the fragrance & beauty blog

The Best In Self Tanning

Author: Beth Cox April 23rd, 2018

Finding the right tan can feel like hard work! Let us help you in understanding how some of our favourite products can be matched to your needs. Whether it’s for face, legs or whole body (!) our ultimate list will make at home tanning feel like a holiday!

There’s a huge range of self tanning products on the market and they are all suited to different skin types, tones and preferences. From gradual tan moisturisers, mousses, tanning lotions, tanning body butters, the list goes on but you can be sure you’ll find something to suit your needs at Fragrance Direct.



So first up we’ll start with some of our most asked questions about tanning and some of our favourite tips to get the best streak free tan!

Tip 1: Do everything else first! If you need to shave, exfoliate, touch up your manicure, whatever it is just make sure you do it before applying fake tan. If you exfoliate, shave and moisturise (as long as your tanning product doesn’t say don’t moisturise!) before tanning your will be starting with the best base. This helps keep your as even as possible.


Help! How do I tan my face?

The best way to get a gorgeous glow on your face is to use a product that is specific for the face. Something like the James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face is perfect! These products often include skincare ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated. Make sure you apply the product as evenly as you can, not forgetting rubbing it into the hairline, down the next and on the ears. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’ve finished!



Tip 2: Start from your feet and work up. Use circular motions to apply your chosen fake tan product starting at your feet and pay particular attention to your ankles. Ankles can often pick up extra colour and look patchy so really buff it in. Starting at the bottom also prevents any marks or creases forming when you bend over.

Help! How do I tan my back?

This is every self tanners biggest problem! Especially if you’re applying your tan when you’re alone and therefore don’t have a spare pair of hands around. If you do have someone around, then use them! Sorry guys! However, if you don’t then fear not. Do you have a long handled body brush or loofa? Apply your tanning mitt on the end and secure with an elastic band or hair tie. Apply enough product to your mitt and then sweep it over your back, check in the mirror that you’ve covered all areas. This also works with a wooden spoon if you don’t have anything else!



Tip 3: Use a glove or a tanning mitt! Investing in a (or several) self tanning mitt is something you will never regret. A tanning mitt will make your application much more even and streak free, save your hands from staining and also stop you wasting product. You can also throw them in the washing machine when your done too so they’re super easy to clean!

Help! How do I tan my hands?

Hands can be a massive pain to tan seamlessly, but they are also the first place you’ll give away that your tan isn’t eau naturale! Ok so hands take a bit more attention and precision… first up make sure you moisturise your wrists and knuckles, then use a mist product to spray over the tops of your hands and wrists. This way you get a really even coverage, without having to rub it in. DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS STRAIGHT AWAY. This is the worst thing to do as you’ll end up with the dreaded fake tan sleeve! Instead use a wet wipe on any areas you want to clean e.g. nails, cuticles, palms.

Tip 4: Leave your tan to dry properly before dressing. This is an important step as you need to let the product fully dry down before dressing, otherwise you can end up with clothes marks. However long your tan says to leave before putting clothes on, in my experience, double it! Once the product is touch dry you can add a talc free baby powder all over and that should also help stop any tan from transferring to your clothes or bed sheets.

Help! How do I get my tan to last as long as possible?

Each product is different and therefore how long they last is down to a number of different factors. The product itself, your skin, your activities etc. However, there’s a couple of things you can do to help prolong your tan. Make sure you moisturise everyday, even using a gradual tan will help keep the colour topped up, don’t use any exfoliating products whilst you’ve got fresh tan as they will make you go patchy and avoid using any harsh cleansers on your face.



Tip 5: Cleaning up mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen, it’s inevitable… until you become a fake tan pro anyway! If a streak or blotchy area has appeared by next morning then don’t worry, you don’t have to start all over again. Try rubbing half a lemon on the area and then buff a damp cloth over the top, this should lift off any noticeable steaks and help them blend in.

Now for which products to choose…

The best in gradual tanners: Fake Bake Amplify Gradual Tan, Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, NKD SKN Gradual Tan Lotion, James Read Gradual Tan.

The best fake tan mousses: Sunkissed Self Tan Mousse, Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze Instant Self Tan Mousse, Ibiza Honey Instant Self Tanning Mousse, b.tan Not Just Your Weekend Lover Self Tan Mousse.

The best fake tan lotions: Rimmel Sun Shimmer, St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion, Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion, St Moriz Advanced Velvet Finish Tanning Gel.

The best face tanners: St Tropez Tan Untinted Bronzing Face Lotion, James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face, Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser for Face.


The best fake tan mists: Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan Air Brush Effect, Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze Airbrush Self Tan, Bondi Sands Self Tanning Mist.

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