The trick to achieving the perfect at home tan is to make it look like of a real tan, no one should be able to guess it came from a bottle. This means no streaks, patches or orange hands! In the following tan-guide Ill explain how to customise your tan to give you the perfect glow.
KEEP YOUR SKIN PROTECTED UNDER YOUR TAN - HERE'S HOW!
Once you have worked out your skintone its easy to pick the type of tan that you should be using to achieve your perfect Tantone. If you use a product that is too dark for you then your tan will look unnatural so test products on an area on the body that is not on show.
Fairer skins should use a gradual Tanner or mix self tan with your daily moisturiser so you can gradually build-up to a sun-kissed glow.
If you tan easily go for a mousse, liquid, spray or gel based products which give a good colour without going too dark for your skin tone.
Lotions offer the darkest finish so will suit darker skin tones the best. They are also the most hydrating formulas and will last up to 7 days.
- Wax 48 hours before and shave 24 hours before tanning.
- Exfoliate 24 hours before to remove any dead skin and unwanted self tan; you want to tan the fresh skin.
- Before tanning moisturise your hands, feet, elbows, knees and any dry areas on the body, this stops the tan building up in the patches of dry skin.
- It might sound strange but rubbing an ice cube over your face before you apply your tan will stop your pores from blocking.
- Before you apply your tan, rub a wet wipe over your neck, arm pits, wrists, ankles, this will get rid of any excess that that is not visable to the naked eye.
- Moisturising daily using a thick moisturiser will prolong your tan, James loves Sisley Confort Extreme Body Cream, £77.50 but Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Moisturiser, £5.10 is a good alternative.
- Exfoliate 3 days after tanning, so your tan fades evenly.
When applying your tan its a good idea to map out your body in stages so you don't miss bits (no one wants white feet poking out of their wedges!) I always start from the face and work down the body leaving hands and feet till last.
Layering - You want to treat your application like a real tan by building it up. Think about it, you wouldnt turn super dark on day 1 at the beach! Layering your tan up in fine layers will make your tan last longer and fade more evenly.
The Flicker - Similar to the layering technique this will stop any tan falling down onto the feet. Spray in flickering motions, doing half circles down your body.
Mitt Application - For the perfect application apply your liquid tan, mousse, lotion or gradual tan using a mitt gliding it down your skin take care not to over rub as this will leave your tan uneven.
Latex Gloves When using gloves make sure that you don't over rub the product in. IMPORTANT - Apply with your palms and fingers together - if your hands are all over the place it will cause streaks on your skin.
By Hand - Applying your tan by hand can sometimes be the best way to apply self tan as it allows you to really work the product into your skin but you must make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after application. Remember to tan the outer parts of your hands by rubbing them together
- White or over-tanned feet are big no-no’s! Cover your feet with a towel whilst spraying the upper body to avoid any fall-down onto your feet which will over tan them leaving them darker than the rest of your body. But make sure you don’t forget about them at all – white feet and ankles are not a good look.
- Avoid an un-even tan by holding the can a few inches from your body and not spraying too close.
- Watch out for leakage around the nozzle! Always wash your hands after just in case; you don't want a smoker’s finger!
-When using these products go down the body in a sweeping motion making sure not to over-rub as this will cause patchiness.
- After applying a lotion tan leave it to try for 45mins then take a cotton mitt or flannel and buff over your body. This will help develop a more natural and even looking tan.
- Always tan your hands last.
- Don’t apply tan directly to the hands; instead work the product down from your arms using the excess for a natural fade down.
- After tanning rub a small amount of moisturiser on the sides of the hands and in between the fingers to blend any remaining colour, then clean your wrists and palms with a wipe to stop them from taking on the colour; when was the last time you tanned your palms on the beach?
- Work your product directly from your legs onto your feet and ankles; don't apply directly onto the feet.
- Rub moisturiser in between the toes and a small amount at the sides of the feet, then using a mitt buff around the feet and ankles to make sure it’s even.
- Cover toenails with some eight hour cream to stop them being discoloured by the self tan.
When applying self tan remember to rub moisturiser into your hair line after the product is applied, this will stop you getting the tell tale self tan line.
When applying self tan to your face, apply a small amount of moisturiser first, this will give a natural fade down making sure that your tan looks natural and not too dark.
- The back is one the hardest places to tan yourself. Apply product onto some clingfilm, pull behind you and then rub it from left to right over back.
- An easier way to to use a spray that sprays at 360 degree angle allowing you to get to those hard to reach areas. If all else fails ask your boyfriend to lend a hand!
I'd recommend that you leave your tan on for 8 -12 hours but for best results sleep with your tan on. For a light glow, wash off after 4-5 hours.
- To add some life to your tan, mix a small amount of tanner in with your face a few days later to boost it slightly.
- Use makeup to enhance your tan - add some extra shimmer by brushing bronzer onto a tanning mitt and rubbing over your skin.
- Before a big night out, use a wash-off tan to highlight areas of your body for a slimming effect. For example down the fronts of your legs and your forearms.