Beauty How To: Flawless Fake Tan

If you’re anything like me, you weren’t in Brazil or Thailand during the winter. You were in a very non tropical post-code, covering your milky complexion under things like leggings, coats, and a bright pink dressing gown (with matching slippers) and (no, that’s not a joke).

However I prefer to challenge that reality come summer, and here at BWA, we’ve put together the ultimate fake tanning guide to ensure that you’ve got the tips, tricks, and knowledge to rock a truly flawless fake tan this summer.

First, pick your fake tan. Le Tan’s Fast Tan range is amazing for many reasons. They have mousses, sprays, crèmes, and have now just released one specifically for faces ($7.99). Mousses have a reputation as absorbing the fastest and thus being the best, however, the choice is entirely yours. I use Le Tan’s Fast Tan Mousse in Deep Bronze ($12.99): it’s instant, light, and is tinted so I can see where I’ve applied it. It also doesn’t smell too strong, and gives me a realistic colour after just one layer. Head to Letan.com.au for more info and their entire range.

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse is another great option, and is hailed by beauty experts around the globe. A little more pricey ($65.95 for 240mls), this baby dries in 60 seconds, is infused with Aloe Vera, and is more brown based as opposed to caramel based.

As for the actual method of application, consider investing in latex free plastic gloves instead of using your bare hands. Or…invest in an applicator mitt ($10.95, Saint Tropez). Its water resistant barrier ensures fingers remain unstained and claims to provide you with a flawless finish.  Check out the full range here.

Now, for the important part:

1. Exfoliate in shower: This is crucial to ensure a flawless finish, as it gets rid of the dead skin cells and provides an even canvas for the tan to be applied to. This can either be done right before you tan or the day before. We love Model Co Tan Prep Body Polish, $24.

2. Shave: We all know hairy limbs can detract from the Brazilian Goddess look you were going for. However, be extra cautious not to nick yourself to avoid being stung into a state of swearing, and to avoid infection.

3. Apply moisturiser only on the DRY spots of your body. Elbows, knees, armpits, ankles, feet, and hands soak up fake tan like a sponge, and the result is doomed for streaksville. You also may want to apply some to your bellybutton, and any stretch marks of scars you may have. Many people moisture their whole body, however, fake tan is best applied to oil free, clean and dry skin. This allows it to sink in much more and will stay on for longer.

4. APPLY GLOVES OR TANNING MITT. Work from your feet upwards, doing your arms last of all. This lessens the risk of smudging, as your arms are the limbs that are doing all the work. Makeup artist Rachel Wood suggests that you ‘really get between your toes and round the back of the ankles, and across the ears and under the armpits, as that’s where it really shows up as fake’. Note: why moisturising these extra dry areas is super important.

5. After your body is bronzed and beautiful, remove the mitt or your gloves and apply moisturiser to your hands, concentrating on knuckles, sides of the hands, wrists, and nails. Dot some fake tan on the back of one hand, and rub in with your other (exposed) hand. Get between the fingers, and don’t forget the side of the thumb. Repeat with other hand.

6. Carefully rub a tissue or dark coloured towel over your palms, and most of the tanner should come off (as it was sitting on top of the moisturiser). This is also when sweaty palms are a slight blessing. Note: in my opinion, its fine to have lightly tanned palms as this makes it look more real. The issue arises when your hands are more tanned than everywhere else.

7. Look at your body. If you see mistakes or darker patches, now is the time to fix them. Lightly dab some nail polish remover or lemon juice onto a cotton pad and press the darker area – do not wipe.

8. Avoid dressing until you’re dry. This is often not possible for the multi-tasker, but is very key to having an even tan. Avoid showers, swimming, sweat, white clothing, and anything else that doesn’t need a tan (like your grandmother’s antique cream chair).

In the following days:

Prolong your tan with moisturiser, add to it, or get the best of both worlds and invest in Model Co’s Tan Extender, $24. Promising to add a light tan and moisturise, this product also claims to improve the skins tone and texture, and also has a summery, fruity smell. Shop the entire ModelCo range here.

If you plan to fake tan your face, it’s important to follow these tips too:

1. Before applying the tanner, put some moisturiser or Vaseline on your eyebrows to stop it staining them. Orange eyebrows don’t equate to sexy, summer goddess.

2. Blend the tanner right into the hairline and underneath the jaw line, just like foundation. Women with lighter hair should wipe their hair afterwards to avoid staining.

And always remember: if you simply don’t have the time or energy to DIY, but your heart yearns for a fake tan, a professional spray tan is always just a booking away!

What do you think of these tips? Do you have others you’d like to share?

Image: EnvySprayTanning 

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68 Comments

  • Reply Alisa Wilson Friday 24th June, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Hello….. Am glad to read and awesome post. it’s really useful tips and thanks for sharing.

