How To Fake Tan In Six Easy Steps
The hand-blending step is everything.
Everyone loves looking that little bit more bronzed in summer, but sometimes trying to fake a sun-kissed glow at home can be hard.
From orange elbows to the tell tale fake tan hands, DIY-ing a salon-worthy tan can take some practice. But, if you have a love/hate relationship with fake tan, then we’re here to help. Because faking your glow doesn’t have to be tricky, and we’ve found the fool-proof formula for applying fake time perfectly e’rrytime.
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Step one: It’s all in the prep
Yep, you heard us – don’t skip the prep if you want a foolproof fake tan. Start the evening before you tan by shaving and exfoliating with an in-shower scrub or dry body brush. This will not only slough away any dry skin (fake tan loves to cling to dry patches so it’s important to buff these away) exfoliating will boost your blood circulation meaning your skin looks more glowy and radiant too. Combine that with a tan and you’re onto a winner.
Aromatherapy Associates Dry Body Brush, £15.
Step two: Moisturise key areas
Just before tanning, you don’t want to apply moisturiser all over as it’ll act like a barrier and won’t let the tan penetrate through to your skin properly… (Skip this step? Welcome to the fast-track highway to streaks!) However, you DO want to moisturise key areas, in order to stop too much tan developing in these patches.
Use a fragrance, oil-free moisturiser on your elbows, all over your hands and feet, around your ankles and on your knees. These areas are notorious for clinging onto too much tan – so by moisturising them beforehand, you’re slightly diluting the tan in these areas. Trust us: it’s a winner every time.
St Tropez, Tan Enhancing Moisturiser, £10.
Step three: Use a mitt
Never – we repeat never - fake tan without a mitt. They not only protect your hands from turning oompa-loompa, but they smooth on the tan seamlessly, meaning you’re less likely to get streaks.
Soltan Beautiful Bronze Self-Tan Applicator Mitt, £3.99.
Step four: Start at your feet
If you’re doing a full body fake tan, start at your feet and ankles and work up towards your stomach and chest. Apply the tan first in long sweeping motions, before buffing it in in circular movements.
This will ensure you don’t miss any areas and are fully covered.
Step five: Leave your arms ‘til last
Because you’re using your arms to apply the fake tan, leave them until last – otherwise you’ll feel sticky and uncomfortable whilst rubbing in the rest of the tan. Once you’ve tanned your arms, make a claw shape with your hand and sweep any excess tan off the mitt over your hands and fingers.
Step six: Blend your hands
To fully ensure your mitts don’t give the game away, apply a tiny amount of moisturiser or hand cream all over your hands again after you’ve tanned them. This will make sure no amount of tan will cling to any areas – and fade out the tan seamlessly around your knuckles.
Then, all you need to do is put on your baggiest, darkest pyjamas and snooze away the next 4-6 hours before washing off in the morning! For a long-lasting tan, don’t use any oil-based products for the next week – and instead, hydrate your skin daily with an oil free moisturiser instead. Go forth and glow!
- Words by Chloe Burcham.