22 In Beauty/ Travel

Summer Revived


Gainsborough spa hotel bath

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Dove. They invited me for an overnight stay at The Gainsborough, a luxury spa hotel with its own thermal spring waters in the centre of Bath.  They brought a small group of bloggers together to learn about their latest range of gradual self-tanning moisturisers for summer, and to give us their full Summer Revived experience.

Gainsborough Spa Pool

We were treated to massages, a cocktail masterclass, the most ridiculously indulgent 6 course dinner, and a yoga class the next morning before heading home.  We were all very much in the summer frame of mind by the end!  I can’t believe I’ve never been to Bath before since it is only an hour and a half on the train outside of London. When the city came into view from the train, I actually gasped.  It was unbelievably  picturesque, even in the rain.  As Catherine described it, you feel like you are walking into a Jane Austen novel.  Needless to say, I’ll be back.  I wouldn’t stay anywhere other than this hotel either; it is a four minute walk from the station and is an oasis of unpretentious luxury right in the centre of everything.  I can’t fault a single thing; the staff was friendly, the food was amazing, the spa treatments were a dream, the rooms were pristine and fresh, and the bathrooms even have heated marble floors (I know. Goals).

Self Tanned LegsMy legs are never NOT self-tanned!

Now, self tanners… a subject that I feel particularly expert on, given my blindingly white skin.  Years ago when I used to tan in the sun, my face would catch a bit of colour, my arms and shoulders got slightly less colour, and my legs and my stomach remained as resolutely white as they are at Christmas.  Since my legs don’t tan at all, I’ve ALWAYS had to use a gradual self-tanner on them just so they look somewhat consistent with the rest of my body.  Throughout the year, I use either a wash-off leg bronzer (when I’ve not planned ahead) or a gradual self-tanner (when I have planned ahead) to protect the innocent from the glare of my shins.  You may look at my blog photos where I show bare legs and think, ‘Oh wow, she has seriously white legs… poor lass’.  Well, I can assure you that every photo you have ever seen of my legs has either self-tanner or bronzer on them.  Not once have you seen my un-bronzed natural colour, and you never will!  Once upon a time (before I had my son) I had spray tans in the summer or before an event, but now, I don’t have the time or patience.  Also, because spray tans are quite drying, after a few days they create a dappled snakeskin effect on my chalky legs which looks pretty terrible, and seems to only get worse as I’ve gotten older.

Dove Self Tanners

A few weeks before the event in Bath, Dove sent me two products to try.  One was their Visible Glow gradual self-tanning lotion, and the other was their DermaSpa Summer Revived gradual tanner.  If your skin is at all dry, I’d say go for the Summer Revived one (my personal favourite).  It is packed with glycerin (an expensive ingredient for body care) and also contains some patented skin Cell-Moisturisers™.  The more hydrated your skin is, the longer your self tan will last (and it avoids the dappled snake look I get two days after a spray tan).  As the DermaSpa name suggests, it is a bit ‘extra’ for a self-tanner. The ingredients are such high quality that you can even use it on delicate facial skin as well as your body. I’ve even used it on my face, which has always reacted poorly to self-tanners. I exfoliate so frequently and use glycolic acid almost daily on my face, so there isn’t really much point to self-tanning it, but every now and then (especially on holiday) I will.  I don’t want to look super tanned, I just want to have a subtle healthy glow and take the whiteness of my legs down a few notches.  Because I’m impatient by nature and want my tan ready and waiting for me when I wake up the next morning, I really like these gradual self-tanners a lot; I always have. I remember the early days of self-tanners when I used to wrap myself in an old sheet, like a moth in a cocoon,  so I wouldn’t get orange tanning lotion on my nice bed linens.  Luckily, modern formulations (especially these gradual tanners) are so much better and they don’t stain my clothes and linens.  They’re easy to apply, so I don’t bother exfoliating first anymore.  Also, exfoliating always gave me a streaky tan anyway, despite the advice of most self tanners to do so.  Even the smell is so much better now; the Dove ones have a pleasant fruity floral scent that smells like a holiday to me.

I’m not much of a beach girl, but I’m so looking forward to my holiday on Ile de Ré next month.  I’ll definitely have this in my suitcase so I won’t look like I’ve flown in from the North Pole!

Dove Self tanner

Thank you to Dove for sponsoring this post, for the products, and for the delightful stay at The Gainsborough hotel.

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  • Reply
    June 4, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Oh Lisa, I am so jealous! What a lovely opportunity for you and Catherine! I have never been to Bath but now it definitely moved up on my bucket list.
    Since I can’t stand tights but of course my legs are pale after our long winters, I always use a soft self tanning lotion and I have the Dove “summer glow” which is nearly empty. I’ll go look for the new products!
    xx Annette

    • Reply
      June 4, 2018 at 8:20 PM

      I am certain that you would LOVE Bath, Annette. I can’t wait to go back.

