5 ways to up your fake tan game this summer

Want a fake tan that looks natural and flawless? Achieve your ultimate glow with these tips from leading fake tanners.

With the promise of summer around the corner, many of us are looking to sport sun-kissed skin.

However, if decades of sun-safety education in Australia have taught us anything, it’s that the only safe tan is a fake tan.

Fake tan can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Here are five steps to elevate your next fake tan application ahead of the warmer weather.

Prepare your skin before a fake tan

Any seasoned fake tanner or professional spray-tan artist will tell you the same thing: the difference between a flawless tan and a patchy tan falls in the prep work, or lack thereof.

Beauty influencer Sammy Robinson says some of the most tried-and-true tips work best.

“I exfoliate and shave the night before, apply moisturiser to my elbows, hands, feet … anywhere that gets dry, really,” Sammy says.

“This will prevent the tan from sticking to those areas.

Before tanning, exfoliate your body to remove dead skin and existing fake tan.

This is also the ideal time for hair removal, if that’s your preference; however, it’s best to do this at least 24 hours before applying fake tan to ensure the pores have time to close.

Bare Bronze Studio founder Ally Shahien says a little bit of aftercare can also help. “Post-tan, you should wait at least four hours before showering,” Ally says.

“Make sure you don’t use soaps or body wash for the first shower as soap agents can stop your solution from continuing to develop.”

Know your skin type before you fake tan

Everyone tans differently, so it makes sense that fake tan products are just as varied.

Ally says getting the colour right for you is important.

“The key to achieving a flawless tan is based on the right colour, the right preparation and aftercare,” she says.

If you’re olive skinned, opt for a fake tan with violet tones to avoid the colour developing into an unnaturally green or ashy shade.

If your skin has pink or red undertones, look for a tan with a green base so your skin colour doesn’t end up looking too orange or artificial.

Also consider your skin type.

If your body is prone to dryness, use a more hydrating tan formulation, such as a gradual tan or lotion formula.

Regularly moisturising can also help prolong your tan and prevent patchiness.

Consider your fake tan options

To spray tan or DIY fake tan?

It’s the modern-day conundrum and both options have advantages.

Going to a professional for a spray tan is great for tanning rookies because it almost guarantees a flawless, streak-free application with fairly instantaneous results.

Spray tanning has also come a long way in recent years, with automated technology offering more precise application and added privacy.

“We have set our entire business model up on automated spray tanning,” Ally says.

Of course, the convenience of at-home tanning has benefits, too, making it the ideal option when you’re in need of a last-minute bronze.

Sammy is a fan of the DIY route.

“I prefer DIY tanning products and I have more control over the colour and application,” Sammy says.

“I apply two layers if I want a deeper glow, or only a little bit if I want something more natural.

Highlight your features with fake tan

A fake-tanning technique that’s becoming popular is ‘tantouring’.

This involves using fake tan to add definition to muscles and facial features for a tanned and toned result.

Sammy likes to use this technique on her face.

“You take a kabuki make-up brush and apply a self-tanner to the points of your face where you usually put your bronzer,” she says.

“When you wash it off, it will give you the illusion of a bronzed, contoured face.”

To elevate your tan even further, layer on bronzing and luminising body products. This will help give you a healthy, glowing shimmer that is particularly effective at night.

“I use Bondi Sands tan and pair it with a St. Tropez body bronzer,” Sammy says.


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How to prolong your fake tan

One of the easiest ways to prolong your tan is by moisturising daily.

“Hydration is the key to a longer-lasting tan,” Ally says.

“Making sure you keep your skin moisturised after your tan and over the next five to seven days to prevent it wearing off patchy.”

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.