Monday, 5 May 2014

To Tan or Not To Tan?

As you've probably gathered by now, I am not a bronzed beauty. I would sooner term myself 'pale and interesting', or 'fair and bright', although growing up in a family of olive-skinned people who tan freakishly quickly even in the dim British summer heat, I think 'milk-bottle weirdo' was probably the most frequent descriptor I heard. I have light blue eyes, a whole bunch of freckles that make my doctors very nervous whenever I so much as hint that I sometimes forget to wear sun-cream, and over-exposed photos tend to give me a shocking resemblance to a young Voldemort. With practice, patience and a teeny bit of light bronzer I can just about manage to not glow in the dark most days, but in winter especially, I am more often than not a pretty definitive shade of pinkish white.

Middle photo is from last week, and is forcing me to finally admit that i'm becoming slightly addicted to snapchat. Add me @watchingtherain if you want to chat! :) 

That said, aside from how difficult it is to find foundations to suit well, I actually quite like my skin tone. It suits me well and I know by now what colours will make me washed out and which will make me look awesome. I really hate being sunburned, and I very rarely manage to get a natural tan through my religiously applied factor 30 - it literally takes weeks of near constant sunshine, something quite rare in the extreme north of England. Usually I just go a bit pink, if anything at all.

However, last summer I spent almost 8 straight weeks working mostly outdoors in one of the nicest summers we've ever had, and oh boy. I actually visibly changed colour. For the first time since I was young I actually developed a light tan and I received so many compliments on how much healthier, nicer and all-round better my skin looked. Personally, I also felt like my skin looked a lot healthier. I actually quite liked it, and this summer its got me thinking. Have I been missing out? 

Should probably acknowledge that my version of 'tan' is most other people's version of 'oh my god, pass the bronzer, i'm so pale today'. Also - surprise boyfriend appearance! He goes brown literally as soon as he steps outdoors, from about April to October, so he's no help really. 

Well, I'm still very cautious about skin damage. Skin cancer is all too prevalent in younger people and keeping my skin healthy is my number 1 priority, so you'll definitely not see me on any sunbeds any time soon. But I think this summer, i'm going to tentatively dip my toe into the world of self-tanning of the bottled, 2-for-1 from Boots variety, and see how I fare. I don't fancy being bright orange, but I'm no longer so scared of seeing myself with a little bit of a golden glow to my skin. It's only temporary after all! 

What do you think of tanning? Are you naturally fair-skinned, or do you tan easily? Do you think you look better with a bit of a glow, or would you prefer to be paler? Let me know below! 

- Natalie XOX