My ultimate guide to the perfect fake tan

Hello to all of my lovely blog followers!

As we look ahead to winter, my attention has turned to tanning. I’ve been fake tanning for a fair few years now and although I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I’ve come a long old way since the days of orange hands and dodgy streaks. Here are my essential rules to follow for a tip-top tan:

Don’t forget to scrub-a-dub-dub

If you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail. This motto isn’t only relevant for exams and interviews, it is also crucial for the art of fake tanning. To get that flawless glow you need to designate some time for prepping. First of all, I ensure I’ve exfoliated my full body. I either use a scrub – I’m currently using a Clarins one. A humble exfoliating glove is a thifty alternative though and it does do the job well.

Always add a moisture injection

The next (very vital) step is making sure your skin is moisturised enough before you tan. An oil-free moisturiser like this one from Fake Bake is perfect, but if that’s not to hand I will use my trusty Nivea lotion. I mainly apply to my knees, ankles and elbows, but also anywhere else that I feel a bit dry or think the tan might cling. Give the moisturiser a few minutes to sink in and then move on to the next step…

Use double protection

I always use latex gloves AND a tanning mitt – double protection from those horrid orange hands. Also, investing in a good mitt is the key to a flawless application – the cheapo ones don’t really blend that well.


Choose the right tanning type

Tanning choices can seem like a minefield – there’s mousse, lotion, spray, gel and now even drops. Knowing which one works best for you will be a case of trial and error (sorry). I’ve found the mousse-like textures to be the most effective for me as they are easy to blend. Sprays annoy me because they go EVERYWHERE and gels are sometimes too thick. I think lotions are best for gradual tans (which I do also use) and I still, despite many attempts, haven’t mastered tanning drops. At the moment, I’m obsessed with this mousse from Isle of Paradise. The tan looks soooo natural.

Master your stroke

Now, the application. I always start at the bottom and work my way up (no, not my actual bottom – the bottom meaning my feet). I apply a blob of mousse to my mitt and rub in using sweeping motions. I prefer this technique to circular motions as I feel like that can sometimes rub the tan back off again. Once I’ve applied to the whole of my body (minus certain, ahem, parts) I go back over and check for any streaks/missed bits.

Tackle the tricky bits

Badly tanned feet and hands are always the biggest giveaway, so it’s important that you pay attention to these areas. I only lightly dust my feet and hands with my tanning mitt and then at the end I take some more moisturiser and apply to these areas. Don’t miss this step, it’s soooooo important.

Keep it loose

Every fibre in your body will be telling you to get dressed straight away – standing in the nude waiting for tan to dry just isn’t fun. But when you do put some clothes on, make sure they are loose so that your tan doesn’t stick in dodgy places.

Remember the upkeep

I usually leave my tan on overnight (even if the bottle says 2-3hours) and then I rinse off the next day. I do find that it does need two showers to get rid of the tell-tale tan smell though. For the next week after tanning, I moisturise religiously each day to prolong the bronze!


The perfect quick fix

If this tanning timeline doesn’t fit in with your last minute date plans, don’t worry – there is a quicker alternative. Instant tans are ideal for a five minute transformation. I’d recommend Body Blur by Vita Liberata. It’s more than just an instant bronzer – the magic formula works like make-up, disguising any imperfections. I can’t live without this stuff!

And there you have it – the golden rules for a flawless tan.

R x

5 Replies to “My ultimate guide to the perfect fake tan”

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