How To

How To: Achieve a Flawless, Top-to-Toe Faux Glow

Last Updated: 31/03/2022

Spring is upon us (hallelujah!) — to welcome in the warmer weather and the emergence of your spring wardrobe, we’ve compiled the following tips and tricks to make {fake tanning} less traumatic…

{Slough those scales} It’s vitally important to remove dead cells and smooth the skin prior to tanning. Exfoliation creates the perfect, even base for self-tan; ensuring flawless application and a long-lasting result. However, DON’T exfoliate immediately before tanning — it’s best to do so the evening before (or to use a body brush if you’re in a mad rush) as the oils and emollients in some {scrubs} create a barrier between skin and the tan.

{Depilate} If you’re waxing, try to do it 24hrs pre-tan. This allows the follicles time to recover and prevents self-tan settling in the holes (polka dots limbs are totally last season…). If you’re a die-hard razor wielder, either shave the evening before or apply your tan and wait ’til it’s dry before slathering legs with conditioner (yes, as in, for your hair) and razor-ing to your heart’s content. Tan needs skin to react with (fruit acids bind with it’s proteins to create the colour), so if you cut through it’s uppermost layer of cells, you’ll end up with zebra-esque legs.

{Banish that body butter} As with body scrubs, moisturisers create a barrier to tan so give it a miss on the day that you’re applying your favourite faux-glow formula.

{Don a mitt} “Scrunch” product into a mitt — we love Bondi Sands’ {Reusable Application Mitt} — and apply in circular motions.

{The devil is in the detail} You should always tan from the toes up. It minimises the risk of tan transferral as you struggle to access those hard to reach bits. Once you’re done, use a damp cloth to wipe any excess colour from knuckles, knees, ankles, elbows and the sides of your feet for a flawless, believable finish.


Never been able to gel with fake tan? Infused with colour-correcting actives as well as innovative complexes that are clinically proven to beautifully enhance each skin tones’ natural hue, Isle of Paradise’s {Self-Tanning Mousse} comes in three versatile shades that are helpfully colour-coded to create your very own custom shade.

Let’s face it, we haven’t seen much sun; good thing that Coco & Eve have something to fix that (fake it until you make it, right?). Perfect for achieving a gradual, natural and glowing tan that’s unique to you, the {Sunny Honey Bronzing Face Drops} can be as light or as concentrated as you wish thanks to the clever dropper formula. This unique formula unities Bali-based botanicals with hyaluronic acid to increase skin elasticity, suppleness, and improve the appearance of fine lines. This is self-tanning as you’ve never seen it before — streak-free, stress-free and biscuit-y smell-free.

Now with a lighter, fast-absorbing and non-sticky texture, St. Tropez’s new and improved {Gradual Tan Body Lotion Light-Medium} is the perfect way to build-up a glorious glow and lock in hydration for up to 72 hours. Suitable for all skin types, this ultra-hydrating, vegan formula is infused with skin-loving extracts such as firming marine algae, high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (for hydration, duh!), as well as antioxidant-rich blueberry and raspberry seed oils. As for the faux glow, the formula calls on a 100% natural tanning active that develops over 4-8 hours to reveal a streak-free, light-to-medium bronze finish.


Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty

Writer and expert