So how do I apply fake tan?


Tanning can be a tricky thing. It sounds like all fun and games until you wake up looking like an oompa loompa from a budget production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

That's the annoying thing, you don't know how it's going to look until it's usually a little too late.

But I am not here to scare you away, no, I am here to bring you into the fake tan cult community with simple tips that even the first timers will totally smash. 

The day before you fake tan

Get ready girl because this is when we prep the base. Much like painting a wall you gotta sand that body back and prime it. 

Get in a warm shower to soften your skin and exfoliate your body. Really rub those dry areas like arms and legs. Plus, remove any hair you don't want. 

I suggest you wash your hair now if you can't stretch it out a few more days. You don't want to be doing that just before you tan — your conditioner can leave a film on your body, meaning no absorbo for your tano. 

Jump out of the shower or bath, look yourself in the mirror and say 'girl you the Beyonce of this house' and then slather yourself in moisturiser. 

Not related to tanning at all but keep the pampering going, paint your toe nails, do a mask, bleach your mo' - the night is young! 

The day of your fake tan application 

How exciting, it's painting day! Give yourself a shower to wash the day away, so you are fresh and clean for the tan. Remember don't wash your hair.

Now finish on a cold rinse (sorry if it's winter!) as this will close your pores...meaning no tan will seep into those guys. 

Get out and dry yourself WELL! 

Now apply some moisturiser to those danger zones that are prone to dryness as they will really really really absorb the tan. These areas are:

  • Feet - all over! Top, soles and toes
  • Ankles
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Underarms
  • Hands - get into those knuckles and between the fingers
  • Wrists 

Now it's go time. 

Leave hands and feet last, and start from the bottom up...so for those playing along at home that would be your legs. 

Simply spray onto the skin until most of the leg is covered and then blend with your tanning mitt or gloved hands (wear those disposable medical ones, don't just use bare hands) in sweeping motions. You will notice that the tan doesn't take too long to absorb into the skin and dry. 

Move up the body in the same fashion. Spray and blend. Spray and Blend. Say it like Reese Witherspoon character in Legally Blonde "Bend and Snap" for lols. 

The back is a tough one, some of us are super flexible and can rub in, some of us force partners or mums to do it for us, but there are some other options.

You could strap your mitt to a back scrub to reach round or simply try to reach your hand over your back, just far enough so when you spray it spritzes over your back evenly. 

Next toughie...the hands and feet. Go light here. You really do not want much tan. Simply hold the bottle about 30cm away from the feet and hands and give them one-to-two sprays. Blend.

We always recommend to put a little bit of lotion on the inner wrists and rub together to blend out the colour there to reflect the way we naturally tan there — which is a gradual colour development up the inner arm. Lightly do this on knuckles and between fingers as well. 

Grab a make up remover wipe and wipe over your nails, cuticles and between fingers and toes. 

If it's a stinker of a day, cold blast your body with the hair dryer to help the tan dry quicker. 

To avoid creases lightly put some baby powder on the inside of elbows, armpits and back of knees. 

Ok I have applied the tan, now what?

Relax girl! Or if you applied before work don't relax, switch on!

Either way, you want to leave it to set for at least six hours. You will start to see a colour change at four hours and the longer you leave it the darker you will go...but don't go crazy, you don't want to leave it on longer than 12 hours. Have I confused you here? You will see how your colour is going so wash off when you feel good...my best time is eight hours. 

Rinse off in a cool-to-warm shower. 

How can I make my work last longer?

All fake tans depend on your skin and how it sheds. Your tan however should last between 4-10 days depending on your skin type. To help extend the life of your tan, keep your skin moisturised, avoid hot showers, chlorinated pools and body oils. 

Drink water babe as well! 

Are you more confident at fake-tanning now? Do you have any tanning tips?

Share them in the comments below...especially if you have a really good back tanning hack! 

Love Chelsea xoxo



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