Stay Gold: The Fab 5 To Keep Your Tan Alive

Grease; Pretty Woman; Dirty Dancing; Stand By Me; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – just some of the films I wore out on VHS tape as a girl with my constant watching and re-watching. I’d sit gazing at the tv screen intently, barely blinking, mentally trying to emulate the sassy style of the female characters; fancying the pants off the chisel-cheeked male ones. “You’ll get square eyes,” my mum used to say to my sister Karen and I, as we goggled at the box. I think I believed that if I concentrated hard enough, some of their innate coolness and excess confidence would leap out of the telly like laser-beams and transfer as if by magic into my gangly teenage body.

But if there was one film I loved above all others as a hormonal adolescent, it was Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders – a coming-of-age movie about a gang of hard-up young men (who all just so happen to be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous), the ‘Greasers’, who desperately want to fit in and be accepted, but for whom life is a daily struggle, as they battle with the middle-class ‘Socs’: the clean-cut, chino-wearing rich kids.

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The 1983 film, an adaptation of a book written by S.E. Hinton (then a 15-year-old tomboy who was advised to abbreviate her name as the story was so violent and testosterone-charged) contains a poem by Robert Frost entitled Stay Gold, which has remained in my head, almost 30 years on….

The poem is used in the film to highlight the loss of innocence of the boys, that everything of beauty fades and comes to an end eventually. I won’t include spoilers as I’d recommend watching the film (available on You Tube or Google Play) if you haven’t already, other than to tell you that the character Johnny implores Ponyboy to “Stay gold” i.e to stay true to himself, not to change.

Whilst lying in the bath, daydreaming and pondering the fading of my suntan recently and my desire to Stay Gold following a wonderful holiday (that came to an end all to quickly, just as the poem darkly reminds us that everything does), all the memories of this film and just how much I loved it came flooding back and I just had to watch it once more.

So, d’ya wanna look golden and gorgeous this summer girls?  Here’s a quick round-up of all my favourite bronzing goodies – the products that will really help you to Stay Gold all summer long…

From left: Garnier Summer Body £3.79 400ml (I go for the ‘deep sun-kissed look’ version), Lush Black Stockings Body Tint £7.95, Lancome Flash Bronzer Face £23.40, Soap and Glory Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick £11, Bourjois Delice De Poudre £7.99.


Garnier Summer Body: cheap as chips; slap it on thick. I marinade myself in this stuff every few days in the summer months and it works a treat without breaking the bank. Go for the darker shade of the two for a ‘fortnight in the Caribbean’, or the lighter for a ‘weekend in Provence’. There’s always an offer in either Boots or Superdrug, so keep your beady eyes peeled for a deal. Oh and wash your hands thoroughly after applying – it may be a gentle gradual tanner, but it can still leave your hands looking like you’ve been digging in the mud if you’re not careful.

Lush Black Stockings (click link for vid demo)once you’ve got your bod bronzed to perfection, swipe on this shimmery tint to switch it up a notch and really get your pins on point. It contains cocoa and shea butters to moisturise and smells delicious too. One thing though – if you’re feelin’ fine and feline with your sexy new glow and rub up against your fella (or anyone else for that matter) be prepared for the lucky person in question to be all a-shimmer too. Use sparingly!

using Garnier Summer Body and Lush Black Stockings Body Tint

Lancome Flash Bronzer Face: this is the daddy of facial tanners – a quick-drying gel that develops into a convincingly flawless tan within a few hours. Leaves your face feeling slightly tight afterwards, but I’m down with that – a non-Botox facelift thrown in for free 😉

Soap and Glory Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick: instant chic for the shabby cheek. Sweep over cheekbones, collarbones and anywhere else you want to catch the light. Used correctly this will give you a healthy glow, go nuts and you’ll be mistaken for a mirror ball. Less is more.

Bourjois Delice De Poudre: if you prefer your tan matte and sweeter than a bar of Dairy Milk, this chocolate-scented bronzer is for you. Use alone, or before the Wonderbronze for a convincingly natural glow.

using Bourgois Delice De Poudre and Soap and Glory Wonderbronze

So there you have it: the fab five to keep your tan alive. And whilst you’re there, check out the movie – it features several of the Brat Pack and plenty of other before-they-were-famous eye candy besides: Ralph Macchio aka The Karate Kid, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze….it’s like a who’s who of Eighties teen totty – now you get why I loved it so much! 😉

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The soundtrack to the movie, co-written by Coppola’s dad and Stevie Wonder, also entitled Stay Gold, is a hauntingly beautiful song which conveys a similar message to the poem. So kick back, relax, grab some popcorn, watch the film – I defy you to be unmoved by it. Then, get down to the shops and invest in the products I recommend and you too can be a bronzed beauty, all summer long. Do it for Johnny!

And remember ladies…

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Sam x

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