Everyone looks better with a touch of golden glow on their skin, but it’s not always easy to get your fake tan 100 per cent perfect.
Dark patches, obvious tan lines and orange streaks are just some of the blunders that put women off the DIY approach - and sometimes even pricey salon tans go awry too.
We spoke to Abbi Hollins, ‘skin-finishing expert’ for St Tropez, to get some pointers on how to avoid, and fix, self-tan mistakes. (St Tropez is a premium self-tanning brand that uses Aromaguard technology to mask that tell-tale fake tan smell. Great news: this celebrity favourite has now dropped its New Zealand prices.)
It’s all in the prep
Exfoliate – but not too close to tanning time. Twelve hours before is ideal. If you do it too soon before tanning, skin will be too smooth to take on the tan. (There is also the danger that exfoliation may leave pores more open afterwards. Then dark spots of tan sit in them, leaving a spotted effect!)
Always moisturise the tougher parts of your skin – elbows, hands, knees and feet. St Tropez professionals use stickers on the bottom of your feet! You could mimic this at home by placing feet on top of a piece of cut-out book seal or other large sticker. (This means you don’t step in extra tanning solution and tan your soles.)
Choose your timing
Don’t tan if you are going to be sweating later that day. That means don’t do it on a hot day, when steamy weather could mean a streaky tan. Night-time tanning is probably best in the heat of summer.
Abbi always does two lighter layers for even coverage, rather than one thick layer, as it’s much easier to correct any inconsistencies. If you want a very light look, you should still do two layers but just wash it off sooner.
Fix tan fails
Use facials wipes after tanning to smooth the transition between wrists and hands, calves and ankles.
If you notice a mistake within four hours of applying tanner, you can use St Tropez Tan Remover to erase it.
You can also apply moisturiser over a dark patch, then give the entire area a light spray – this will even up blotchiness.
Try bath oil. Soak in St Tropez Tan Detox (or use baby oil), then gently scrub skin with an exfoliating product or mitt.
As a last resort, use instant bronzer to cover or blend mistakes.
St Tropez is available at beauty salons, pharmacies and my beauty store.
Click here to see Celebrity Tan Fails