Essential Guide to Fake Tan

Now I'm not an expert but if you have a question about fake tan, like what's good and what's not? How to get the best, long-lasting tan from a bottle? I'm your girl. You don't need to call me basic, I already did.
I've tried and tested more bottle tans than one person should in the time I've been tanning for, and I've made all the mistakes you could make but you don't tan every single week without learning a thing or two. All this research I've unintentionally done is collecting dust in the back of my brain so I'm putting it all here for both you and me to refer back to if needs be. Everyone has a different routine, but if you find yourself making the same errors over and over again something in this guide might help you correct it so grab a cup of tea or coffee and read on if you want the 411 on how to fake a tan. Anything to make this whole process easier.


♡ The first thing you want to do is make sure there isn't any leftover tan from last week. By that, I mean the main lot. If you have stubborn bits in dry areas, that can stay. Don't worry your new tan should just blend in over top.
♡ Shave, wax, epilate or leave it! If you wanna remove any body hair, do it now (it's also going to help if you're still trying to remove old tan)
♡ Use a good, preferably non-oily moisturiser on dry areas where your tan could cling. So your ankles, knee's and elbows are your must-do areas. I've personally never had an issue with the tops of my feet but maybe bare that in mind if you do it once and your feet look like they've been in the oven too long.
♡ HANDS. Smother your hands in moisturiser getting in all the creases and lay it on factor 50 THICK.
♡ Wait at least 2 hours before you actually start tanning because you want your skin to calm down from all that tub time and to soak up your moisturiser. Ideally, you want to wait for 24hr but if you're like me and want to just do it all in one night you should be alright with just 2 hours. But leave it as long as you can.

Bondi Sands Everday Tanning Milk
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion
NIVEA Body Lotion for Dry Skin, Rich Nourishing
Cetaphil Body Cream

Tanning - the main event

♡ You want to make sure you're using a good mitt. Double-sided velvet type mitts are the best ones as they're super thick and you can just throw it in the washing machine a million times over.
♡ Use your fake tan of choice and go all in. I always find it easier to start with a small amount and to build it up. Apply your first layer quite thin so you can just focus on making sure you've covered all bases and then you can build it up in the parts you'll want a darker tan such as your calf, thigh, forearm, chest and stomach. If you're just getting used to tanning it's probably best to use a mousse with a guide colour to help you bronze all the areas with no mistakes.
♡ Save those bits I told you to moisturise before till last and using the leftover tan on your mitt, lightly go over those areas as well as and your hands. You won't get as deep a tan here but this way it's less likely to go wrong and more natural looking anyway!
♡ If you're going to tan your face (if you have acne prone or sensitive skin - don't!), put a tiny bit of tan onto a buffing makeup brush and as if you're putting on foundation, get in all the corners of your face with it.
♡ If you're anything like me, you might have an issue with tan not clinging to your chest. If this is the case, use the makeup brush from before and do the exact same technique on your chest to help build up the colour.
It's time to stand butt naked in your room or bathroom for a good 15 minutes before you put on some loose fitting clothes. Recommendations to pass the time: have a dance party or practise your mannequin skills.
♡ Leave your tan on for the recommended amount of time or sleep in it and just hope your bed sheets are still white in the morning

Sienna X Apply Luxury Self Tan Mitt
Skinny Tan Dual Sided Mitt
Bondi Sands Self Tan Application Mitt
Australis Double Sided Application Mitt


Once you've got your perfect tan applied and you're looking like a bronzed, glowy goddess you want it to last as long as possible right?
♡ No hot showers or any temperature baths at all. For the longest lasting tan, you want to keep it to a quick in and out cool temperature shower. Think of it this way, you'll be saving on your water bill and it'll wake you up in the morning! Soaking in warm water is only going to break up the tan and you don't want to be the reason for a breakup
♡ Use a moisturising shower gel and if you can, keep it to the important areas
♡ Don't scrub your body after a shower with a towel or you're just asking for trouble. Pat dry, it'll save both your tan and your towel
♡ Aside from after your initial wash off, moisturise after every shower

Shower gels:
Sanex Dermo Moisturising Shower Gel
NIVEA Shower Cream


♡ Use a tan remover all over your body, lay on your bed and leave on for 30-40 minutes despite what the bottle says before getting in the shower. Make sure you apply it fairly thick on trouble areas i.e knee's, elbows and ankles. The best thing about a tan remover is that when it comes to scrubbing, it's going to do the hardest part for you.

St Moriz Tan Eraser (the only one you want to buy as it's so much cheaper than the rest and so much BETTER)

♡ You want to wait till the end of your shower before you start exfoliating so use this time to shave, clean and wash the old weave before you start scrubbing.
♡ If I could tell you a particular technique to this part I would, but there is really only one thing to it. Using an exfoliating glove or mitt and your grainiest body scrub, start scrubbing. Say goodbye to that JLo glow and hello to Caspar the friendly ghost

Exfoliating gloves/mitt: (I prefer using a mitt as I find them to be more durable but gloves are quite popular)
Superdrug Fruity Exfoliating Gloves and Primark ones are good too
Bondi Sands Reusable Exfoliating Mitt (Loving Tan dupe)

Superdrug Vitamin E Sugar and Oil Body Scrub
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Scrub

General do's and don'ts and tips
♡ Don't use an out of date tan or one you've just found laying around after a year or two. You'll turn green and Shrek isn't looking for a new brother or sister
♡ Don't apply tan over tan without exfoliating and scrubbing your old tan off first it's really not a good look
♡ Don't go outside in the rain if you haven't washed your tan off yet... Surely that's a given
♡ Don't put on tight-fitting clothes such as jeans or leggings after applying your tan and avoid SOCKS
♡ Don't sweat! So don't go to the gym or directly in the sun straight after applying or you'll just melt it all off, it'll be streaky and a waste of time
♡ Don't use your hands or a sock to apply your tan. If you haven't got a mitt, just wait until you do... facepalm
♡ Don't wear underwear with a thick waistband such a CK's. Get your fugliest undies at the ready
♡ Don't forget your eats and the back of your neck when applying
♡ Don't go swimming and wonder why you're suddenly pale again
 Do If you're finding that your tan won't dry down or you're just in a rush out, use a bit of baby powder on 'crease areas' so you can move about without f*ing up the tan
♡ Try not to shave too much whilst your tan is on it's just going to strip it from your skin

........ And repeat. Wowee, that sounds like a lot, doesn't it?

I'm in no way saying I don't still make mistakes every now and then and that I don't ever cut corners because duh, but if I actually follow all these steps it will normally turn out pretty successful. It sounds like a lot, but it's just years worth of tanning weekly knowledge that I've put together to try and make a foolproof guide and make it all a bit easier for us. After a while, you get used to it and it becomes a normal part of your weekly routine so if you've never tanned before but want too and you're looking at this like 'nah sounds like too much work *close tab*' then trust me when I say it's not as complicated as it looks. I know, you have no reason to trust me because I'm the girl who says 'I'm back to blogging consistently' and then doesn't post for 3 months but when it comes to this, all you can do is take my word for it.

Pheeeeewwwwwwww, that was a long one. I might post another blog about my favourite tanners and the ones I don't like so much as a sort of hit or miss list as you can probably tell I could talk about this for hours so if you'd be interested in that then... Then we will see if I follow through with it, won't we?

Speak soon, maybe.