Get the lowdown on how to look like a golden goddess this summer.
How to fake tan and the best self-tanners to buy now
Our resident tan enthusiast Gemma Colhaught gives her insider’s guide on how to master fake bake like a pro.
I have my mother’s British side of the family to thank for my freckly, pasty and prone to burning skin tone. Okay, let’s call it ‘English rose’ to be more polite.
I’ve been hitting the tanning bottle for well over 15 years now and to be completely honest with you; there have been a fair few mishaps along the way – think tangerine-tinged eyebrows and knees that looked as though I’d knelt in the mud. Neither the desired effect I was hoping for at the time, but beauty blunders that taught me the hard way of how to expertly fake a sun-kissed tan.
I’m all for embracing your natural skin colour. I encourage it –think of the time you’ll save. However, if like me you think you look slightly healthier and plan on hitting the pool this weekend, follow my lead to achieving a flawless, and most importantly, safe tan from the comfort of your bathroom.
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Think of exfoliating before fake tanning like sanding a wall before painting – it’s vital for getting that super smooth finish.
Take a long hot bath or shower to soften your pores before scrubbing down. Most grainy exfoliating scrubs tend to have oils in the formula, so steer well clear as any residue left on your skin will affect the tan’s adherence.
Instead, I can vouch for suitable scrubbing gloves with a dollop of creamy body wash. It will get the job done quicker, and you’ll be left with squeaky-clean skin. Finish with a slightly brutal hit of cold water in the shower to help close your pores.
Next, you’ll want to apply just a tiny amount of non-oil-based body lotion to any dry areas, which for me tends to be my knees, elbows, underarms and ankles. I also advise adding a slick of cream to the soles of your feet to avoid looking like you’ve stepped in turmeric.
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To avoid the dreaded tell-tale streaks that can occur with fake tan, I recommend using a tanning mitt and sweeping over your limbs in circular motions till blended – do so with a light touch, you can always add later.
Be especially careful with your feet. Do these and your hands last and gently rub over whatever product is leftover on the mitt.
If you want a hint of colour on your face, opt for a product especially formulated for this area. I love the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster –add a few drops to your normal serum or moisture, and remember to blend down your neck.
Fake tans now come in all formulas, but my favourite is a mousse as it tends to dry the quickest. For a more subtle and buildable bronze, try a gradual tan that you can apply every day as you would a regular body moisturiser.
Quick Tricks Of The Trade
• If you have fair or blonde brows, make sure that you run over with dampened cotton buds to remove excess product and avoid staining.
• Always blend lightly in-between your toes and fingers as any white patches will be a giveaway.
• Whatever your favoured de-fuzzing method, do all hair removal the day before at-home tanning for the best results.
• Sweating or applying deodorant can cause your tan to go streaky or patchy – remember to turn on your AC and wear dark PJs, so you don’t ruin your white bed sheets.