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?