Tags: How to

How to achieve the perfect fake tan for your big day

12 Apr 2018

If you want to 'get the glow' for your wedding day  but need a helping hand,  here's our expert seven-step guide to achieving the perfect fake tan

Every bride wants to look radiant – and fake tanning is a quick way to achieve that healthy glow.  But, beware of the pitfalls – streaky legs and stained hands are not a good look for your wedding day.  

Joanne Dodds from Hairtrade.com said: “We’ve all been there – we think we’ve followed the instructions on the bottle of tan to a ‘T’, and we go to bed excited to wake up and unleash the bronzed goddess within us – only to find we’ve actually just created a muddy, blotchy mess.”

Now, the hair and beauty whizzes at Hairtrade.com are sharing their top tips to achieve that natural, sun-kissed glow. So, here’s your seven-step ‘How to’ guide to achieving an enviable, natural-looking tan.

1. Hair removal

Whether you’re shaving, waxing or using a removal cream, hair removal should be done at least 24 hours prior to tanning. If not, the fake tan is likely to stick in the pores and hair follicles that loosen when you remove hair, creating unattractive dark dots across your skin.

2. Exfoliate

This step is imperative to achieving a flawless fake tan. Many beginners skip over this point, but if you don’t exfoliate you’ll likely be left with a patchy, uneven tan that’s hard to wash off. 

For a super-smooth base, you should exfoliate the areas to which you’ll be applying the self-tan, using a nourishing body scrub to remove all the dead skin cells.

3. Moisturise

Apply a good body moisturiser to all the dry areas of your body, such as knees and elbows, and let it sink in for at least 30 minutes before applying your tan. 

4. Use a tanning mitt

You should use a good quality tanning mitt to avoid nasty smears, patchiness and unsightly orange palms that you often see on people who skip this step and forget to wash their hands properly. 

5. Don’t rush

If you’re using a gradual tanner, it’s best to apply tan in the evening and let it develop overnight. This will give it a good amount of time to fully develop (most tans need at least 4-6 hours). You should also make sure that your fake tan is fully dry before dressing. Wear something that’s loose and dark, so it doesn’t rub against your skin or show any marks. You can also try brushing a light layer of talc-free baby powder all over, to stop the tan from transferring to your clothes. 

6. Technique

For a fool-proof application, it’s best to start from the bottom up and apply methodically so you don’t miss any patches. Apply to your skin using light, sweeping, vertical movements and follow this technique with gentle circular motions to work the tan fully into the skin. Don’t skimp on the product either. If you don’t use enough, this can cause the tan to stretch – which can result in breaks and streaks in the finished result. 

7. Maintain

Once you’re looking bronzed and beautiful, you’ll want to keep the look – and when it does start to fade, you’ll want it to fade evenly. The best way to do this is to keep gently exfoliating and moisturising every 1 or 2 days. This will also keep your skin in tip-top condition in case you want to top up your tan again in a few days. If, along the way, blotches do appear, try rubbing half a lemon on the problem area for a couple of minutes, before lightly buffing with a damp towel.

Follow these steps and you'll soon be sporting an enviable, natural-looking tan.


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