How to Apply the Perfect False Tan

Tan is definitely the thing I get asked about most on Snapchat, well that and haircare! I’ve already written a haircare post (check that out here if you’re interested), so I thought it was about time I put a post together that goes through all of my tanning tips and tricks. Here is my guide on how to perfectly apply false tan!

Preparation

Preparation really is key when it comes to a flawless tan and, in my view, it’s even more important than the application of the tan itself!

If you have any dry skin, the tan will cling to it and, needless to say, that’s not a great look for anyone. You can avoid this by exfoliating and moisturising before applying your tan.

Exfoliate

I exfoliate twice during the week before I apply my tan. I find exfoliators with beads too messy (they go everywhere), so I prefer to use a glove. Up until a couple of months ago, I used the exfoliating gloves from Penneys. Then I was given one of the Bellamianta Luxury Exfoliating Gloves and I haven’t looked back since (it’s amazing!). As well as removing dead skin cells, the glove will remove whatever tan you have left from previous applications, which is another essential.

Moisturise

When I get out of the shower, I cover myself in a body butter or a body oil, paying particular attention to dry areas like my elbows, hands, knees, ankle and heels. I’ve been using The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter every summer for as long as I can remember. You will be hard-pressed to find anything in the world that smells more divine than this, dramatic I know, but trust me!

Then right before I apply my tan, I put moisturiser on my hands, elbows, knees, feet and heels. Don’t be shy with the moisturiser either (I’ve never put too much on), just make sure those areas are well-oiled before you apply it.

Tan Application

As I said, for me, preparation is the most important part of tanning, but I do have some tips regarding application.

Use a Clean Tanning Mitt

I think this is a given nowadays. In saying that, there have been times where I’ve forgotten to buy a mitt and have used a sock (FYI, the fluffy slipper socks do a grand job!).

For years I used the regular one-sided tanning mitts. However, when my nanny bought me the Bellamianta Gift Set for Christmas, I got the double-sided velvet mitt with it, and that was the end of that. With the regular one-sided mitts, I’ve always found that the tan leaked in the sides and then I was left with dodgy streaks down the side of my palm. Not with this one! The mitt is velvet right around, so the tan doesn’t get in anywhere and it feels so soft on your skin.

Blend

Whether it be foundation, bronzer, eyeshadow or tan, blending is so important. With the exception of a gradual tan, I only use tan that you can see when you’re applying it. That way you can see any areas that you’ve missed or where excess product has gathered. Please make sure that there are no streaks because whatever way you apply it, it will dry like that.

Less is More With Your Face, Hands and Feet

I leave my hands and feet until last. To tan my feet, I never put extra product on the mitt. I just use what’s left on it after I‘ve tanned the rest of my body. To tan my hands, I use a foundation brush (any fluffy brush will do though). These tips, as well as using moisturiser, will ensure you don’t have orange hands and feet.

I never apply it to my face for 2 reasons. I don’t like how it looks and my skin breaks out every single time. So, I have a few darker foundations that I use for when I’m wearing tan. However, if I did apply it to my face, I would have the same rule as I do for my feet. I wouldn’t put more product on the mitt and I would moisturise beforehand.

Clothing

Once it’s applied, I wear oversized clothes to bed. Tight clothing on freshly applied tan will leave you with white lines. I wear trousers and long sleeves too, so that it doesn’t rub off on my white bed clothes!

Washing it Off

Make sure all of the excess product is washed off because if it’s not, it will look streaky and well, mucky! I use my hands to wash it off, with some soap, because if I use anything else, a sponge for example, I get patches. For that same reason, I pat myself dry rather than rub the towel on my skin.

Get That Glow

Et Voila, you should now have the perfect tan… almost! If you really want to resemble a golden goddess, a glow is a must! Once I’m dry, I cover myself with something shimmery. My absolute favourite product to wear over tan is The Body Shop Coconut Shimmer Body Butter! Then, finally, I take a big powder brush and dust highlighter on my collar bone, shoulders and shin bones.

Suzanne Jackson, sosu, drippinggold, tan

Dripping Gold Tan in Dark Mousse. Full review here.

All that may sound like a big ordeal for a bit of tan, but those tips make all the difference! It goes without saying, to achieve a perfect tan, you’ll need a good formula! You can read my blog post here on which tans to try and which to avoid.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (livelavishlycom) for more beauty tips.

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A Lifestyle Blog by Carly Colgan Bates