How I Fake Tan
I get a heap of messages geared around how I fake tan so I thought it might be handy for me to put together a post full of tips, tricks and (hopefully) answers to your questions in one place. Fake tanning can be pretty darn daunting if you’ve not tried it before & no-one wants to dive in, only to be left resembling David Dickinson slathered in gravy so I’m here to help.
I’m naturally very, very pale (no exaggerating here, my legs make snowmen look exotic) and sadly I just can’t pull off the English Rose vibe. I tend to just have my mum asking if I’m feeling OK while wearing a concerned expression. I need a bit of colour; it suits my body, I feel like my clothes look better and it puts me in a good mood. A bit silly? Maybe. But I’m a big believer in doing what we can to make ourselves feel good so here we are!
- I always tan at night. I know lots of people worry about it ruining bed sheets but I don’t know a tan which doesn’t come out of bedding after being lobbed in the washing machine. To limit any possible staining, I wear loose fitting clothing (a long sleeved top/shirt and harem pants) to bed and they tend to prevent any major mess.
- I have a shower and exfoliate (lots of people exfoliate the day before instead) using exfoliating gloves from Boots or Wilkos. They cost between £1-£3, feel a bit brillo-pad-y & you can re-use them repeatedly. They’re great for rubbing patchy areas off further down the line.
- If you’re hot on your moisturising post shower, hold off the night you’re tanning. It won’t cling to your skin as well. I’d also recommend shaving the day before so none of the colour gets stuck in ya hair beds.
- I can’t recommend James Read tan enough. I order mine online (the mousse, I prefer a mousse) and it’s the most natural colour I’ve found. Vita Liberata is my go-to for instant wash off tan so if I haven’t had time to do the process properly, I use this day to day (they sell this in Boots)
- While we’re on the subject, wash off IS good if you just want a quick and easy pick me up in the morning/for a night out because you’re ready to go there and then, but the colour’s never quite as good AND if you get water on it, you’re in a pickle. Go out in the rain and expect to resemble a speckled egg.
- You can use mousse, spray or lotion. I prefer a mousse as they tend to show the colour as you’re putting it on (so you’re not wondering where on earth you’ve covered) and I find it doesn’t smear as much. Lotion’s not bad but I find it can get a bit streaky or you have to resist the urge not to rub it in. Not a fan of sprays.
- I don’t fake tan my nipples because I’ve definitely done that before and it definitely left Milo looking like he’d landed face first in to cow dung. I also make sure any co-sleeping children are wearing long sleeved clothes on the night I’m tanning.
- Don’t be afraid about starting off small. I very rarely tan my whole body because it’s just not needed. I tend to do my arms, décolletage, neck and face because it’s what on show and I’ll only do my legs, tummy, bum etc if I’m planning on wearing something slinky. Greg’s used to it now, he knows I’m a walking patchwork.
- You can buy a tanning mitt (St Tropez do a good one) from Boots and I’d recommend wearing a latex glove/a sock underneath too because they very often leak.
- Get someone else to do your back.
- Don’t panic about streaks. The overall coverage tends to look a lot more natural once you’ve had that first shower. Make sure you do shower otherwise you’ll be VERY tanned and smell like crispy biscuits.
- When you dry yourself, pat rather than rub.
- Don’t worry if you look insane when you first put the tan on. That’s not the colour you’re going to be. I always look a bit grey/brown/green when I first apply it and then by the morning I’m a normal colour.
- Try not to get hung up on it looking perfect. I don’t know anyone who can fake tan at home and not get the odd streak or smudge somewhere but genuinely, you’ll notice it more than anyone else does.
- Some people talk about not needing to wear foundation over their fake tan but I absolutely do. I use the exact make-up routine whether I’m tanned or not, it just sits better with a base layer of tan underneath.
- Take time on areas such as wrists, knees, fingers and elbows.
- Tan will sit better on skin which is well looked after. Make sure you’re exfoliating with the gloves or a scrub a couple of times a week and moisturising as often as you can. It just makes for a smoother ride!
- When you’re popping your pyjamas clothes on post application; ditch the bra/anything restrictive which could rub and create white patches.
- Wear your hair up, away from your back/neck/face.
- Do it in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on smudges/fake tan moustaches.
- Showering each night, moisturising and exfoliating will help maintain an even tan. Leave it & bits will just start rubbing off and looking patchy. That’s an error lots of people make; they leave it in the hope it’ll last longer. It won’t, it’ll just look really rubbish.
And that’s about it!
If anyone’s got any questions on anything I haven’t yet covered then please do fire them over. I’m always a big enabler when it comes to tanning because it can be a right ol’ body confidence booster and we all need a bit of that. Be brave, go forth and tan! (And tell me how you get on)
Aged 19, wearing bad tan and an even worse dress
May have gone overboard this night and may have forgotten the wrists
Finally got it right (most days)