Fab Friday style tip: what you need to know about faking it

Nikki Parkinson Beauty 46 Comments

I’ve already had my first spray tan of the season and have started to semi-regularly apply a gradual tanner to at least my legs and arms.

That’s the thing about launching full-steam ahead into spring. It actually gets too hot to hide your arms and legs. The same limbs that were having a nice, cosy party for four under jackets, jeans, tights and leggings now have to be loud and proud.

I don’t proclaim to be a self-tanning expert. Far from it.

Mainly this is due to my impatience and lack of quality time alone in the bathroom.

But I have learned a few tricks over the past few years that you might like to take on board should you wish to go down the fake tan path.

1. If you’re wanting to tan at home, arm yourself with the essentials. And get a lock on your bathroom door. You’ll need an exfoliator, tanning lotion to suit your skin colour, perhaps an application glove and someone to help you reach the bits you can’t get to.

2. If you’re a bit scared of the potential mess you could make of your own application, you have two options: stick with a gradual tanner (it’s fake tan mixed with moisturiser and can’t be stuffed up) or book in at a salon.

3. If booking in at a salon, you need to do your prep work beforehand. Firstly, book to have your tan 48 hours before any special event (it takes this long for the colour to fully develop). Shave 24 hours before. Exfoliate that morning and avoid moisturiser beforehand.

4. Ask around for a salon recommendation. I went even further before getting my first spray tan and asked for recommendations from people who had similar skin colouring to me. I didn’t want to look like this:

Anne Hathaway all tanned up for the 2008 movie, Bride Wars. Let this be a lesson to you if you have pale skin and are seeking out a fake tanning solution

Anne Hathaway all tanned up for the 2008 movie, Bride Wars. Let this be a lesson to you if you have pale skin and are seeking out a fake tanning solution. Photo: Just Jared

5. If the spray tan is for a special occasion like a wedding (I’ve had a couple of emails about this recently) then make sure you do a test run at least a month out to make sure you’re happy with the colour.

6. Do not to the Eagle Rock. (I’ll let my Barbie video explain this further).

7. So that the colour on your face blends seamlessly with that on the rest of your body, ask your spray tanner to do a light spray over your face then adjust your foundation to suit. Bronzer also helps to blend face and body.

8. Head to your spray tan prepared with loose clothing to put on afterwards. Preferably black clothing. An Australian company has cleverly come up with a dress specifically for this task.

9. Moisturise EVERY day after a spray tan. I like to use a gradual tanner here as it will prolong the tan and make it less patchy when it fades. Before tanning again, exfoliate or use a Tan Go cloth to get rid of any residual colour.

Self-tan products I love

1. Custom Tan self-tanning mousse $32.95 | 2. Invisible Zinc Sunless Tanning Jet Set Tan $38 | 3. St. Tropez Everyday Perfect Legs $43.95 | 4. Palmer’s Natural Bronze Tanning Moisturiser $12.95 | 5. Le Tan Instant Face Tan $7.99 | 6. Jane Iredale Tantasia self tanner $54 | 7. Ella Bache Great Tan Without Sun $40

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Ella Bache opens in Brisbane’s Myer Centre: If you work in the middle of Brisbane then getting your tan on just got a little easier with the opening this week of this salon. The owners are the team behind Ella Bache Carindale, Capalaba and Post Office Square. This new salon offers full skin analysis and diagnosis, along with a beauty menu of waxing, tanning, facials and body treatments. And yes, you can pick up your Great Tan products while you’re there.

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Do you fake tan for summer? Or throughout the year? What’s your favourite products? Do you have any tips for those who have never tried a salon spray tan?

Oh, I have just received a special offer from Custom Tan that I can pass on to Styling You readers. Enter stylingyou at the check out to save $5 on your purchases at the online store. Visit here

Comments 46

  1. Thanks for the tips. I’ve never been big on self tanning, thanks to a bad experience several years ago. It seems things have moved on and I just need to build up the confidence to give it a go again. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. I heart Model Co = Tan in a can. It has taken me a few times to perfect the spraying on but I love the natural looking tan it offers. No one thinks its fake!

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  3. Love the tips Nikki! I did my first fake tan in mid September and I’d almost forgotten all the essentials. Exfoliate is a must, keeping the suggestions on hand too, I love Le Tan products!

