Thursday, August 06, 2015

A Pale Girls Guides To Fake Tanning

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10 Tips For a Better Fake Tan

Living with my pale skin, for ya know, all my life, I've become somewhat of an ambassador for fake tan.

It started to become big when I was hitting my teens, so I grew with it, and oh was I happy it was invented. Knowing how bad it is for me and my ivory skin to even sit in the sun, I never even contemplated it and I just stayed away. I don't see the point in putting my skin through that. Instead I became slightly addicted to fake tan (I'm currently in fake-tan rehab).

Over my many years of using the stuff, and regrettably, probably, most definitely over using it, I've made all the mistakes you can probably make. So, you delightful bunch, I'm kind enough to share them with you, so you don't have to experience them.

1. Exfoliate

Start exfoliating your skin a few days before. Exfoliating is good for your skin anyway, but especially if you're planning on applying fake tan. You need to prepare your skin for what you're going to put on it and the best way to smooth out your skin and ensure all the dead skin cells and na-sty bits are removed is with exfoliating. You can pick up cheap exfoliators, but the one I use is (and have had the best experience with) is St Tropez Body Polish.

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2. Moisturise

After you've started removing the crappy bits with the exfoliating, you better start pampering some of the goodness back in to it. Investing in a good moisturiser that builds a barrier to your skin is a great benefit when applying your tan. A good one in particular for this is St Tropez Body Moisturiser. This will prevent the fake tan from sticking to your pores, especially on your face. I apply it to my face lots more than anywhere else before I tan. Take extra care to moisturise the dry areas; your elbows, hands, feet and knees.

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3. Fake Tan Mitt

Invest in a good fake tan mitt. Now when I say good, I mean good. Regrettably, this may set you back 4 or 5 pounds, which may seem a little steep for what it is, but trust me it pays off. I have skimmed on them, and it's not worth it. They absorb a lot of the tan, and seem to rub it off in places. The only one I have never had any problems with is the St Tropez one. You can pick it up from Boots or Superdrug and they usually have them on offer. Boots own brand is also a good one, just don't go getting the cheap ones from Home Bargains as they just aren't worth it. Oh yeah, before these were invented, I used to apply fake tan with my hands (seriously). Don't do this EVER. Just don't.

4. Be Generous

If you aren't using a lot of tan when applying it, the chances are it's going to look streaky and there'll be patches. Don't be afraid of the tan. It's not going to bite you. Use a generous amount and be sure to get it in all the places you want and rub it in, in circular motions. I usually rub it all over, then go back over with nothing on the fake tan mitt, checking if there are any gaps or build up. You can usually make them go away just by rubbing over it with the mitt, as it'll still be wet from when you've used it. If this isn't doing the trick, add a little bit more tan.

5. Begin With The Face

Beginning with your face allows a good flow for applying your tan. Work your way down, then do your neck, chest, arms, stomach etc.

6. Let It Dry!

Just like painting your nails, as soon as you've applied it, you all of a sudden just have to have a quick look in that magazine, or check something on your laptop (ah, irony). After all your hard work, you don't want to go ruining it for the sake of letting it dry for 10 minutes. I've even resorted to using a little heater to speed this process along. Ensure your skin is dry before dressing, and try to wear loose clothing if you have to dress immediately after (I usually wear PJ's as the tan will rub off on your clothes).

7. Wash It Off

If you're using a wear off fake tan, then you'll get the results after washing the tan off. Most products say to leave it about 4-5 hours to develop. I usually leave it over night, and wash it off in the morning. This allows it plenty of time to settle. Whilst washing it off, make sure you get water every where you have the tan. Plenty of times I've got out of the shower, forgot about a patch on the back of my leg and I have a water line down it. If you wake up in the morning and sections look darker than others, don't fret! Washing it off removes a lot of the excess and streaks. Remember not to rub yourself dry with a towel, but to pat dry. Washing it off also lightens the colour, massively. So if you're worried you have applied too much, chances are it's going to fade by about half the colour aftter washing anyway.

8. Use Hairspray

If you want to wear the dreaded white after applying tan, or, if you're like me - a bit of a sweaty Betty, it can be a little bit tricky. To avoid rub off, I spray hairspray wherever this may occur, and WALLA! No rub off.

9. Exfoliate - Again

Once your tan is on and going strong, you need to use exfoliator to keep it looking fresh. I know, it sounds crazy right? The tan will eventually start to wear off (cry) but to make sure it wears off equally, you need to exfoliate (albeit, lightly). By doing this, the tan will fade, but fade naturally. If you don't, you run the risk of having patches of rub off - it doesn't look good.

10. Moisturise - Again

To keep your tan fresh, again you need to put the work in. Moisturiser will help keep the tan long lasting, and some even enhance your tan.

Some Extra Tips

  • If you're a beginner, it's always a good thing to start off using a wash off tan to get the practice in. This way, if you make a mistake, you can simply wash off and start again
  • Try to avoid a lot of white - the hairspray trick can only go so far!
  • Invest in an exfoliating glove - this is probably one the best things you can use to get any unwanted patches to leave!
  • Shave beforehand - if you shave after you've applied the tan, it strips some of the tan off, so you're left with paler legs than the rest of your body. Be sure to use moisturiser after shaving and to let your legs settle otherwise you'll get little dots where it's gone in to your pores.

Getting That Dark Tan

If you want a really dark tan, then follow the above steps by fake tanning the night before as normal, then repeat the process just before heading out without washing it off. This may be a cause for concern if someone tips a drink on you, but it's a risk you gotta take if you want that extra tan. You can also double up (or triple up!) at the beginning stage. Doing two layers of it will increase the colour after wash off.

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  1. I've never applied a fake tan myself, although I did go on some sunbeds in the lead up to my wedding. These look like great tips though. Kat x

  2. I've only used fake tan once and it was so brown compared to my pasty complexion I didn't like it. Looking back at photos I looked great but I did have a panic of looking like Barbie. I had a spry tan done and yes it develops more over night.... Much more. Never heard of the hair spray trick though!