The Guide: Applying Fake Tan

Sunday, 27 April 2014

A few weeks ago, I had been trialling a fake tan for the blog, and a reader asked me for a guide on applying fake tan in general. I will say now, I'm really no expert and the few tips I do know I have picked up in the same way that everyone does when they are experimenting. I've managed to cut it into a few steps for you all, but it really is about finding what works best for you.

1. Prep
When I know I want to apply fake tan I will normally prep the night before by shaving my legs, and exfoliating the areas that I want to apply to. A nice moisturising shower product I find helps too on the drier areas, as it helps the product to not stick to any dry patches. I would recommend a non greasy exfoliant - I personally just find they work better. A great one is the Soap & Glory Pulp Friction Scrub.

2. Moisturise
On the day you plan to fake tan, I always moisturise my drier areas with a thicker moisturiser before application, such as The Body Shop Body Butters. Drier areas are places like your knees, elbows, ankles and feet, and then anywhere you personally suffer with dry skin.

3. Application
Application is normally the scariest part of fake tanning. I would always recommend using a mitt, you can pick them up from Primark for around £1 so it's not an expensive addition, but they are really so useful. Apply the product you've gone for to the mitt and simply start to smooth it over your body. I normally start from the bottom up, and if you know you're going to wearing clothes where the back is revealed then try and get someone to help you out if you're not well practiced. Allow all the colour to dry before you get dressed to avoid any streaking or marks.

4. Final tips and tricks

  • I normally use instant tan, but if not then I always shower off the top layer in the morning just to give the colour more of a natural even finish.
  • Don't directly apply product to places with less surface area like feet, hands or neck. Use what you have left over after you do your legs or arms etc. 
  • If you suffer with dry skin, a gradual moisturising tanner may be the best option for you.
  • Finally, make sure to throw out fake tan and your mitt after a few months, as it turns green and that's not pretty for anyone.
What kind of fake tan do you use?


  1. Always wanted to really know how to use fake tan! Thanks xx

    BerrieBlogs| {beauty blog}

  2. No worries! Glad it was helpful!