Dove Gradual Tan. You know what I'm talking about.
You're 16 with orange legs, orange hands and absolutely no idea about the art of quick tanning.
It smelt funky, it was streaky, definitely did not match the foundation on your face, and mum was like "sweetie, maybe don't put it on every single day". Which of course led you to huff and puff because what the hell would mum know? Your orange legs look great as you apply another unneeded layer.
Oh, we've come a long way haven't we? And respectably, Dove has also changed its formula. So we've all come a long way.
When finding your favourite quick tan, there are a lot of things to consider like what kind of shade do you want? Is it more of a light summer glow to add to your au naturel tan? Or do you prefer a Geordie Shore smothering that always looks a little, okay, a lot unnatural?
Are you an adrenaline junkie who prefers a tan that goes on clear and develops overnight? Or are you a best to be safe than sorry kind of person who has to see where you are applying it?
Nowadays there are so many quick tanning options, despite me thinking the only tan in the world was Bondi Sands. In fact, I looked down on anyone who used anything else.
But in the spirit of experimentation and journalistic prowess, I put on my big girl pants and stepped out of my comfort zone so you don't have to.
Slip, slop, slap and quick tan this summer baby.
Here are four quick tans you should try this summer:
Isle of Paradise - Glow Clear Self-Tanning Mousse
Shade I'm a very pale woman so I like a tan that transforms me from a ghost to a living human. Isle of Paradise had a beautiful glow and was very natural looking but it was quite a light colour. I can see this being my go-to in the middle of summer… not winter.
Formula They read the room when creating this concoction and made it vegan, non-transfer and full of skin-loving ingredients like avocado oil, chia seeds and eucalyptus. It smells great and it's moisturising. The foam formula is clear so you have to pay close attention when applying but it won't transfer onto your sheets! Not even a little bit.
Developing time Pop it on before bed and by the morning you will have a natural-looking summer glow
Fade This lasted for at least a week and it faded naturally. It gave going, going, gone.
Extra comments Please for the love of god wash your hands after applying or they will look like Donald Trump's face.
You can find this and the rest of Isle of Paradise's range in-store and online at Mecca
James Read Tan - H20 Hydrating Mousse
Shade I was lazy and didn't exfoliate properly so it stuck to my hands and elbows but it was a really beautiful glow with a warm golden colour.
Formular They don't call James Read the "go-to tan man" for no reason. This foam formula includes hydraderm to keep your skin moisturised for 72 hours after application as well as kigeline to improve skin firmness (as someone who hasn't been to the gym for nine weeks, yes please). The tan goes on clear so again, pay close attention when applying, there was a slight transfer onto my sheets but I found it didn't have an overpowering scent so I can live with it.
Developing time It is a gradual developing tan so leave it on for eight hours if possible.
Fade I loved the way this tan faded, it was like losing my summer tan. I woke up one morning and it was gone.
You can find this and the entire James Read Tan line in-store and online at Mecca
Le Tan Uber Dark - Green Base
Shade The fact you can choose your base colour is what makes this range unique, I went with green and it created a beautiful olive colour that made me feel like I'd just come back from Tahiti – Ah, a girl can dream. It's great for those colder months when the summer glow is nowhere to be seen.
Formula Le Tan Uber Dark is fragrance-free, great if you (or your boyfriend) hate the smell of tan, it did transfer a little bit on my sheets but the foam formula dried really quickly and had a guide tan so you knew exactly where it was on your body. It is meant to be moisturising but honestly, I felt like a shrivelled up grape by the morning and I had no idea what half the ingredients were. No streaks though! The scales are balanced with this review.
Developing time If you're Debby desperate you can get away with three hours but for best results keep it on for eight hours.
Fade I felt like my body was cosplaying Dorito crumbs. It looked great for about four days but then it turned to custard and I had to exfoliate until I cried.
Extra comments Applying quick tan to your face sounds great in theory but it can go wrong oh so quickly.
You can pick up a bottle at your local pharmacy or Countdown
Bondi Sands - Aero 1 hour express
Shade I wasn't an Oompa Loompa, but I was tan enough to feel like a bronzed goddess.
Formula Bondi Sands prides itself on being Australian made, cruelty-free and vegan so it's all good news here. The coconut scent gave me flashbacks to being an 18-year-old and buying the light/medium formula for the first time and feeling like I'd uncovered the 8th wonder of the world. The aero foam feels like marshmallows and goes on with tan markers so you don't miss a spot, and while it's slightly sticky for the first 10 minutes it dries quickly. It does transfer though, be warned!
Developing time 1 hour express, need I say more?
Fade It's a really nice colour for the first five days, but then it's time to get out the exfoliator, or fake tan remover - of which the brand have a great one!
Extra comments The concept and execution of Aero 1 hour express is so great, my friends and I couldn't get our hands on it for weeks because it sold out so quickly. Speaks for itself really.
You can find this instore Life Pharmacy or online at Bondi Sands