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Self Tanning & Bronzing for Body
Achieving Perfect Bronzed Skin
Self tanning products can help you achieve a healthy, sunkissed look from the comfort of your own home. There's no need to wait for a sunny holiday, or shell out on expensive salon treatments, to achieve a gorgeous, year-round bronzed look.
Fake tan isn't without its pitfalls, though. Heavy hands or slapdash application can lead to embarrassing streaks and patches, or the dreaded 'orange' look.
Thankfully, with the right advice and preparation, it's easy to get the perfect fake tan at home, whether you're new to tanning lotion or have been bronzing your body for years.
Make It Look Natural
There are a few potential problems with fake tan - usually tell-tale signs that will give the game away - but these are easy to avoid.
There are no set rules on how to self tan - but even a little experimentation will show you there are definitely some wrong ways. It doesn't matter if you've found the best tan product in the world - if you fail to prepare properly, miss bits, or go overboard during application, people will notice you've used fake tan. Getting the perfect self tan, then, isn't always about getting the best shade of bronzer - it's just as important for your tan to look natural and streak-free.
Two of the main problems with fake tan are hairlines and hands. Those with fair hair who plan to use tanning lotion on their face may want to put moisturiser on their hairline and eyebrows to prevent giveaway fake tan stains.
It's also important to wear gloves: accidentally tanning your palms is a sure-fire sign that your sunkissed glow has come from a bottle. Palms don't usually naturally tan. Same goes for the spaces between your fingers. Even those lucky enough to bask in the sunshine of a tropical holiday won't return home with deeply tanned palms.
Wearing gloves will let you control how much tan is on your hands: don't leave them completely or you'll end up with the much-maligned 'white gloves' look. Instead, apply fake tan to body and face with gloves, then remove the gloves and put a small amount of fake tan on the backs of your hands. Pay special attention to your wrists, knees, elbows, ankles and feet too: all are susceptible to 'tide mark' style lines that will spoil the illusion.
How To Guide
Self tanning is a great way to get a deep, rich sunkissed glow, without having to leave the house. Follow these simple steps to prepare yourself before applying the bronzing lotion, and you'll be able to enjoy a flawless finish which looks anything but faked.
- Do your research. This will involve experimenting, but it's important to find the right shade of tanning lotion to suit your skin. You may have to try several tanning products before you find a colour you love.
- Before you start, be sure to exfoliate, scrub and moisturise all over. Pay particular attention to dry skin patches around your elbows and knees. Exfoliating clears dead skin cells: applying fake tan to an even 'canvas' results in an even tan.
- If you're planning to wax or shave, do so 24 hours before applying your bronzer.
- Don't tan your palms! This is the biggest giveaway of fake tan. Wear gloves. When you're done, remove the gloves and dab a small amount of tanning lotion on the back of your hands using an applicator. Rub it into skin by rubbing the backs of your hands together: again, don't touch the lotion with your palms. If you make a mistake, tan removal cream can help hide your mistake.
- Be thorough. Your fake tan won't look any worse if you cover the same area twice: it will look terrible if you miss a bit.
- Get some tools - a long-handled applicator will allow you spread tanning lotion in hard-to-reach areas, such as between the shoulder blades.
- Work upwards - start with your feet, legs and knees. Do your arms last. Be sure to pay particular attention to tell-tale areas - ankle lines, armpits and ears.
- Follow the instructions carefully and don't overdo it. If you want a deeper tan, reapply the tanning lotion over the next few days.
- Don't rub the tanning lotion into your skin - this could lead to streaks. Smooth it on and let it settle.
- Once you've applied your fake tan, put on comfy, loose clothing. Tight clothes could result in odd, patchy areas.
- Try not to wash your hands for at least two hours after self tanning: use wipes instead.
- If your tan is sticky or is taking a long time to dry, you can help speed it up with a hairdryer.
- Remember your hands and face will fade the fastest - exfoliate, moisturise and top-up your tan to keep your tan looking natural and even all-over.