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  4. Love the video Nikki! I had my first spray tan this year and I am so in love with a spray tan now. In fact, i am counting down the sleeps until I have mine on Friday! (Have a fancy cocktail party on Saturday night.) I use Brown Bodies http://www.brownbodies.com/ and love it because they come to me. They do Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Super tips though, must remember to exfoliate on Thursday!

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      Thanks to your recommendation, Nicole, I’ve passed on Brown Bodies’ details to two of my readers and clients. So important to get these kind of referrals in the tanning industry – particularly if you have pale skin and don’t want to look “orange” at the end of it!

  5. I hope more of the spring carnival ‘fillies’ take your advice on planning ahead of the event. Last time I went to the races it poured down and there were girls everywhere with fake tan running down their legs onto their shoeless feet. So classy!

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  6. I just used Custom Tan mousse for the first time, and I love it! I have always been a St Tropez girl, but Custom Tan had the mit, and it was brilliant. So easy to use, and not one streak. It’s also slightly darker, so I don’t feel like I have to re-apply. What a great find! Won’t use anything else now.

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  7. I have to admit that I don’t get the fake tan craze. I find pale skin sexy (but maybe that’s because I have naturally olive skin, and we all tend to want what we don’t have?).

    When I think of the mess, the fuss and the expense I reckon it would be better to spend on a new funky sun-hat, swimming costume or lippy. I actually use it as a way to rationalise my summer purchases – eg. “I don’t buy tanners so I’m saving money and can therefore afford this [insert lovely new piece of sartorial gorgeousness]” 😉

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  8. Hi Nikki, my question is, is there a fake tanner that doesn’t smell? I hate that yep-I’ve-done-the-fake-tan smell. I’ve got it with every home fake tanner I’ve ever used no matter how expensive. You can smell it for days. Janny

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      I find with my salon spray tan it smells the first night (and most out there now you can shower after 4 hours so you don’t have to go to bed smelling like a barbecue chook). Custom Tan, Great Tan and Tantasia above are great non-odour options for at home. There’s also a Great Tan gradual tanner that doesn’t even have a whiff of fake tan.

  9. Thanks the post…..I am a gradual tanner from way back……quick and easy when you have a 2 and 4 year old and struggle to find time to get the eyebrows done ( an absolute must as far as I am concerned) let alone get to a salon fo a fake tan spray.
    Not sure about the slightly funny but also a little bit creepy barbie vid…..had you been drinking? 😉

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  10. I’m a fake tanner. Why not? Actually, I don’t tan naturally, I got red, then back to white, so fake tan is my friend. I tend to only do it for special occasions though, and I have ALWAYS gone to my beautician, but I have people swearing to me it’s easy to do at home and much cheaper….apparently not dummy proof!
    I LOVED your vlog! Hilarious! And agree about the carrying your shoes home. It’s not classy, at least wear them to the car.

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  11. I have been sprayed various times now and the lady I go to uses Custom Tan. She does an awesome job & it’s so natural looking. I LOVE when I’m tanned! It makes me feel so much more confident…without the skin cancer. I haven’t tried the mousse yet but I do use the tan extender. It is divine – smells beautiful and my skin just laps it up – and on the upside my tan lasts longer.

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  12. Barbie rocks, what a giggle to start the day. I am a St. Tropez girl, more pricey than sum but a little goes a long way, I use both the self tan and everday products. Ps love the Tanfan!

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  13. I tried this Custom Tan product last week – loved it it had no smell and also I was glowing straight away – i am a regular self tanner (to shy to get sprayed at a salon).
    I went online to the Custom Tan website and bought some for my family n friends – easy and quick delivery as well.

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  14. Hi Nikki!

    Got my first tan last night in about 3 years! I went to Bellapelle on the Gold Coast and they use ‘Tuscan Tan’….amazing colour, very happy with it!! I was thinking about topping up with gradual tanners too – so they don’t interfere with the spray tan?
    x

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  15. I usually use Garnier but I hate the smell of most chemical tanners. I have recently heard about Eco Tan though and am going to give it whirl – sounds amazing and best of all chemical and smell free!! Can’t go wrong!

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      The great thing is that in recent years the odour problem is being addressed by salon and home tan companies. Ella Bache Great Tan (above) is just one. I never found the odour too bad but now it’s even better. Let me know how you go with Eco Tan.

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