Fake Tan – How to pick your perfect tan and apply!

If you’re like me, fake tan is a large part of your life!

There is nothing better than applying a few layers before bed, and waking up the next morning feeling and looking like a beautiful bronzed goddess. There are many positives about fake tanning, one of them being it’s just an immediate confidence booster.

I know if I am having a down day and not feeling great about myself, all I need to do is chuck some tan on and immediately I feel better! Some people may think that’s sad but it’s really not! It’s amazing that there is something out there that can have such an immediate effect to make people feel better about themselves. We should be encouraging each other as girls (or guys – the more the merrier) to embrace the small things we’ve found that make us feel like we can go out and conquer! Whether they are superficial or not. It’s not hurting anyone is it!

“Fake tan is bad for your skin”

Now, I’m not doing it purely for the superficial side of it, I also do it for health reasons. I know a lot of people will argue me on this and say “it’s bad for your skin, it dries it out, it gives you spots” BUT! I am here to destroy all these rumours and advise you on how to get the best possible outcome to keep you and your skin happy and healthy. Obviously, there is health benefits that you don’t have to sit out in sun and burn yourself, keeping away from all those nasty UV rays and what not!

I have tried many different fake tans over the years, I think we can all remember using our mums Garnier gradual tan after sun, not applying it carefully enough so we all ended up walking around with orange streaks on our legs smelling like a digestive biscuit! But, as the years have gone on and we’ve grown up, luckily fake tan has grown with us. There are so many different brands out there now offering so many different types! You’ve got mousses, lotions, you’ve got overnight developing ones, instant, heck! You’ve even got overnight oil treatments that also tan you! What a dream! More recently the fake tan ‘water’ has appeared. It’s non-stop.

In this blog, I’m going to talk to you about my favourite brands for tanning right now, and the best way to apply them, from one fake tan fanatic to another. So, let’s get started. I have another blog all about which products I use to create which desired look, head on over to for some tanning inspo! Click here to read it!


One thing people always forget to take into consideration when choosing fake tan, is what undertone they are. For example, if you have pink undertones then going for a tan that has a pink hue won’t work, it won’t compliment your skin and it will make you look quite red, you need a tan that will counteract that. It always comes back to the colour wheel! (My fellow makeup ladies will know what I mean by this) however, if you are new to makeup and fake tan and wondering what on earth is she talking about? Click here to read my full guide to the colour wheel!

So, take me as an example, I am olive skinned but I have pink undertones, so using a tan with a pink hue like Bondi Sans* is of no use to me. It doesn’t compliment my skin, it leaves me looking quite red and it doesn’t stick to my skin either. One of my all-time favourites for my skin tone will always be St Tropez. It just guarantees an all-over natural colour with perfect application. If you want that bronzed goddess look – this is your tan! It works so well for me as it has a green hue which counteracts any redness, therefore, leaving me with a nice brown colour and eliminating any chance of being orange. Now I know it’s quite pricey, but believe me you get what you pay for. However, if you do have more of a cooler undertone to your skin, St Tropez might not be the tan for you.

A new trend that has become a thing recently, are these new self- tans that do all the hard work for you! My current favourite tan is Isle of Paradise, they are an Australian brand that have created a formula that has colour correcting agencies in them. The tanning life couldn’t be simpler… hallelujah!

All you need to do is know what undertones you have and hey presto! You can also pick from a light, medium and dark self-tan depending on which depth you would like to go for. You will find that a lot of self-tans these days offer a range of depth, which is very handy if you are fair skinned and prefer to have a slight glow.

*Disclaimer – I was not a fan of Bondi Sands, I didn’t like the look or feel of it at all. It was very wet to apply and took a long time to dry, its transfers A LOT and it doesn’t stay very well. I’m saying this because I don’t want people to go out and buy it and realise they feel the same way as me and waste their money.


The way in which self-tan is made these days definitely makes for an easier application however, there is definitely an art to getting it seamless!

Preparation is key

When applying fake tan, you want to make sure you have prepped your skin appropriately. On the bottles of most self-tans it tells you to exfoliate, this is such an important part of the process and I know most people can’t be bothered, because I even fall victim to that too. By exfoliating you are getting rid of all the dead skin cells on your body, leaving a perfect base for your tan, meaning it will actually last longer and when it does start to fade, it won’t fade patchy. You should also exfoliate every day you have the tan on.

The morning I wash my tan off (I tend to tan at night and sleep in it) I just use shower gel so I give it a day to really settle into my skin. Then the next day I go in with a pair of exfoliating gloves. You can find them at any healthy and beauty store near you. I squeeze some shower gel onto them and start scrubbing (not too hard as you don’t want to take it off!) That way its quick and easy! Most people think that if you have a tan (natural or artificial) you should avoid exfoliating as it takes the tan off quicker. This IS NOT true, it actually makes your tan last longer, you’re removing all the dead skin cells, so your natural tan can become deeper and also your fake tan won’t stick to your dry dead skin and make you look patchy.

Long-lasting Results

Once you have your tan on and you feel like a new, more confident woman, you want it to stay as long as possible. Not just because you feel great with it on but it is SUCH a pain going through the whole process anytime soon! So, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make it last. That includes my good old friend, moisturiser. It’s SO important to try and moisturise every day! That way we are hydrating our skin and preventing it from getting dry and turning patchy, which is fake tans worst friend. A great moisturiser is Palmers Coco Butter, but if you already have one I’m sure that’ll do just fine too!

I hope you find these tips helpful, and that your tanning application is now much smoother and lasts longer!