Ask an expert: how do I get a fake tan that looks natural?

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We’ve all been there. That terrifying moment when bad fake tan happens to good people. You thought you explained your ideal skin shade was ‘lightly tanned but not orange,’ but somehow the spray tanner missed the memo. You exit the tanning booth with a sinking feeling and a sudden need to buy stocks in exfoliator. It looks a little like this:

How to fake a tan without turning orange

I spoke to Jbronze professional tanning expert Stacey McPherson for her top tips to getting the best tan.

Her top 5 tips.

1. Consult with your tanner first so they can choose the correct DHA colour and right percentage for you. Let them know what the tan is for, how your skin normally reacts in the sun, and how long you have until you need to shower.

2. Your tanner should choose a shade to suit the undertones in your skin. Violet will counteract any orange or yellow undertones in the skin and are also good for hiding bruises! Violet bases are great for olive, Asian and darker skin tones and give a great natural/Mediterranean look. Green bases are great for everyone - fair, light, medium, olive and dark skin tones.

“I got a spray tan and suddenly became about 10 times hotter”

3. Workouts are not advised in the hours immediately after a tan. Your tan is still developing so any sweating or tight clothes will alter the developing process. If it has been 8 hours or more, the option is yours, but waiting a full day is recommended for a perfect tan. If the tan is for a special event or wedding, stay away from any strenuous exercise until afterwards to be on the safe side.


4. We tan to look good and feel good, so ask your spray tanner to contour you by adding a little extra under and around your bottom and on the tops of your legs, and down and across your abs to give the illusion of a smaller waist line.

This morning Jennifer Hawkins gave Karl Stefanovic a spray tan

5. Your first shower after your tan should be warm not hot, quick and use little or no soap. All you need to do is get the bronzer and residue off and allow the DHA to keep developing. I believe perfect application + perfect wash off = perfect tan!

The night before

Do all hair removal the night before or in the morning before tan.

Do a really good body exfoliation, including an exfoliating mitt the night before tanning.

Use a nourishing body moisturizer the night before tanning (after exfoliating) so your skin is super hydrated

 The day of the tan

NO moisturiser on the day of the tan

NO deodorant on the day of  the tan (soapy water or baby wipes can be used if need be)

Makeup is optional, but remove it prior to tan application.

What to wear

Please bring some loose clothing - NO tight pants or skinny jeans!

A loose strapless dress in a dark colour is best.

Thongs are best - no strappy shoes or runners please!

Your worst ever tanning moment? Go.