Fake tan needn’t be tricky. So whether you’d rather not sit out in the sun, or need a bit of colour before you don that new bikini, our manual will guide you to the best home tanning products and help you tan like a Pro!

The secret to a great fake tan is making sure you have the right products. So before we begin, ask yourself two questions:

What kind of tan do I need? – A quick fix for pasty legs, a gentle glow or all-over serious colour?
How much time do I have? – Rushing from work, time to prepare? 

Got your answers? Let’s get stuck in!

THE QUICK FIX INSTANT ‘TAN
Which Is…

Basically colour in a bottle. Smoothed over skin it gives immediate colour but washes off with soap (hoorah, no mitts or gloves!). All you need is a few minutes of drying time and you’re good to go.

Good For?

Office parties, last minute dates, unexpected swimming and “my legs look TERRIBLE” moments. Always have some in your cupboard!

Pros

  • Super-fast to apply, instant colour
  • Quick drying
  • Can usually be layered to get deeper colour
  • Needs soap to remove so no rain-related disasters

Cons

  •  Very temporary
  • Needs reapplication
  • Looks horrid going down the drain

How To Apply:

Bare hands are fine but a mitt or gloves are useful. Use quick, long strokes and blend by eye.

Benefit Hoola Body Bronzer

We Love: Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines Body Bronzer

This smooth, non-sticky body bronzer glides on HANDS FREE and blends on instantly & seamlessly for a thoroughly believable bronze. Beachin’ bonus…the 12-hour Hoola Zero Tanlines formula stays on even when your clothes come off.

 

THE MEDIUM FIX Quick developing tan
Which Is…

Like the classic fake tan, these need time to develop and won’t wash off. However, things have come a long way since you walked around the house naked for 8 hours scared to touch anything – these options dry fast and develop fast.

Good For?

Parties, balls, short breaks – any occasion where you want a proper tan but don’t want to invest much time.

Pros

  • Easy to apply, quick drying.
  • Some brands such as St Tropez are coloured so you can see where you’re applying the product.
  • Won’t wash off even with soap so great for any situation.

Cons

  • Take time to develop
  • Requires care when applying (you need mitts or gloves and must protect eyebrows/hairline) to avoid orange hands!
  • A little preparation is needed, especially exfoliation and moisturiser around dry areas.

How To Apply:

Definitely use a mitt and/or gloves! Apply in long, sweeping movements for best results. Some products can be showered off so check the product details.

St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse

We Love: St Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse 200ml

This easy to use, quick drying and lightweight mousse is specially formulated to absorb quickly into the skin, allowing you to select your shade of tan by choosing when to wash off the tinted guide colour.

 

The classic full tan
Which Is…

The classic fake tan needs time to develop and won’t wash off. May take several hours to develop, and will need proper preparation for great results.

Good for?

They’re top of the list if you’re going on holiday or need a serious, all-over tan that lasts a solid week before reapplication.

Pros

  • Usually coloured so you can see where you’re applying product
  • Won’t wash off even with soap
  • Can usually be topped up with further applications a week or so later to keep the tan going.

Cons

  • Take time to develop
  • Requires proper care when applying (mitts or gloves and you must protect eyebrows/hairline).
  • In some cases you can’t get dressed for a short while after application.
  • Preparation is needed for best results – exfoliate and moisturise, preferably the day before.

How To Apply

Application in the usual way with a tanning mitt or gloves.

Xen-Tan Fresh Tanning Mousse

We Love: Xen-Tan Fresh Tanning Mousse

With its lightweight and smooth texture, Xen-Tan’s Fresh Tanning Mousse provides even and easy application for colour in just 3-4 hours. Packed with natural ingredients including peptides, green tea, ginkgo biloba, aloe vera and vitamins D & E, it provides thorough nourishment and hydration to help keep skin smooth and healthy in addition to wonderfully tanned.

 

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Aside from fake tan products, there are a host of complementary items to help you get the look. For even application a tanning mitt is a must. Body exfoliation will create the perfect base, but try a specialist one such as St Tropez Body Polish. Proper exfoliation after you apply your fake tan will help it to fade more evenly. It also creates a base for re-application if you want to keep your fake tan going all summer. Fake tan products are unisex but men may like Clinique Face Tinted Lotion.

Which fake tan brand is your favourite? Is this summer your first wearing fake tan? Let us know!

This post updated: 28th June 2018.

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