Fak­ing your tan? Here’s how to glow like the celebs…

We've sac­ri­ficed streaks (and out sheets) in a bit to trial every new fake fan for­mula. From flaw-burning lo­tions to cus­tomis­able drops, here's our guide to the very best...

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TOP PICKS FOR PREP

1 Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a good ap­pli­ca­tor mitt. Velvotan, £2.99, that come in cute new de­signs, get our vote. 2

Sim­ple but ge­nius – Fake

Bake Bronzie 3-in-1 Mitt, £14.99, negates the need for your boyf or bestie when bronz­ing your back. Just ap­ply your tan along the length of it then move it back­wards and for­wards like a towel. 3

Jes­sica ZenSpa Re­vive Mi­cro­der­mabra­sion Foot Scrub, £16.95, John Lewis, is the best streak-slougher we’ve found thanks to gritty pumice and ex­fo­li­at­ing fruit acids. It’s de­signed for the tough skin on your feet but works a treat at blitz­ing dark knees or el­bows, es­pe­cially when paired with an ex­fo­li­at­ing glove if you’re not sen­si­tive. 4

Noth­ing calms that tight post-tan feel­ing faster than the fra­grance­free Cer­aVe Mois­tur­is­ing Cream, £14.50. It nour­ishes deep down but you’ll be able to dress within min­utes and it won’t mess with your colour.

GRAD­UAL MOIS­TURIS­ERS

WIN­NER: BOD Bake Daily Tighten Tan, £9.99, feelu­nique.com Look out for this new­bie brand in the bronz­ing aisle. It of­fers all kinds of for­mu­las but it was this co­conutscented lo­tion that wowed our tester.

‘It’s thicker than most so you do need a lit­tle force to mas­sage it in but it’s su­per-hydrating and one of the only tans I’ve found to gen­uinely smell nice – both in­stantly and the next day. The lighter shade is great for build­ing up over sev­eral days or slap on the darker one for a gor­geous hue in just two. My body did ap­pear more toned – not sure if that’s the anti-cel­lulite prom­ise work­ing or sim­ply be­cause I was golden. Ei­ther way, I’m sold!’ they said. Other hits Dove Vis­i­ble Glow Self-Tan­ning Lo­tion, £7.69. For value, this is tops – you get a whop­ping 400ml and there are two shade choices. If used too of­ten, it’s prone to patch­i­ness so stick to a few times a week.

So­lait In­sta-Grad Tan Oil, £4.99. Dry skins will adore this luxe oil al­though you need to slather on a lot to get an even coverage.

UBER-DARK MOUSSES

WIN­NER: Co­coa Brown by Marissa Carter 1 Hour Tan Ul­tra Dark, £7.99

We’ve long been fans of this af­ford­able gem and our tester re­ally rated the new darker ver­sion.

‘This is great for cus­tomis­ing your colour – you can wash it off af­ter just an hour if you’re af­ter a gen­tle fin­ish. I left it on overnight as I ap­plied it in the evening but I love that you’d get the same ef­fect af­ter just three hours. An ab­so­lute saviour for last-minute nights out! It dried quickly, didn’t trans­fer onto my bed­sheets and left a deep – but re­al­is­tic – hue that faded evenly over the fol­low­ing week,’ they said. Other hits Sunkissed Ul­tra Dark SelfieReady Tan, £5.99. Tech­nol­ogy that makes this look stronger in pho­tos is ge­nius al­though it wasn’t quite as dark as we’d hoped. St.Tropez Ex­tra Dark Bronz­ing Mousse, £34. This de­liv­ers the most in­tense, olive­toned hue of the bunch – just keep your­self cov­ered to avoid marked sheets.

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