Achieving perfect, natural looking fake tan is always the goal, right? Trust me, I’ve had far my fair share of fake tan disasters. Orange hands, huge white streaks, the dreaded cling from the previous weeks fake tan – I’ve been there. After wearing it for quite a few years now I’ve found the best techniques for application, products that work well and a fake tanning routine that delivers the natural fake tan look.
The tanning essentials
When it comes to fake tanning these are the things I tend to use as part of my routine…
- A fake tan mit/ old sock (I will explain later)
- Your fake tan of choice
- Exfoliating gloves/ exfoliating body brush
- Body butter / body moisturiser
- Body scrub
THE STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO PERFECT, NATURAL FAKE TAN
Before fake tan goes anywhere near my body I always make sure to prep. I tend to do this the morning that I’m due to apply my tan that evening. I start off by making sure I remove as many dead skin cells as possible with a body brush and a good body scrub. At the moment I have been loving the Hempz Pomegranate Body Scrub*, this is enriched with hemp seed oil so it removes any dead skin whilst leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated – love love love this stuff! Another favourite is the Soap and Glory Breakfast Smoothie Scrub, it smells amazing and really does get rid of any flaky/ dry skin.
After exfoliating I move on to moisturising, I love using a rich body butter at this point or something that’s really good for dry skin. To be completely honest I don’t have a favourite. I tend to try out new ones quite a lot, but anything moisturising is key.
I will usually exfoliate three times a week to keep on top of removing old fake tan and then moisturise every day, doing this stops the fake tan coming off awkwardly helping it stay fresh.
Tanning favourites and application
Onto actually fake tanning, there are so many different types of fake tan you can buy and I’ve tried pretty much all of them. I love using gradual tanner when it comes to the summer months, my favourite is Dove Summer Glow in the medium/ dark shade. The only issue I find with gradual tanner is not being able to see where you put the product, there’s always that risk of waking up to find that one white streak you missed! I still follow the same exfoliating and moisturising process mentioned above when using gradual tanner.
At the moment I’ve been using the St Moritz Mousse tan for a more intense look. I have tried St Tropez but found this to be just as good, if not better! This is an instant tan that develops on the skin in around 5-10 hours and it also has a guide tan so perfect for beginners as you can see exactly where you have applied the product. I usually apply this in the evening and then shower it off the next morning, admittedly this doesn’t smell great when it has just been applied, but once showered the typical tan smell has pretty much gone. I always go for medium and that leaves me with a really natural looking tan, not at all orange or overly tanned.
I always think someones hands are the biggest giveaway as to whether they’re wearing fake tan or not. I’ve been that person with brown arms and white hands before – it ain’t a good look. I’ve found the best way to do my hands is to wear a disposable glove, you can pick up a pack of 100 for around £1 and then the tan never sinks through the applicator onto my hands. After applying the tan to my whole body I can then go back to the hands and apply a small amount so it blends more naturally.
When applying a mousse tan I used to use a tanning mit but found they never fit well and not only make it difficult to actually blend the tan in but it would just absorb all the product and make a mess. Now, I just use a sock! Not only does it mean I can blend the tan in seamlessly but it’s cheaper and far easier and I can just throw it in the wash afterwards. When it comes to applying a gradual tanner I just wash my hands after applying it and then apply a drop on the back of my hand and rub the backs of my hands together and blend down my arms.
I apply fake tan usually 3 times a week just after I have exfoliated and I’ve found this to work well for me. I don’t actually tan my face at the moment and just use makeup so my skin matches the same colour as my neck.
For a quick fix
When I need to be tanned and don’t have the time to wait for gradual tanner or the St Mortiz tan to develop there are a few products I turn to. The Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Express Tan is my go to for when I’m in a rush, this is double the price of the St Mortiz tan however it smells amazing and it does give an even more intense tan, it also has a guide colour but develops in just 1 hour! Another favourite is the Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Butter Sun Kissed Tint, if you’re going on holiday and want to add a glow to your complexsion aswel as a tan then this is perfect. It has more of a red undertone so looks incredibly natural, also perfect if your have dry skin as it’s moisturising too. Although this does wash off straight away, so if you know you’re going to be near water I would give this a miss as it will start coming off.
SHOP THE ESSENTIALS/ MY TANNING FAVOURITES
1) Don’t forget to go around your ankles and feet with the tan
2) Try and apply tan in natural day light or good lighting if possible
3) Keep your skin hydrated
4) If you shave your legs don’t apply fake tan straight after doing this as it will settle into where the hairs were
5) Whatever you do, don’t tan the palms of your hands…
If you are a fake tan wearer I would love to know your favourite products and tips for the perfect tan…