When bad fake tan happens to good people...






We’ve all been there; orange hands, more streaks than Christina Aguilera’s hair in the 90s, tanned ankles with ghostly pale feet and stray globs of fake tan on the white bath mat.

Bad fake tan can happen to good people, but not anymore – here are 7 tips so you’ll never fuck up your fake tan again.

1. Wait after waxing.

If you’ve left your tanning to the last minute and booked in for a wax with the intention of following it up immediately with a spray tan or at-home fake tan application, do not do that.

It’s best to wait 24hours after waxing to give your follicles time to close over otherwise the tan will settle in dark dots on your skin.

This also counts with mo’ waxing, as demonstrated by Lindsay Lohan:

2. Exfoliate and moisturise.

Yes, yes, this step is obvious but it’s also best to exfoliate 24hrs in advance of any tanning, the night before will do and slather on stacks of moisturiser – this is your key to getting a smooth application. If you’ve just stepped out of the shower, apply light moisturiser (stay away from any oil-based formulations) to your dry areas; elbows, knees and ankles and wait 10 minutes before applying the tan. “If you’re a tanning junkie, make sure you exfoliate regularly to avoid build up as several layers of tan can result in an uneven result,” say the tanning gurus at St Tropez.

3. Use your head (and a mitt).


No matter how quickly I wash my hands after applying fake tan I get telltale orange hands – and I’m guessing it also happens to you.

The only way to avoid this is to use disposable gloves or even better, a polishing mitt. They’re game changing for blending and are relatively inexpensive; ModelCo ($11.95) and St Tropez ($14.95) both have excellent ones. If you don’t have either you can apply a layer of moisturizer to your hand before you get started.


4. Work from the ankles up.

It’s tempting to smash it all on quickly because you have to wait around naked for it to dry BUT you’ll get a better application if you use small teaspoon sized globs and apply it in circulation motions from the ankles up, that way you won’t forget where you are up to.

If you want to do your back and don’t have anyone to help you out, a spray applicator like ModelCo’s Tan in a Can is best.

Take a look at their video:

5. Go easy on your face

It’s best to go for a product specifically designed for your face to avoid overdoing it. Once you’ve applied it take a wet cotton tip around your hairline to get rid of any product staining your wispy fine baby hair.

6. Let it dry, let it dry, let it dry.

So you’ve just spent the last 25min perfecting your tan, do not blow it now by slipping under the sheets or into tight clothing before the product is fully dry.

If you’re at a salon don’t feel pressured to get dressed before it’s dry: hang out, do some ballerina twirls and don’t forget a loose maxi dress to chuck on sans bra (yes, even if you’re a G cup).

Slip dress, $89.95 Sportsgirl, Maxi dress, $39.95 Cotton On, Swing Cami dress, $81.54, asos.

7. Smash on a body butter.

To extend the life of your tan, smash on a rich moisturiser like a body butter twice a day to hydrate the skin and help prevent patchiness.

Do you have any other self-tanning tips?