By Susan Crowe
REGARDLESS of who takes the title in RTE’s Dancing with the Stars, Hughie Maughan absolutely has to get a prize all of his own.
He’s turned an average show into TV gold (or bronze) as all everyone from Australia to America now wants to know: How brown will he go?
The self confessed tan addict admitted layering up on St Tropez ahead of this week’s show but seemingly the Ronseal effect wasn’t what he was after.
Replying to the worldwide furore he caused, he said: ‘I sprayed on tan I normally use myself but when I got to the studio I started sweating (under the lights) and I wiped my face and I ended up looking like a Dalmatian. It was all patchy so we had to get this foundation that is normally used for African skin. When we put it on we realised how dark it was but it was two minutes to air so I had to walk out wearing it.’
But Hughie insisted he had no regrets – and he had the sympathy of the nation as let’s be honest everyone has at least one (if not several) tanning disasters in their lifetime and that includes celebrities who should know better.
Posh Spice, who is now the picture of poise and elegance, was a big fan of the super tan look back in the day as was Cheryl Cole and pretty much every soap star from Michelle Keegan to Helen Flanagan and Gemma Collins.
And the blokes are just as bad. Simon Cowell does spend a lot of time relaxing on yachts – but his preferred shade of orange cannot be naturally occurring.
As for Donald Trump. Words just fail. There’s a certain irony in him being in the White House. Pierce Brosnan also sails a little close to the wind as does Bradley Cooper.
Admittedly if it’s a case of pasty white versus tanned, we know which looks better, but it’s all about knowing when to put the tube of tan down and walk away.
Less is always more should be everyone’s mantra to avoid the Oompa Loompa effect, says owner of Asana beauty salon in Douglas Angela O’Sullivan.
Angela, originally from Allihies, said Hughie looked ‘like he had been drinking the stuff and it was coming from the inside out. He was a prime example of someone using the wrong shade for their skin tone.’
And that is the biggest mistake that Irish people make when tanning up, she says.
Gillian Desmond of La Femme Beauty Salon on Bridge St, Skibbereen agrees: ‘Irish people should always stick to light to medium shades as anything darker is just too, well, fake!’
Speaking of which she singled out JLo for an epic tanning fail when she forgot to tan behind her ears of all places and ruined any chance she had of pretending it was just a ‘natural glow’.
There’s so much to think about that it’s not surprising lots of people leave this job to the professionals.
And fiascos are getting fewer as products get ever more sophisticated.
Gillian stocks Bellamianti which is Irish, odour free and wears off evenly while Angela recommends Vitae Liberate Body Blur for the slightly older skin.
Sally Hansen and Coco Brown are favourites with the younger tanners but both therapists agree they are choosing far too heavy a shade.
Although after Hughie’s encounter with the dark side, the ‘pale and interesting’ look may be about to get a whole lot more popular.
HOW TO GET IT RIGHT!
• It’s all about the preparation when it comes to application – this cannot be rushed! Think of it as preparing a wall before painting. According to beautician Gillian Desmond your tan will only ever be as good as the condition of the skin. A week before your tan application start exfoliating and moisturising. Any hair removal should be carried out the day before – never on the day.
• The morning of your tan enjoy a good soapy shower but don’t apply any other body product. Anything heavily perfumed will break down your tan.
• Use a good hand mitt to apply the product – and don’t use too much. Follow the instructions.
• Do not apply any product to your hands, knees, feet or elbows. Angela O’Sullivan advises getting an old foundation brush to buff these areas lightly instead.
• Always wash the palm of your hands afterwards and gently wipe your finger nails and toe nails with a baby wipe.
• Never sleep overnight on a newly applied tan – the results will give you nightmares. Always shower after a few hours.
• If things really go wrong a hot soapy shower will help soften the product followed by an exfoliation, advises Angela.
• Lemon juice and a soft nail brush can be used to come to the rescue.