In this sh*te weather in the UK (people still dare to call Summer! Pffft!), it’s not like we have a choice but to reach for fake tan, if we want that perfect summer glow that makes us look healthy and makes us look like we’re one of the lucky ones that got away from this crap weather.
But of course you need to be careful to not end up looking orange! I mean, HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU FIND A MATCHING FOUNDATION TO ORANGE, RIGHT? ;)
If you know how to do it, you won’t have to shell out a lot of dollar and won’t have to touch up your fake tan for a good week.
The Right Stuff
I really like St Moritz’s fake tan. It retails at like £3 a bottle at Boots and comes in a lot of varieties to suit our different preferences: spray/mist, mousse or lotion. My weapons of choice for any fake tan are the spray/mist or mousse versions – I just can’t make lotion to work on me for some reason.
Prepping is Key
The most important step of prepping your skin before you apply fake tan is exfoliating. I exfoliate my body twice before I apply fake tan. This way I make sure that ALL dead cells are gone and my tan won’t turn patchy within days. It’s a bit of a hassle to do this, but it’s well worth it – in the end, it doesn’t take so much longer to give your body and face a good scrub and it makes your tan last a lot longer.
I either use exfoliating gloves, which cost like £1 from Primark, or a grainy body scrub. If you do it twice, a cheap scrub will do the trick. Or you can mix sugar into your shower gel – that works too, but be careful if you have really sensitive skin. If you only exfoliate once, definitely go for the gloves – they work magic!
To avoid your tan to go patchy, moisturizing is really the 2nd key. Once I’m done with exfoliating, I apply generous amounts of moisturizer (E45 Endless Moisture Body Lotion) on any areas of my skin that are dry: hands, feet, ankles, front & backs of my knees, my elbows, armpits and neck. If you’ve ever had patchy fake tan before – apply moisturizer where it was patchy as well. And let the moisturizer sink into your skin properly.
Applying It Right
Unless you have lemon juice lying about that can help you remove the fake tan, don’t use your hands to apply fake tan. Use mitts. You can get cheap ones from Primark, Boots and the like. And, rather than applying directly onto your skin, apply your product onto your mitt first and then onto your skin. The application is a lot easier and more even from the mitt. This way you can control the intensity of fake tan a lot better.
To ensure an even coverage and tone of your product apply in circular motions. I start at my calves and my feet, covering my ankles and the top & sides of my feet. Then my knees, making sure I cover both front and back. I do all of this in front of a mirror in a well-lit area to see that I’m getting the same colour everywhere. Working my way up, I do my thighs, bum, torso (get your (boy)friend to do your back!) and armpits, and my arms and hands, making sure I’m careful to not get my hands too dark.
Finally I do my neck and then my face – here you gotta be REALLY CAREFUL to not use too much fake tan or it will just look too dark. Rather use the ‘left-overs’ in the mitt and press onto the skin a bit stronger – it will still apply tan, but not as strongly, which looks more natural.
Now let it fully dry. Dancing to crazy music helps ;)
Keeping It Going
The key to stop your fake tan from going ‘off’ is regular moisturizing and not to use scrubs until you want to get rid off your tan. Every day, moisturize – especially the areas that you already moisturized before tanning.
If your tan is slowly fading, you could use a gradual-tan moisturizer. Soltan do those for example – it’s part of their Protect & Tan range. This way you ‘top up’ your fake tan, but not by too much. Don’t ‘top up’ your fake tan with more fake tan – this is probably where most people who end up looking Tango’ed go wrong – you WILL end up looking orange.
This way you should have a lovely healthy tan for a good week before you even need to consider reaching for your bottle of fake tan again!
What are your tricks to get a natural looking summery glowing tan? Share your tips below! Or if you decide to give this a go, do let me know what you think!