Made famous in the 1990s by glamour models and wannabe celebrities, fake tanning has come a long way since its toxic-orange reputation.
Fake tan is our best summer companion, and now hair and makeup artist Julia Carta is here to give us her top tips from prep through to maintenance for that natural sunkissed look.
“When approaching fake tan, you want to think more sunkissed than sun blistered. Yes, it’s great to have a healthy glow, but what we don’t want is the deep bronze of a two week vacation. Less is definitely more.”
- Preparation is key. Shave at least 24 hours before tan application and at least 48 hours for wax application. You don’t want your pores left open during application which can lead to patches.
- Exfoliate all over, especially dry areas like knees, ankles, elbows and back of hands. This will remove all dead skin cells and leave you to start with a smooth clean canvas on which to work your magic!
- Never use oil based products before tanning, and stay deodorant free to prevent streaking.
- Run an ice cube across your face to tighten pores and prevent blocking when tan is applied.
- Apply oil free body lotion onto those dry areas that I mentioned to ensure these don’t hold onto too much pigment.
- If you are a blonde with fair eyebrows, grab a cotton bud and apply vaseline to act as a barrier, you don’t want an orange brow! Add a slick of lipbalm to lips.
- Apply a heavier layer of eyecream underneath the eyes to help lighten up the face following your tan application. The cream will act like a concealer by diluting the tan around the eye area
- Time to put your gloves on! Try to use a pair that fit snugly to ensure you achieve the smoothest application. Lotion is best applied with gloves, whereas mousse is best with mitts.
- Work through your body in sections, from the ankles and working your way upwards. Continue to check in the mirror as you go to make sure you haven’t missed a bit! Keep to rubbing in circular motions to prevent streaking.
- Leave your feet, elbows and knees until the last. Use a 50% moisturiser 50% tanning lotion and apply quickly. Rub the backs of your hands together from wrist to fingers with the remaining residue.
- Grab a hairdryer and put on a cool setting to help speed up the drying process. General development time is between 3-6 hours although there are many new products available now which offer a faster development time as little as 1 hour.
- Make sure you select the right colour for your skin. Only dark skins should be using the darkest fake tans as it produces an even glow and works with the natural melanin.
- Achieve a red carpet look by applying a luminizing cream across the shins, shoulders and collarbone to highlight your skin in all the right places.
Maintenance / Removal
- When your tan begins to fade and become a little patchy, make sure you continue to exfoliate and scrub with granules in circular motions when you shower.
- Either mix some body lotion with your fake tan or use a gradual tan to top up and keep your sunkissed look. And remember to keep your skin hydrated!
- If you have made a mistake, grab a baby wipe to erase. To remove your tan completely, you can create a paste with bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice or even olive oil.