Hot tips for the perfect fake tan during party season

You can get the perfect tan for the party season at home. Photo: iStock

You can get the perfect tan for the party season at home. Photo: iStock

Kylie Thomson is The Weekly Review’s resident tanning expert.

I first started tanning when I was in my late teens because I decided that without a tan, I look particularly, well, sick. I’ve tried many of the DIY fake tans as well as professional sprays so my tips come from years of experience – some with success and some that were epic, pumpkin coloured type failures!

What to consider for the perfect self-tan:

  • Cost (who wants to spend a fortune to look bad, am I right?);
  • Colour of the tan;
  • The length of time the tan will last before washing off;
  • How quickly do you want your tan i.e instant versus gradual, and,
  • The type of application you’ll use.

 

Moisturising after fake tanning can help it last longer. Photo: iStock

Moisturising after fake tanning can help it last longer. Photo: iStock

 

 Application:

Personally, I’m a big fan of the foam tans because since the introduction of the tanning mitt, the home spray tan in a can are really old school (and they never really mastered the even coat anyway).
Foam is much easier to master with a mitt, and less mess.

There are a few tricks when it comes to application:

  • Exfoliation before tanning is key and so is shaving and using moisturiser or oil to help lessen the colour on certain parts.
  • You don’t tan evenly when naturally tanning, so when applying the tan with your mitt focus on the outer parts, and then work our way in i.e. your inner arms and wrists can be lighter.
  • Apply in stages like legs first, then torso, arms and back (or whatever works for you).
  • When working in stages, first apply moisturisers or bio oil to your boney and bendy areas, ankles, toes etc when applying the tan keep to bigger surface areas and only brush lightly over the boney bits.
  • When doing your arms, rub in some moisturiser on the inner parts of your arms, and blend when applying the tan, remember outer parts first.
  • When you have finished, reapply the moisturiser to the boney bits, especially the toes, and knuckles, so you wont end up with excess tan in the creases.

 

For removal:

Removal is easier with oil and a double sided exfoliating mitt (one side exfoliates, the other has a softer material for rubbing it off), oil up you exfoliator and exfoliate all over to loosen up the remaining tan, then turn the mitt around and rub, this will remove the left over bits, it may take a few goes to get it off entirely, but works well if you need to reapply quickly.

 

Exfoliating is a good way to remove unwanted fake tan. Photo: iStock

Exfoliating is a good way to remove unwanted fake tan. Photo: iStock

 

Cost:

In summer, spend the money on a decent fake tanner – like St Tropez. When you’re showing off more skin than clothing, you need to look like you have the flawless skin of an Amazonian Goddess. As for the cooler months, I opt for a cheaper version as there is less skin showing, therefore you don’t need to spend a pretty penny on a tan, you just want a light coverage. I just use a cheaper, foaming mousse.

A gradual tanner is also ideal for this time of year (but beware of build-up on the bendy bits).

 

Colour:

Beware of the orange monster lurking in the bottle – look you’ll have to try out tans to see which ones suit your skin type, but you might want to start with a small patch – or only do one application so it’s not too much to start with. Also remember not to put the darker colour of your face, because you’ll wake up with skin as dry as if you slept in the Simpson dessert and with what looks like remnants of a moustache. Trust me, it’s not a good look.

 

Length of time:

There are ways to make a tan last longer including using a moisturiser after applying your tan (and continue this every day). When you shower, don’t use an exfoliating body scrub because this will remove your tan quicker (unless you really need to get rid of the colour). Also a better quality tan will fade evenly – so it will look as though you’re just losing you’re tan and you won’t end up with white patches or splotches on your skin.

Instant or gradual:

Depends on what you’re look for really – and how quickly you would like a tan. Gradual is good for winter to keep a summer glow (but without being too tanned). If you want to look good for an event, then a spray (or instant) tan would be the way to go.

 

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