      These gradual tanners are really amazing quality; especially the Derma Spa one. Let me know if you try that one! xx

  • Reply
    June 4, 2018 at 8:53 PM

    I’d have died & gone to heaven, you lucky duck!
    With you in spirit of course 😉 Self tanners are barely recognisable today from when I was in my twenties. All my girlfriends would fry themselves to a crisp at the beach all day on holiday. Most of them blistered & sore as we partied on in the evenings but not me. Nope I never ever got burned. Head to toe sunscreen, hat &under a brolly just to be sure. I was taught at a very early age that the sun could kill me & it’s a lesson that’s served me well. Unfortunately I was the one at the nightclub with the streaky, smelly orangey tan Hahahaha!
    Mind you, not any more right? Do they sell Dove in the U.S?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2018 at 9:42 PM

      I wish you WERE there! It is amazing how much better they’ve become over the years. I used to use a clear orange gel one (can’t remember the brand) and it didn’t smell on my body but it smelled terrible on my face :-). I’m afraid I was the moron getting lots of blisters and burns when I was younger, but I’m SOOOO careful now. Of course they sell Dove in the US; I imagine they sell this same line there too… have a look and let me know. xx

  • Reply
    June 4, 2018 at 10:12 PM

    What a fabulous holiday! I’ve not been to Bath either, but the Gainsborough Hotel is definitely where I’ll stay when I get there. Beautiful place.

    And DermaSpa Summer Revived gradual tanner is now on my shopping list. I love that I don’t have to exfoliate when I use it and that it won’t stain the bed linens or my underwear. I’ll let you know what my results turn out to be. This could be a real game changer for me. Thanks!


    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:45 PM

      I can’t recommend the hotel enough. The quality of everything was fantastic, but it still managed to be relaxing instead of stuff and formal. Keep me posted on your results of the Summer Revived. I think if a pasty white impatient klutz like me can use it successfully, probably anyone can 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb
    June 5, 2018 at 8:05 AM

    Lisa wasn’t the hotel just GLORIOUS?!! We’ve been spoiled now, no wonder you don’t want to stay anywhere else…!! 😉

    I echo what you said about Summer Revived – it has so many plus points and I’m so pleased I’ve discovered it. It’s so nice to have “the edge” taken off my legs as I call it, well done Dove I say!

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:43 PM

      Oh, it really was just perfect. I can’t imagine staying anywhere else there now! So central and so fantastic! I’m so pleased we both went and learned how to bronze our white legs! xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    June 5, 2018 at 6:01 PM

    I am so pleased these self tanners have improved. Indeed the staining on your clothes and bed linen and the smell were aweful back then. Glad they found a solution. When I was 22 (1976.. ahum) my skin had never been exposed to the sun. And I mean never. Not even when I was a kid. So white… so white.. Funny story from those days: I had used self tanner once when my boyfriend (at the time) came over. We decided to take a bath together. Can you imagine my horror when I saw oily orange spots floating in the bath water?

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:42 PM

      Yes, I have been using them since they early days, and they’re SOOO much better now. I’m giggling at your self tanner story from your youth! xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    June 6, 2018 at 4:16 AM

    Buying this for my mother who never gets brown unless you count all the freckles. By the way, I’ll be in Paris next week, and at Ile d’Yeu for a wedding. When you do go to Ile de Re?

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:40 PM

      Let me know how your mom likes it, Mithra! I go to Ile de Re for the last week of July. I wish I was in France when you are 🙁 xx

  • Reply
    June 6, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    Oh Lisa, it sounds like a wonderful stay! I’ve never been to Bath either. It’s somewhere I’d love to go. You look fabulous in your pink coat and your legs do look very natural. I too am incredibly fair but have never found a self tan product that looks natural. I’m going to give this a try for sure xxxx

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:39 PM

      I usually use a bronzer in case I REALLY mess up I can always wash it off… but even I can’t screw up this particular self tanner. I’d recommend the Summer Revived one if you’re as pale and dry as I am!

      Let’s go to Bath and do a girls’ weekend! xx

  • Reply
    Little Red
    June 9, 2018 at 5:48 AM

    Bath is beautiful and I was there when visiting my friend in London in 2012. It is like stepping into a Jane Austen novel since several of them mention Bath and the action in “Persuasion” is prominently set in Bath. I recommend watching the 1995 BBC version.

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:36 PM

      I’ll have to add Persuasion to my watch list; thank you Little Red! I really can’t wait to go back there (hopefully with better weather) and explore some more. xx

  • Reply
    June 11, 2018 at 6:49 AM

    I’m amazed at how good this works on the face! Wasn’t it just the best time? I really enjoyed it. xx

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:34 PM

      It was such an amazing overnight stay; I truly want to go back ASAP. xx

  • Reply
    June 12, 2018 at 4:51 PM

    SMART PEOPLE as they know who to PICK for their products!!!!!!!
    I was in BATH for half day in 1980!!!!!!!
    What a stunning GET AWAY…………………I’m Very HAPPY for YOU!

    • Reply
      June 12, 2018 at 10:31 PM

      It was such a lovely experience and I honestly CANNOT WAIT to go back! xx

  • Reply
    July 7, 2018 at 2:34 AM

    You’re funny! As if anyone will focus on your legs and peg you as a North Pole woman! You’re insanely gorgeous! Every inch of you! Dove certainly made the right move when they chose you!

    • Reply
      July 15, 2018 at 2:19 PM

      Oh gosh, thank you so much, Brenda. That is so kind of you xxx

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