Ahhhhh over the years I have discovered that a "good tan" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I know, it's the more safer option than actually baking yourself in the sun but it's not having the right effect if you KNOW its fake, right? Whether it be because of bad application leaving you with stripes or whether it's just because it is the wrong colour.
It's imperative that the right one is used, which unfortunately means a bit of trial and error. But think of it this way: When you are trying to match foundation to your skin, you are looking for the right texture (oil-free, moisturising etc) and more importantly the right colour. So why wouldn’t fake tan be the same?
I have a yellow undertone to my skin (growing up I was called Bart simpson…kids can be so cruel) so applying a yellow based “golden” tan is going to look ridiculous and make me look jaundice. Not quite the desired effect. I am a control freak from way back so if I am going to wear fake tan its going to be applied by me and me only. It's a lot of effort and it requires some pretty interesting body contortions but so far I've been pretty successful. Luckily, I was blessed with long gangly arms!
For us “Simpsons” I love the Ella Bache Great Tan Without Sun as it has a bronze undertone which means it gives my skin a subtle warmth. What I love about this product is that the lotion is actually coloured so you can see where you apply it to prevent the lines and patches. Unfortunately it is a 6-8 hour one so make sure you don’t have to exert yourself that day and I tend to stay indoors. You will look dirty by the end of it so maybe wear some older clothes. See, I said it was a bit of effort.
There is obviously a bit of preparation and some things to look out for. Follow my tips and you will be a bronzed god/goddess in no time!
- Exfoliation - This HAS to be done in the lead up to your application. 2 days before and then again the day before (especially in the colder months). The tan will sit on the dead skin cells if they aren’t buffed off creating patches (and grossness!). Try using an exfoliating mitt with circular motions or use my favourite product at the moment Frank Body.
- Hydration - Fake tan will always dry out your skin so you want to make sure that it is well nourished before its applied. This should be done in the lead up everyday to create a smooth palette for the tanning product. Mix a bit of Vitamin E oil or Bio Oil into your body moisturiser to ramp up the hydration.
- Application - If you aren’t a control freak (like me!) then head to a salon that either specialises in fake tans or go off a recommendation. I send all my brides to Bronzalicious in Neutral Bay. They have every make of tan available under their roof and they match the product according to your skin tone and your desired darkness. Some will only need to be left on for 2 hours which is a winner in my eyes.
Please, please, please do not be a serial fake tanner though. Your skin will need a rest in between and trust me, it takes weeks for it to be off completely even with a good amount of exfoliating! Although I'm not of a scientific background, I don’t think pickling your skin in this tone changing substance can be good for you too right?
Now that the warmer months are upon us and I don't want to blind everyone with my white and mottled flesh I guess I will start warming up for my contortions!!