With the end-of-year holidays almost here, what better way to prep your body than with a beautiful bronze tan. So get your golden glow in a bottle and be a beach beauty before you hit the sand!
Frustratingly, any mistake during application will be there for all to see. You need an even, natural-looking glow without risking irritation, breakouts and dryness. Here’s what to do…
1. Exfoliate the day before
Jules Heptonstall, the man behind the faux-glows of Rita Ora and Sienna Miller, advises using a mild facial exfoliator the day before. Removing dead skin cells will ensure the tanning agent works its magic on fresh cells, which will maintain a golden glow for longer.
Choose an oil-free glycolic acid-based exfoliator, instead of a harsh scrub – oil blocks absorption and scrubs are too drying and irritating.
Read more: Top tips for flawless skin
2. Protect your brows and baby hairs
The DHA ( dihydroxyacetone) in fake tan can turn hair green, so shield your brows and any lighter hairs around your hairline. Tanning guru James Harknett suggests applying a barrier of Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream to those hairs to avoid staining.
3. Mix it up with your moisturiser
Hydration is key to a gorgeous glow, so opt for a fake tan that you can mix in with your moisturiser. A serum works best, but go steady – it’s always easier to add more colour to your skin than take it out. You can also give your skin a boost with bronzer once it’s developed.
Read more: 3 Moisturising skin care essentials
4. Blend well but quickly
Tanning formulas absorb fast, so don’t linger in the same spot for too long. Using your fingertips, spread your tan and moisturiser mix around your face in quick, circular motions. Make sure you do this in a well-lit area, so you can spot streaks. And the minute you finish, wash your hands!
5. Cleanse to remove any excess
The next morning, rinse your face with a mild foaming cleanser to remove excess fake tan which will reveal your new bronzed look.
6. Contour some sculpted cheekbones
James recommends dabbing a dot of face fake tan that has a guide colour (i.e. it’s not white) under each cheekbone, then carefully blend it in for a slimming, sun-kissed glow that lasts.
Your tan kit
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser, R375
Caribbean Tan Tanning Spritzer, R99,95
BioNike Defence Sun Self-Tanning Face and Body Moisturising Lotion, R99,95
Elizabeth Arden Around The World with 8 Hour Limited Edition Skin Protectant, R285
Skinderm Pure Exfoliating Glo Pads, R395
Placecol Illuminé Retinol Serum, R620