How to: Fake Tan

For those of you who keep regularly updated I am sure you realise I was on holiday in Barcelona a week ago. I did come back with a {sort of} tan but, compared to my two best friends (who I just so happen to live with), I am as pale as snow so I will, in preparation for my return to University, be slapping on the fake tan.

It wasn’t until my step-sister complained to me about her patchy fake tan that I realised I have actually become, if I do say so myself, quite good at fake tanning. I’m not a fan of the fake look, the sort of thing sported on TOWIE is really not what I go for, I prefer my tan to look natural so here’s a mini tutorial on how to fake tan and keep it beautiful.

Step One

The key thing to remember with fake tan is that putting colour on your skin is like applying a very unflattering light. It may make you look sun kissed and beautiful but fake tan is an expert at showing any imperfections on your skin, so if you want it to go well start with an exfoliator. Pick up a self-tan kit with all the products included from boots (1).

I personally use Soap & Glory ‘Flake Away’ on a weekly basis anyway as it’s a reasonably priced exfoliant that makes my skin unbelievably smooth. Apply to any area that has lumps or bumps you don’t like.

Use a separate exfoliant for your face, I have learnt that body exfoliants tend to be a bit too harsh on my face and can leave me looking a little flushed. Something like Simple Exfoliating Scrub, which is super cheap, is enough to do the job.

Step Two

Moisturise. This step is crucial, I have forgotten to exfoliate before and gotten away with but moisturising is so essential as the fake tan tends to gather on dry patches (that you may not have even realised existed!) leaving you looking patchy, particularly on your face.

I use Clinique ‘Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion’, if you have a look at my Top 5 Beauty Must Haves all my favourite products are mentioned there. It is a tad pricey but for a facial moisturiser it is amazing. 

For my body I use San-tropez moisturising lotion. It’s water based so it’s more of a liquid than a cream which I find easier on my skin.

Moisturise regularly anyway, even the best skin needs a helping hand sometimes, but make sure if you plan to fake tan to moisturise thoroughly the day before.

Step Three

Go for it. Once you have prepped your skin, your ready to tan so here comes the hard part. I personally would always recommend a mousse, I have never been successful with anything else; lotions, sprays, wipes. In the picture insert I have shown on the left the items to buy if you want to splurge and the left the items to buy if you’re strapped of cash. I have tried and tested very single one at one time or another so I can vouch these are genuine.

TAN CHANGING FACT: Use a tanning mitt! I can’t stress how much of a difference it will make to how even your tan is and it totally keeps your hands from being super orange. 


(4) San-Tropez £30.69 is not easy on the purse strings but it is very easy to say it is the best fake tan I have ever used. With an even coat, that you can see going on so is incredibly difficult to streak, that lasts much long than any other it is worth the cash.

(5) St. Moriz £2.99 makes it difficult to say no to. This is my regular fake tan. Gives an even coat and, much like San Tropez, you can see it being applied so streaking is rare. The only downside is you need 2 coats to every 1 coat that you would of San Tropez and it doesn’t quite last as long, however considering you can buy 10 bottles for every one bottle of San Tropez it isn’t a bad deal.

Daily Tinted Moisturiser:

I use this to top up the base tan (mousse) every day, so when it fades I still have a sun-kissed look and putting another coat on won’t make me look too silly. Plus when I can’t be bothered to have a full on tan session, moisturising lotion is a great substitute.

(2) Johnsons Holiday Skin Body Lotion £5.10 isn’t a bad price considering the product it gives you. Apply with a mitt like your normal tan (and your body moisturiser) and let it develop overnight. Does not need to be washed off.

(3) Garnier Summer Body £2.53. This is literally identical to the above product but for half the price. I have never seen a difference between the two so try them out and see which works best on your skin!

Instant Tanner:

This is just for topping up on nights out. Sometimes if I plan to go out in a short dress I want my legs to look a bit darker than what my normal fake tan gives me, which is where instant tanner comes in. Again remember to use your mitt, this stuff is lethal on hands.

(6) Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Instant Tan £9.99 is the best instant tan I have come across. I can’t afford £9.99 for as often as I buy it but as one off splurge, it is worth the cash.

(7) Sun Shimmer Instant Tan [Matte] £3.99 is the instant I use most often. For such a small price you get an easy to apply, no streak instant tan.

As you can probably tell I fake tan quite a lot. I do focus on making it look natural and not too dark, especially seeing as I’m very very blonde. I am writing an article for The Lookhit on The Fake Tan Debate, whether it’s good or bad, what would you say? Is tinted skin worth all the hassle and cost that fake tanning brings? Or can you not put down your tanning mitt long enough to answer? Let me know if you’re for or against this craze.

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