It’s no secret I’m a lover of fake tan, ever since my first spray tan for a beauty pageant when I was 13, I’ve been hooked. I have a very pale complexion – think Casper the ghost pale – and fake tan is sort of like my make up I guess, definitely my personal confidence booster.
It’s not uncommon to see beautifully bronzed models on Instagram and be envious of their lovely golden glow. Although there are a million and one ways of achieving this lovely glow, some of them aren’t as safe as others. For example sitting in the sun with no SPF on to catch a tan is probably the worst mistake you can make. Although you’ll look lovely and golden for a few weeks, its extremely damaging to your skin in the long run. Theres also sun beds, dont even get me started on these, in my eyes your just ruining your skin, the one thing you can’t really change about yourself – so why damage it? Therefore, fake tan, I believe is the most safest, not to mention quickest, way to fake tan.
Over the years I’ve had my fair share of tanning disasters, Oompa Loompa hands; Oompa Loompa face for that too, patchy tan, streaky tan, orange eyebrows, you name the disaster, I’ve probably been through it. But I’d like to think that me experiencing these, nightmares (not to exaggerate but waking up orange is my worst nightmare), means that other people won’t have to. So in this blog post I’ll be sharing my best ways to prep, apply and maintain a healthy looking glow.
Before I go onto the products I use, it’s so so important to prep your skin before hand, particularly if you want an even tan that will also last. The day before I’m scheduled to tan (yes it is scheduled), I have that bath, full body shave, exfoliate, scrub every last dead skin cell away and leave the bath feeling like a new woman – also important to use a nice rich moisturiser after to make sure your skin is as soft as possible. I normally reach for my vitamin E scrub, with a scrubbing mitt, then onto a Body Shop moisturiser.
A lot of people tend to shave/exfoliate the day/evening of when they tan. But I have always been told it is best to do this they day before, from the professionals, so this is what I go by and it always seems to work. The evening of the big event, I tend to jump in the shower, make sure my skin is clean, then apply a thin layer of light moisturiser. This is quite important because you want to put something on your skin that is absorbed quickly and isn’t too think – if you apply tan onto skin that has moisturiser on that hasn’t soaked in, chances are it won’t set.
Moving on to the exciting part. So, I’ve tried so many tanning products over the past few years, and if I’m completely honest most of them have served me well – the only ones that have never served me well, are gradual tanning moisturisers, I always steer well clear of these, unless I want to wake up looking like I’ve rolled in wotsits. After lots of trial and error I have found my 2 go to tans, I like to call one my pre student loan tan, and one my post student loan tan.
We’ll start with my pre student loan tan. Basically my cheaper option. If I don’t want to pick up a more expensive tan, I always go for the St Moritz dark tan, it is a brilliant dupe for Bondi sands tan – colour wise, its exactly the same. It’s brilliant for a quick fix dark tan, the only thing that I don’t majorly rate about the St Moritz is that it doesn’t seem to last that long on my skin – I’m still not entirely sure why this is, but for the price, its absolutely amazing.
Now moving onto my post student loan tan. Or, just the slightly more expensive tan. The Bondi Sands dark, or ultra dark – is my holy grail tan, it gives me the perfect colour, and lasts a long time. Being a gym bunny, this means I tend to shower twice a day, so finding a tan that doesn’t come off within a couple of days proved fairly difficult, but I have to say this one withstands the test.
When it comes to application of the tan, I always make sure I’m in a naturally well lit area, with a full length mirror. I’ve tried tanning without a mirror before (like some odd challenge) but it’s never ended well. I apply from my legs upwards in circular motions, doing my knees, elbows and ankles very lightly – these are the areas that tan tends to cling to, giving you the uneven look no one wants. Before I wait for my tan to dry, I just have a quick look in the mirror, do some weird body contortion moves just to make sure I’ve not missed any areas.
I’ll quickly touch upon my face, because no amount of tanning experience will ever give me the confidence to tan my face straight from the bottle. Therefore I use the St Tropez dark face tan, which comes out like a moisturiser, and I personally find so much easier to apply to my face. I just squeeze a pea size amount onto my hand, then apply to my face in circular motions. I find this gives me the perfect sun kissed look on my face, looking like I’ve spent the week on Morocco, shock, I haven’t.
Now onto the bit that took me ages to perfect which is maintaining my tan. Having a tan that lasts, is partly down to the quality of the tan you get, you get what you pay for. I’ve found the more expensive the tan, the longer it tends to last. But along the way I’ve found some little tips that really do help maintain your tan. Moisturiser is you best friend. Every time you get out the shower, moisturise like theres no tomorrow – not only will it make your skin silky smooth, but I’ve also found that it really does help your tan last, and will really help to prevent your tan going patchy, that tiger bread look isn’t a good look on anyone. Also, when leaving the shower, pat yourself dry with the towel. This is something I always have to remind myself because I tend to just use a towel like any normal person, but after taking a little bit more time to just pat yourself dry, this will prevent your tan being scrubbed off.
Hope you have enjoyed this little tanning guide and some of my top tips. If you’re new to fake tanning, I hate to be the barer of bad news but you probably aren’t going to be a fake tan whizz over night. It will take some practice, a couple of patchy jobs, and maybe one morning waking up looking like an Oompa Loompa – but practice makes perfect! If you’re a fake tan addict like myself, what are your favourite tanning products that you would recommend?!
All my love,