Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - WORDS: PEY­TON HUTCHINS

While we barely ex­pe­ri­ence win­ter, those rays don’t pack the same sum­mer punch leav­ing our skin look­ing a lit­tle milkier than usual.

Beauty guru Gra­cie Clough, author of The Gra­cie Files, says self-tan is a sea­sonal skin saver, al­though you’ll need to get your prep per­fect if you want a nat­u­ral re­sult.

“Be sure to do all your wax­ing, shav­ing and ex­fo­li­at­ing 12 to 24 hours be­fore you ap­ply your tan,” she tips.

“If you wax or shave di­rectly be­fore you ap­ply tan, the tan may sit in your pores and cre­ate dark dots on the skin. Smooth, ex­fo­li­ated skin also en­sures you achieve the most even, streak-free tan pos­si­ble.”

When fake tan first gained trac­tion we were limited to one or­ange bot­tle of liq­uid that splut­tered out of a pump noz­zle. Now the op­tions are vast, so get your colour right.

“We’ve all had self-tan­ning blun­ders at some point, but the big­gest tan­ning faux pas is us­ing a tan that’s un­nat­u­rally dark or or­ange,” Gra­cie says.

“Tan­ning brands have come a long way and now there are so many amaz­ing brands out there that will give you a nat­u­ral look­ing self-tan. Pick a tan base that com­ple­ments your skin’s un­der­tones.

“If you are very fair nat­u­rally, a green­based tan can be a great op­tion. Vi­o­let bases tend to suit those with a nat­u­ral olive com­plex­ion, how­ever, as a fair-skinned girl, I do love a good vi­o­let base as well.”

Help the for­mula glide on evenly by ap­ply­ing mois­turiser to your feet, knees, el­bows and hands be­fore tan­ning.

“These tend to be the dri­est parts of our bod­ies, so tan can be prone to grab­bing on to those ar­eas and will be­come very dark with­out a mois­turiser un­der­neath,” Gra­cie says. “al­ways ap­ply tan mousses, creams, and lo­tions with a tan­ning mitt to get a streak-free fin­ish sans or­ange palms.”

If you are a tan­ning new­bie, ex­per­i­ment with a grad­ual tan first.

“This will al­low you to get the hang of tan ap­pli­ca­tion and, if things go south, it will be less no­tice­able,” Gra­cie says.

“When tan­ning the face, try us­ing a tan for­mu­lated specif­i­cally for the face, so you don’t break out or end up too dark.

“Face-spe­cific for­mu­las are of­ten also filled with great skin­care in­gre­di­ents to leave you hy­drated and glow­ing in no time.”

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