Common mistakes people make when applying fake tan.


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Because of the dangers associated with sun tanning, more women than ever are turning to fake-tans to get their dose of bronze. While we have the sun safety aspect covered, fake tanning has its risks of its own. After all, you are literally painting your skin a different colour – there’s bound to be some error.

We spoke to Kim Oliver, the head of Education at LDN:SKINS Professional Spray Tanning. Here she reveals the tanning mistakes that everyone makes.

1. Giving yourself a fresh new mani after tanning.

“Don’t apply your tan, then decide to do your nails, because your nail polish remover will end up leaving great big circles of white on your fingertips.

“This can be an easy mistake to make, because with a lot of tans, especially the consumer-ready ones you buy from the supermarket, they go on like a moisturiser – so you can’t actually see where it is. That’s a hard one for the professionals to fix, because we can’t really match the colour once it’s developed.”

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

2. Putting too much on.

“Don’t think that you’re not going dark enough, then put more on – that’s when you go that orange colour, because your body can only absorb so much.

“So when go out to the sunlight, or into a night club and you have your photograph taken, you’ll look almost fluorescent – that highlighter orange shade. If you want to darken your tan, do it over a few days, not all at once.”

3. Haphazardly applying Vaseline.

“There’s lots of girls that apply Vaseline to their hair and their eyebrows so the tan doesn’t catch. Problem is, they aren’t particularly careful. They’re probably thinking, “Well if I can’t see it as I’m putting it on, it will be fine.” Thing is, with Vaseline being a barrier, nothing gets through. So the eyebrows end up with a lovely white halo around them, and the botched hairline makes the tan look like a mask. Not a good look."

4. Tan mistaken for erm… moisturiser.

“You should always make sure that it’s your moisturising lotion on your bedside table, not your tanning lotion... I’ll leave that one to your imagination... I had a friend ring me in the middle of the night and ask me what she should do. Not a lot I could do, unfortunately! Because with tans, wherever it is applied, it will tan! It’s the acids reacting. So certain appendages became very dark, as did her breasts. Obviously my friend was mortified, and the husband, well he nearly died.”

This morning Jennifer Hawkins gave Karl Stefanovic a spray tan


5. Doing your tan, then going on Tinder.

“Don’t get a tan, then meet up with a lover. There’s always transference. I’m sure there’s a lot of girlfriends that have caught out unsuspecting cheating boyfriends because they’ve been branded by their mistress’s tan.”

6. Over-applying Brides.

“For brides, never think that black is best. I’ve had brides that have wanted to be really brown, so they’ve slept in their tan, the night before their wedding. Subtle is always best for brides. You don’t want to look like you’ve had a lovely Pacific Island holiday in your wedding photos, and then on your honeymoon, you look like you’ve spent a week at the snow."

"And of course, the husband never really changes colour, so it’s the brides that are left looking a bit… odd.”

7. Missing areas.

“Don’t forget to put some tan down your neck, the sides of your fingers, in behind the ears, your armpits and actually over and onto the lips – it’s not going to make you sick, some tans probably taste quite nice!”

“And most importantly, whatever you do, don’t forget around the nostrils! If you miss, in photographs, it can look like you’ve got white around them - which can look quite suspicious.”

8. Removing makeup.

"Don’t get a spray tan with your makeup on, then remove your makeup with makeup remover during the 4 hour development period. It generally gives you great big circles around your eyes that are a totally different tone, and spread marks – that’s always a bit of a killer – foundation can only do so much.

"You can always spot someone who’s botched up their tan by removing their makeup too soon – they have that raccoon look. There’s nothing the professionals can do at that point."

9. Forgetting to blend hard to reach places.

“Hand marks and fingerprints on the inside of your back and on the buttocks aren’t pretty. Try an application mitt over the top of loofa stick or dry brush if you're having trouble reaching certain areas.”

10. Getting your partner to apply your tan.

“Some areas can get overworked, others neglected. Bellies are avoided, and breasts and butts are always the busy areas.”

11. Cooking after you have tanned.

“Don’t cook once you’ve tanned. You will have to wash your hands – wash them twice and the tan will be wrecked. And food WILL get splattered on you…. Just sit, get your wine, and watch some telly.”

What was your biggest tanning disaster?