  • Reply T1NA Sunday 1st July, 2012 at 9:44 am

    good tips to for newbie tanners like me!

  • Reply grainne11 Thursday 2nd February, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    love vani-t spray tans

  • Reply Xiaxiao Monday 2nd January, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Great tips or I could just move to brazil xD

  • Fashionis_blows
    Reply Fashionis_blows Thursday 29th December, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Cool tips:)

  • Reply SimoneB Thursday 15th December, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Great Tips 🙂 I’m a big believer in “Fake it Don’t Bake it” – I’ll give the Le Tan Mousse a try on my milky white complexion…

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  • Reply holly vals Tuesday 8th November, 2011 at 10:13 am

    i need this!

  • Reply Ali.S Friday 7th October, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Thank you, I appreciate your comprehensive directions and will follow these instructions diligently as first time fake tanner.

  • Reply chocolatelace Wednesday 5th October, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    st tropez is the bomb!

  • Reply kittydoll Tuesday 4th October, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    really great tips!

  • Reply melissacicero Tuesday 4th October, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I love st Tropez been using it for years!

  • lexandthecity
    Reply lexandthecity Tuesday 4th October, 2011 at 8:43 am

    le tan in a can is also amazing.

  • Reply leighbonello Monday 3rd October, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for the helpful tips.

  • violetflower61230
    Reply violetflower61230 Monday 3rd October, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    great tips

  • Reply tessarella Monday 3rd October, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    great article, thanks for the tips

  • Reply locapez Monday 3rd October, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve never used face tan before but might give it a go this summer

  • Reply diamond0901 Sunday 2nd October, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Great

  • Reply piccolanippy Sunday 2nd October, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I have a bottle of fake tan but haven’t used it yet so thanks for the tips

  • Reply buonarrotischisel Sunday 2nd October, 2011 at 11:14 am

    eww fake tan!

  • lovethoseshoes
    Reply lovethoseshoes Saturday 1st October, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    great tips for summer 😀 I really want that perfect natural looking tan

  • Reply mmariahhlee Friday 30th September, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    the only healthy tan is a fake tan. 🙂

  • Sofia
    Reply Sofia Friday 30th September, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    What’s the best way to get it off quickly?

  • Reply Narao10 Friday 30th September, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Informative article.Thanks for the tips!!

  • Reply thugsy Friday 30th September, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    🙂
    🙂

  • Reply bardie Friday 30th September, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    perfect 🙂

  • Reply jarjar Friday 30th September, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    cool

  • Reply ellyloves Friday 30th September, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Super excited that summer is here!!

  • Reply doogs Friday 30th September, 2011 at 8:01 am

    bring on summer

  • Reply COLLEEN Friday 30th September, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply vonisntflexi Friday 30th September, 2011 at 1:17 am

    just in time for summer! thanks for the tips:)

  • jessielee
    Reply jessielee Friday 30th September, 2011 at 12:29 am

    thankyou for the tips! i also like to use the mousse 🙂

  • chuu_sxy18
    Reply chuu_sxy18 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Good tips.

  • Reply mummo13 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Great tips and in time for Summer.

  • Reply DuckieBox Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    i heard the dove gradual tanning lotion is really good too!

  • sbooth29
    Reply sbooth29 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    i prefer the moouse

  • jennika
    Reply jennika Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    i adore st. tropez! their products are a little bit pricy, but well worth the investment! at the moment i’m using the gradual tanning moisturiser in medium/dark x

  • Reply fizzybubbles Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    really good tips, also just popped over to st. tropez link…didn’t realise they had such a range. thanks.

  • sumaya
    Reply sumaya Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Great products and tips, thanks heaps 🙂

  • Reply dancenow13 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Perfect article for summer! I LOVE the Le Tan mousse, one of the best tans I’ve tried!

  • Reply ECG Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Good tips!

  • Reply jenniekellett Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Great tips! I’m awful at applying fake tan!

  • Reply grainne11 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    For spray tans, Vani-T is the best. It looks so natural and is organic full of vitamins to nourish your skin

  • Myra
    Reply myra00 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I’m so pale, I think I might need to try some fake tan this summer, great tips!

  • Reply carolyna1960 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Great tips and I’ll be recommending some to my friends – especially the latex free gloves! thanks >^..^<

  • hausoftina
    Reply hausoftina Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t think I’ll need them though – I’m already naturally tanned.

  • Reply Tessa Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Perfect timing!!

  • Reply Whatthe Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve just bought some of the ModelCo Tan Remover – think I’m gonna need it in the next few months!

  • Reply pearl06 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Great tips!

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I prefer the Mousse tan as it seems togo on smoother and not streak. Great advise in the article

  • Reply hellohola Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    perfect for summer!

  • Reply Razia108 Thursday 29th September, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Some really helpful tips just in time for the warmer months! Thanks 🙂

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