Style police: Golden brown, texture like sun

Forget all that rubbish about 'pale and interesting'. The latest look is mahogany, so grab your suntan oil, slurp a cocktail and go find that tan

IT STARTED with Stella Tennant and Chanel. The glossy ads may have been black and white but there was no mistaking a new perma-tan Stella.

Of course, hers came from back-packing in Peru rather than two weeks on the Costa but the message was clear: tan your hide. The Guess? jeans girl and her muscle-bound cohorts are all mahogany. We're not talking the "delicate glow" beauty editors advise. This is deep, golden brown. Daily, women are accosted by billboard posters of a bronze- skinned Helena Christensen modelling for H&M Hennes. A few may grumble that she'll have skin as gnarled as a crocodile hand-bag come forty, but there's no getting around it - Helena looks healthier, happier and hornier with a tan. Hell, we all do.

Last year's model, Karen Elson, did have vampire-pale skin. Combine that with a PC backlash and we may have a motive for bronzed flesh. There's nothing more sexy than a pack of Italian stallions coated in Philipo Berio and smoking Camels on a beach. Or an olive skinned, sun-kissed girl in skin tight Liza Bruce. Wear a cartwheel straw hat, Gucci shades and a white linen "cover all" kaftan if you must. You'll avoid skin cancer and leather skin. You may also be mistaken for a beach ball.

Pale isn't interesting. It's cadaverous. Just one look at the bikini- clad masses frolicking in the Royal Parks this week tells Style Police that there's more to a suntanning than burnt flesh. It's the bright light, the feeling of heat soaking into skin and fresh air that lifts the most troubled spirit. That and a couple of Budweisers. So are we telling you to look gorgeous in youth and end your days, like George Hamilton, with a face as wrinkled as W H Auden? No, mes cheries. A deep tan may be deeply unhealthy. That's not what concerns us here. We need to know if it's fashionable or not.

"'Sun-kissed' is a word I'm hearing a lot from the catwalk make-up artists," says Bronwyn Cosgrave, health & beauty editor at Frank. "By that I don't mean beige skin. I mean a tan like Helena's. But you can't tell me you feel great if you fire yourself in intense sun. You'll feel physically sick and it is potentially disastrous for your skin. It's a big lie that above factor eighteen blocks the sun totally. If you spend a little time in the sun each day, then you build up a tan."

Put it this way. When you slow cook a chicken in the aga, its skin is cooked to a perfect golden glow. Too long in the microwave and the chicken's charcoal. Golden brown skin makes you feel sexy and confident. There's nothing sexy about a heat rash, honeys, unless you're a finalist in Miss Lobster Skin 1998.

A word about fake tans. Like fur, you can always tell the genuine article from the man-made. In this month's mags, you'll see Liz Hurley after a tussle with Estee Lauder self-tan. Add a bindi and she's a dead ringer for Madhur Jaffrey.

So, back to the big issue. We don't live in Barbados. This is Great Britain. Our summers are short, so we can't blame you for wanting to feel the burn. But take heed; leather isn't a good look. The next time you see sunlight, I want you to baste yourself in factor eighteen, open a Jackie Collins and simmer until golden brown. Then moisturise, slip on a little strappy frock and knock 'em dead.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

    Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

    £30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

    Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

    Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

    Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines