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Elle Ferguson has been a dedicated self-tanner since her high school days. “I remember putting it on my legs and loving the transformation,” she told us. “I instantly thought I looked better and felt fab.” But, in the years to come, no matter which tan she tried, something was always amiss. “The colour was never right, the smell was awful or it didn’t go on correctly. This is what drove me to launch my own tan. I wrote a list of everything I found wrong with self-tans and was determined to create a product that righted all their wrongs.”
The result of her endeavour is Elle Effect. A new tanning brand with one self-tanning foam —in the perfect colour—and a black tanning mitt, which you can use for repeat applications. The two are available as a kit and come in a convenient resealable travel bag, so you can tan on-the-go.
I got my own (tanning) mitts on the Elle Effect kit just as the post-holiday blues started to set in. I’d had two blissful weeks of being in full beach mode, and while I live my life slathered from head-to-toe in SPF, being desk-bound and back indoors was taking a toll. Could a golden glow by the ultimate Bondi beach babe trick my brain into feeling like I was still enjoying my jolly holidays?
Coming home late, I quickly showered, exfoliated and got ready to tan. The Elle Effect packaging is peak #shelfie perfection. White, clean, cute, and customisable with the sweet set of stickers that come in every kit. I pumped out a ball of tanning foam and was impressed at how evenly coloured and bouncy it was (no colour separation or watery residue). I started working it onto my legs and realised they were a little dry. With other tans this has meant I’ve ended up with uneven lines, but I pressed on anyway and finished adding a single coat. Unlike some synthetic smelling tans, this one is delicately scented with roses, like a subtle hint of fresh flowers. Lovely.
Still worried about how dry my skin was, I haphazardly rubbed some moisturiser into my ankles, knees, elbows and hands. This is not something recommended obviously, but I felt I needed it. Something I’d probably regret. Then, I crawled into bed and waited for my husband to say something about me smelling like tan … but he said nothing and then asked me to set the sleep timer on the Audible app – Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter is our nightly lullaby. Point, Elle Effect.
In the bathroom the next morning for the grand reveal I noticed that, despite my attempts to mess it up, the tan was perfectly even. There were zero product lines or patches, and the colour was bronzy and bright. It’s a shade I don’t think I’ve seen since those endless summer school holidays where I was permanently at the beach, sans responsibility of any kind. Very natural, very glowy.
Still unaware of my late-night tanning session, my husband called out to tell me I looked really good as I was leaving for work. I paused and probed him further. “Your legs just look really good, I think it’s the outfit.” Ferguson says she wants people to feel “fabulous and fearless” after using her tan. After receiving a few more compliments at work, and admiring my bronzed arms as I tapped out emails, I really did feel great. More like a beach native moonlighting as an office drone rather than the other way around.
Words by Alexandra WhitingJanuary 2019
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