The temperature is rising here in England but so is the pollen count! I always find sitting in the sun to be a nightmare because my hay-fever gets so bad (or I just get really bored) so that’s why I rely on fake tanning so my skin has that bronzed summer glow. If you don’t have time – or just don’t want to – sit in the sun and get a natural tan, fake tan is your best bet!
Sometimes application can be tricky but if the right steps are taken, then you can fast get the look you want to achieve. Today I’m sharing just a few tips that I’ve experienced work first hand.
Prepare your skin
Make sure skin is clean and moisturised before applying fake tan!
Exfoliating the dead skin off before you go in with a razor means you’ll get a closer shave and feel 10x more smoother. I’d recommend shaving a day before tan application, This way your skin won’t be too sensitised and reactive to the tanning formulation and also so you don’t end up with little brown spots where tan has gathered around hair follicles!
Rinse off with cold water and then moisturise and you’re skin will be fully prepped for application.
I’ve never been one to fake tan my face so I usually just skip that part. I find that with washing and exfoliating my face each day as well as constantly removing makeup that it’s just destined to be a big patchy mess!
Some tan formulas can contain harsh chemicals that can cause breakouts and clogged pores, so avoid if you have sensitive skin.
Instead I leave my face bare and use a foundation shade which is dark enough to match the tan on my neck and chest area – my go to is the Revolution Foundation Stick in F5 or the Maybelline Superstay 24hr Foundation in Nude Beige if i need more coverage. Both of the drugstore foundations are relatively cheap – especially Makeup Revs which is £5!! – so I don’t mind stocking up extra shades depending on how dark I want my tan.
However, if you are wanting a natural tan on your face when wearing no makeup then use a separate product designed for the face. I’d recommend the Garnier self tan face mist which leaves a natural glow on your skin. It also helps to rub an ice cube over your face before application to make sure them pores are closed.
Choose the right tan
A lot of people steer clear from self tanning to avoid the ‘fake bake’ orange streaks we see online. Choosing the right tan formula can make or break your end result so it’s important to do your research.
My current favourite tan formula is by Bondi Sands, which is green based to counteract any orange tint and develop into a natural dark tan. For ease, I use the 1-hour express tan, but if I want it really dark then I will leave it on overnight. Other tried and tested tanning brands are Skinny Tan, Loving Tan and Isle of Paradise.
If you have a naturally pale skin tone, don’t go for the darkest shade! First try out a lighter/medium shade and see how that looks before you go darker and end up looking like an oompa-loompa..
If you’re wanting to achieve a darker look opt for light layering over piling the stuff on.
Put one layer of tan on, wait 30 to 40 minutes and then put a second layer on and if you like, do the same with a third layer. This method prevents buildup and the result will be a smooth and even tan that doesn’t look patchy in areas.
However, try to avoid layering tan on top of old tan.. your 7 day old tan may be fading and be getting slightly textured as it comes off, so layering more tan on top if just going to highlight these areas even more and look a hot mess.
Just like you wouldn’t layer foundation over what the layer you have had on all day!
There’s nothing worse than waiting for 6+ hours and then watching all the tan wash down the drain! Make sure you are showering using cold (or luke-warm) water – especially during the initial rinse off to ensure all the tan stays on your skin.
Hot water is opening all the pores on your body and gives a deeper cleanse, meaning all the stain if being washed away and you’re time has been wasted. Showering with cold water will keep them pores closed and leave the stain on your skin for longer.
Elbows, knees and the heels of your foot can be a patchy, dry nightmare when you’re tanning! Make the look a little more subtle by mixing a small amount of moisturiser in with an even smaller amount of tan and rubbing it in these areas for a seamless finish!
As for your hands and feet, leave them parts until last and quickly wipe whatever is left over on your mitt over these areas – not forgetting in between your fingers and the sides of your hands!
If you have short arms like me you may struggle to reach your back! Grab somebody else to do it for you or invest in a nifty little back applicator to give you a helping hand.
Got your own fake tan tips? Let me know in the comments!