There’s no better pick-me-up than a gorgeous, natural looking tan and since it’s not worth risking your health by using sunbeds, you simply can’t beat faking it! Of course we all have a different colour , skin undertones and preferences but it really is easier than you think to get that beautiful, bronzed look you’ve been craving! Whether you’re after a light, healthy glow or a full on, olive tan, you’ll be an expert in no time… Just follow these step-by-step guides!
The sun-kissed glow
If you’re fair skinned and a subtle hint of colour a la Charlize Theron is more your thing than a deep, Mediterranean look then gradual tanning
moisturisers are perfect for you. They enable you to build up to a shade that suits you, rather than instantly changing the colour of your skin, however, not all of these lotions work as brilliantly as they claim to! Garnier Skin Naturals Summer Body (£5.10) and the pricey yet brilliant St Tropez Everyday Light/Medium Gradual Tan (£14.30) are pretty much fool-proof and create a beautiful, radiant glow while nourishing even the driest of skins. Here’s how to get the best results:
- While bathing, use a gentle scrub such as St Ives Exfoliating Apricot Body Wash (£3.76) to get rid of any dead skin cells and create a smooth surface, ready for the gradual tan. Remember to pay extra attention to dry areas such as your elbows, knees and feet.
- As moisturiser is a key ingredient in each of these products, there is no need to apply a hydrating lotion prior to tanning and since the colour isn’t instant, you don’t need to use gloves or a foam mitt during application.
- Simply dispense a small amount of the gradual tanning moisturiser into your hands and massage into the skin, just as you would do with your usual body lotion. It’s a good idea to begin at your feet and work upwards and try to ensure that you coat each section of your body evenly.
- Wait 10 minutes or so for the product to sink in before getting dressed and there you have it!
The Hollywood tan
There’s a particular type of colour that A-list stars like Jessica Alba opt for when attending red carpet events. It’s rich, flawless and simply screams ‘high
maintenance’. Don’t be frightened away just yet though; this gorgeous tan is easily achievable with airbrush spray products such as L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Spray in Medium (£11.99) or the slightly more purse-friendly Rimmel Sun Shimmer Aerosol Bronzing Spray in Bronze (£8.19). Spray-style tanning products can take a little getting used to but it shouldn’t take you long to master the technique and your luxurious looking colour will be well worth it!
- Begin by massaging a grainy exfoliator such as Burts Bees Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Body Scrub (£12.99) into your skin while you’re showering or in the bath in order to slough away any rough patches and ensure that your skin’s in tip-top condition.
- Next of all, when your skin is completely dry, spritz Fake Bake Mistifier Oil Free Spray (£14.50) on areas that are prone to dryness such as your hands, feet, knees and elbows to protect them from going a dark and un-natural colour.
- Ensure that your shower is dry and step back in with your tanning spray! Stand with your legs apart and begin spraying liberally onto your chest and arms, working downwards with a lighter application as you get to your lower body as the mist will float and settle on your legs as you go. There’s no need to rub in!
- Allow the product to dry for 10-15 minutes before dressing.
- Stick to loose, dark clothing for the next few hours to prevent staining while the tan develops and works its magic… Voila!
The deep bronze tan
Longing for that intense, olive, ‘I’ve just got back from Hawaii’ tan that Vanessa Hudgens pulls off so effortlessly? Choose a mousse formula such as Vita
Liberata Dark Phenomenal Tanning Mousse (£37.50), which lasts for up to three weeks or He-Shi Dark Foaming Mousse (£25.00). Both of these products go on beautifully and can be applied to the face as well as your body so don’t let the hefty price tag put you off. Here’s how to apply tanning mousse like a pro!
- When you’re using such a deep coloured tanning product, exfoliation is an absolute must. Super smooth skin will pretty much guarantee a streak-free application so begin by massaging The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub (£12.50) into wet skin and again, ensure you give your knees, elbows, hands and feet extra attention as they’re often prone to dryness.
- After towel drying, replenish the moisture that will have been lost during exfoliation by applying a rich, hydrating body lotion that’s designed for tan preparation. There are some great ones on the market but Xen Tan Scent Secure (£24.99) is by far the best.
- Wait an hour or two for the cream to really sink into your skin.
- Using a foam tanning mitt like Famous Daves’ Self Tan Applicator Mitt, dispense a generous amount of the mousse and begin applying it to your ankles and feet in circular motions, working your way upwards. The fact that the product is tinted will enable you to see where you’ve already applied it but make sure that you don’t leave any white patches and don’t forget your face!
- Use a damp cloth to quickly wipe any excess colour from your elbows, knees, ankles and knuckles.
- Allow the product to dry (although this shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes) and remember to wear loose, dark clothing while the tan develops… All done!
Thanks again to your in-house writer Harriet Charnock-Bates for this great piece on getting the best tan for your skin colour. Be sure to check out our blog and subscribe for more articles from Harriet and if you are interested in tanning check out our spray tanning site!