Saturday, 4 April 2015

10 Tips For Applying Fake Tan

As you may or may not have worked out already, I am a massive fan of fake tan. With the exception of summer when I have the chance to get a natural tan, I don’t think I have ever gone longer than a few days without applying some kind of fake tan, whether that’s instant or gradual, for at least a few years! I hate looking pale, and I feel so much better in myself and more confident with a tan. As a result of my love for fake tan, I have tried so many different ones and experimented with different techniques and ways of applying it. I have picked up quite a few tips that work for me, so I thought it would be nice to share these with you all.

1. Exfoliate – It is so important to make sure you exfoliate before applying fake tan. If you have any dry or rough patches on your skin these will attract the fake tan to hold in these areas and you will be left with blotchy patches in areas such as elbows and knees. Exfoliating will leave your skin smooth and soft and you will be able to get a much more even and flawless application. I like to exfoliate using a body scrub with exfoliating gloves and I usually do this in the shower before applying the tan. This means your skin is fresh, clean and smooth right before application. My current favourite is The Body Shop's Coconut Scrub.

2. Moisturise before – For the same reasons as exfoliating, it is good to moisturise your skin a few hours or the night before to make it as silky and smooth as possible, so the tan will glide on nicely. Also just before applying fake tan it is good to moisturise the drier areas such as hands, elbows and knees to stop the tan building up in these areas.

3. Shave at least 24 hours before – I think a common misconception about fake tan is that it is best to shave right before you apply the tan as you don’t want to shave after and then rub it off. Although this seems to make sense and I used to believe it as well, it is definitely not the right way. I have learnt from experience that shaving just before applying fake tan only means you are going to open pores that the fake tan will sink into and your legs will end up looking very spotty. It’s best to shave around 24 hours before, so no open pores and then hopefully you won’t have to shave again for a few days after so you won’t rub any tan off.

4. Always use a mitt or gloves – It is essential to use a mitt or gloves when fake tanning – you really don’t want to be that person that has orange hands! I prefer to use a mitt rather than gloves, this is because I think it allows you to cover more area and apply it evenly and quickly before it dries. You can buy mitts from a lot of places and some are rather expensive. I tend to just buy a cheaper one from Amazon as they always need to be replaced eventually. Gloves are better when it comes to areas like your face and hands where you might need to be more precise, you can use any kind of plastic gloves to do this. I also recommend a back mitt – I have spent so much time struggling to reach all areas of my back with fake tan and a back mitt just makes it so much easier and they aren’t expensive.

5. Be careful in certain areas – It is really important to be careful when applying tan in areas such as elbows, hands, ankles, neck , face, eyebrows. What I sometimes do when applying to these area such as elbows and hands is mix the tan with moisturiser or use a gradual tanner so it doesn’t all gather up in those areas. You can also use Vaseline whenever you want to protect an area from fake tan, such as around the eyebrows and hairline. On my face I like to use a face tanner and this St Tropez one is my favourite, it is sensitive to the skin and very moisturising. 

6. Wear loose clothes after – This is such a simple one but so important. Always remember to wear loose clothing after applying fake tan. This allows it to fully develop without any being rubbed off onto clothing. I made the mistake in the past of wearing tight leggings after applying fake tan and most of it ended up on the leggings not my skin. Loose clothes also reduces the chance of you smudging or moving any tan before it has developed.

7. Keep moisturising after – It is good to moisturise everyday after applying fake tan to make it last longer. It hydrates the skin and reduces dry skin which stops the top layer of your skin cells fall away and taking the tan with them. It will also prevent any cracking or flaking. My current favourite moisturizer is Xen Tan Scent Secure - it is made to help reduce the smell of fake tan and it works so well.

8. Apply tan before bed – When you apply a fake tan they normally tell you to leave it on for at least a few hours to give it time to develop. This can be a pain as it limits what you can wear – and it has a very strong smell! I find it works best to apply the tan just before going to bed, so it has more than enough time to develop and you can wash the remainder off in your morning shower and get rid of the fake tan smell. The only down side of this is getting fake tan all over your bed sheets, but it should wash out fine and I always buy black bedding to hide stains (seriously recommend this).

9. Use a tan that suits you – There are so many different types of fake tan available and it is really important to make sure you use one that suits you. It can take some experimenting with creams, mousses, sprays etc but it is definitely worth it. I personally prefer using a mousse and I’m not really a fan of sprays as I feel a lot gets wasted. My favourite developing mousse is St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse an my favourite instant mousse is Fake Bake 5 Minute Mousse. Gradual tanners are also great if you want an easy and quick option. If I’m not in a rush to have an instant tanned look I will normally apply this Garnier gradual tan every other day and let it build up. They are great as you don’t have to worry about getting streaks and you get the benefits of a moisturiser as well.
10. Removing tan – The best way I have found to remove fake tan is using baby oil – this is a tip I read online a while ago and it really works! Basically you coat your skin in baby oil and leave on for around 45 minutes, then have a bath or shower, exfoliate and all the excess tan will be removed effortlessly!   Another quick way to remove fake tan from a smaller area is by rubbing lemon juice on the area. This is really useful if you overdo the tan on your hands or other awkward areas.

Do you use any of these tips? Do you have any others that work for you?

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