning lotion: These are the gentlest tans available that will take a lot of layering to provide any colour. Typically they have the same formulation as a standard moisturising body lotion, tinted to provide colour over time with each application. These products are unlikely to streak, however take a lot of effort to build up. Even then, the colour remains subtle.
Instant tan: These are very much designed for those with a “get it on and go” mentality. They are usually tinted so you can see where you’ve applied and come in a range of shades. However, they wash off pretty much instantly. Prepare to keep reapplying throughout the day after every time you wash your hands!
Tanning creams/lotions: These are tanning products that develop over a few hours (typically 4-8). Again, they come in a range of shades, however how quickly you shower after application will determine the depth of the resulting tan. These products are not always tinted, occasionally applying clear or skin coloured, making it difficult to determine where you’ve already applied the tan. These products also have the highest risk of going streaky, so care must be taken to apply the product evenly. Start light and build up! However, after development, these will not instantly wash off and will fade gradually each time you shower.
Mousse/gel: Mousse and gel based tans are targeted at first time tanners! The formulas almost always contain a tint as guidance during application and lend themselves to spreading evenly. They are often quick drying (resulting in less stains on your clothes and sheets!) and have the same staying power as the creams/lotions. However, these products aren’t as moisturising, and the gel formulas often contain shimmer. Be careful to avoid those if glittery isn’t the look you’re going for!
Spray: These can be a bit hit and miss. Depending on the quality of the nozzle, they can be either super easy or a super pain in the backside! Try to look for one with a 360 degree nozzle. This will help the spray disperse more evenly.
FIXING/REMOVING YOUR TAN
Has your tan gone a little awry? Do you want to reduce the shade a little post competition? A little exfoliant will help clear that right up. Exfoliate your skin thoroughly, and your tan will begin to scrub away.
Last but not least, having a matte bronzer to hand can be a life saver for emergency fixes. If you notice a streak at the comp, or need your face to match your body a little more closely, a simple bronzer can cover up a multitude of sins!
Don’t forget, tanning is by no means essential! But if you want to get tangoed with the best of them, I hope this was helpful. If you have any other questions about achieving a gorgeous sun kissed glow, ask one of our intermediate dancers. They will have a wealth of knowledge on the do’s (and crucially don’ts!) of getting your bronze on.
As always, keeeeep dancing,