Almost no beauty endeavour is as perilous as figuring out how to fake tan.
Whether you’re a complete novice or tan every single Thursday, it’s really, really easy to stuff it up.
Like, really easy.
Cue streaky legs, blotchy forearms, crusty ankles and random white patches on your back where you couldn’t reach.
Then there’s the sheer ocean of fake tan formulas to wade through – lotion, foam, mousse, water, spray, gel, gradual tanner, oh my!
Despite what the writing on the packaging might read, Mamamia’s executive editor and beauty journalist of 15 years Leigh Campbell reckons there’s no such thing as a ‘fool-proof’ fake tan.
“We’ve come a long way with fake tans, but I used to work in magazines and it would annoy me when we’d say ‘this is a fool-proof tan’, because no fake tan is foolproof. It’s a whole bloody [thing] to get it on,” she told told co-host Kelly McCarren on the You Beauty podcast. (Get it in your ears below…)
After many years of tanning ups and downs, here are Leigh’s suggestions for getting as close to this mystical ‘fool-proof’ tan as possible:
The day before…
“Do your hair removal – wax, shave or do whatever you want to do. Also, exfoliate. Don’t use a scrub, most scrubs are oil based so it’ll add a barrier and your tan won’t be able to get in. I use those those exfoliating mits from the supermarket,” Leigh said.
“I shave, scrub, get out of the shower, and normally you’d put your body cream on but don’t do that – you want to be dry and cold, you want your pores to have closed otherwise you get those little dots from where you’ve shaved.
“I would suggest using a lotion on your dry bits – I always do under my arms, knees, elbows, and ankles and feet”
Choosing your fake tan formula.
“It’s very personal [which tan you choose], I prefer a foam when I’m in a hurry and a lotion when I need extra hydration,” Leigh said.
Here recommendations are:
- St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse ($59.99) and Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam 1 Hour Express ($24.95) – one hour is a light colour, three hours is dark.
- Pure Tan Instant Tanning Lotion ($29.95) – it’s a lotion, and it has a guide colour meaning you can see where you’ve put it on.
- St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Water Mousse Purity ($41.99) – a new product, comes out as a clear foam, it’s a very light tan, but you do need to keep track of where you’ve done because there’s no guide colour.
- EcoTan Face Water ($34.95) – for your face, uses the night before for a hint of colour.