It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a fake tan addict. I’m not even ashamed I love it.
My lily white/ freckled skin has a very strict no tanning naturally policy and instead opts for a more let’s stay sun burnt and red for 3 weeks and then peel scenario.
Actually that’s a lie, I do tan, just in spots (otherwise known as freckles) and not in the cute few sprinkled across the nose business either, I’m talking hard core freckling. Like if freckling was an Olympic sport I would kick arse every time and wipe the floor with my opponents…. What can I say, its a gift.
In any kind of heat you will find me covered in sunscreen seeking shade, there’s simply no point in trying to tan. I even have sunscreen permanently in my car as my right driving arm gets a lot darker (freckled) then the left one.
I don’t hate my freckles, in fact they have significantly grown on me over the years. But I do think they look better with a slight tanned skin undertone. I also like the way my makeup looks when I am all tanned up. I find I wear less and what I do wear looks better.
Call it vein I’m cool with that, there’s nothing wrong with staying true to your lily white skin just like there is nothing wrong with wanting to add in some colour, both are fine. Its a personal choice and completely up to the individual.
Although Spring is technically here, weather wise here in Adelaide we are still trying to find our way, as my friend Beth from Almost Posh puts it, we get 1 Spring day allocation a week then it’s strictly back to Winter.
When Spring finally does decide to grace us with her presence it also brings with it a slight heat, a heat which generally makes us want to show a little more skin…
Enter fake tan.
Fake tan seems to scare people. I get it, I’ve had some pretty bad tanning experiences over the years but I pushed through and now have my routine down pat. I’ve shared my tanning tips and tricks before but to be honest it’s always an ever evolving list so in hopes of luring Spring weather, here are my tanning tips and tricks to see you through the season.
Always use a tanning mit, they are the bomb digity. They are great for lotions, oils, mousses, gradual tan and wash off bronzers. Its actually pretty hard to get streaks when you have a tanning mit, make them your bestie.
Put a light moisturiser on the notorious parts of your body brown to excess tan pigment. Places like elbows, hands, ankles & knees. I put on my moisturiser BEFORE I apply the fake tan. Only a small amount, for example a drop the size of a pea will do both ankles and knees. It seems weird but trust me it works.
I start with my back as its the hardest place to reach and if I do my arms first its just a blotchy mess. To apply to your whole back turn the mit around so the product is on the back of your hand/ mit and blend, blend, blend. Then move onto your feet and work your way up.
When applying to the trouble areas don’t actually put the tan directly on them, instead blend the surrounding tan with your tanning glove.
Knuckles are tricky, you basically have a choice. Either go over your hands when they lay out flat and have white creases when you bend your fingers or when applying make your hand into a claw shape and again spread the excess from the backs of your hands lightly over the knuckles. You do risk the dreaded tan build up with this method, but it’s a personal choice, white creases or run the risk of dark? I like to live dangerously and risk the dark. Make sure to do inbetween your fingers too… sparingly!
Go over any heavy tan build up with a cotton pad or cotton bud. I dye my hair blonde so when I tan my face the tan gets all through my hair line and turns it orange. I just wipe it over with a cotton pad and im generally good to go.
Everyone knows that exfoliation prior to tanning application is key. My exfoliation products of choice are an exfoliation glove and shower gel. If I need something a bit harsher to get rid of old tan build up ill use a specific exfoliation gel. Or if I am out of that I make up my own concoction of adding sugar to my normal shower gel… works great!
If you do have a faux tanning mishap there are things you can do to ease the pain and make it less obvious. Products like toothpaste, baking soda mixed with lemon juice and witch hazel are all items which will lighten your tan and hopefully smooth out those streaks and heavy handed tanned fauxpas.
The best way to stretch out all your hard work is to use a gradual tanning lotion instead of a normal body moisturiser from day 2 of your original tanning application. If the tan build up is getting a little strong ill alternate between a gradual moisturiser and a normal one… whatever you do just put something on daily!
Use a tanning water daily to keep up your face colour. The Eco tan face water is probably one of my favourite products for this. The best part is that it dries in minutes and you can then put on your usual skin care regime over the top. It’s like a micellar water in texture and you simply apply it with a cotton pad… Game changer I tell you!
Pat dry with a towel after the shower, don’t rub!
Your body prep before a tan is obviously crucial, but so is your immediate post tan choices. Your clothing options immediately after your tanning application can make or break your glorious tanned result. Opt for loose fitting dark clothing and don’t even think about putting on a bra. Go free and rejoice for at least an hour. This is why I always tan at night time before bed.
After you’ve applied your tan you may have some residue on the underside of your hands and fingers, gently wipe them over with a makeup wipe or wet face washer to clean up any mishaps.
Find the right concoction for you and your skin type. There are so many options out there these days and what works for me might not work for you. For example I have very dry skin so I prefer a lotion over a mousse as it nourishes as well as tans. Generally a lotion is harder to apply as most don’t have a colour guide so you will need to take a bit more care and be thorough.
If you have an event don’t be afraid to use a wash off bronzer to even things up and give your skin an added glow. Spray or spread it on and blend it into your skin with a clean tanning mit.
Its really not that hard guys, after a few applications you will find your way and be a self tanning guru!
Top tan picks
Wash off bronzer: La tan wash off bronzer
Are you a faux tanner, do you have any tips to add?