Fake it to make it

Katie Wright asks the ex­perts to share their se­crets and key ad­vice for self-tan vir­gins

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Beauty -

IF VI­SIONS of end­ing up look­ing like Ross from Friends af­ter his spray tan dis­as­ter have de­terred you, you needn’t worry: A sub­tle life-like tan is eas­ily achiev­able at home.

“It doesn’t have to be scary,” says Carly Hobbs, tan­ning ex­pert and Si­enna X brand am­bas­sador. “If you’re new to tan­ning, take things slowly and start with the best kind of prod­ucts — and prepa­ra­tion is ev­ery­thing.”

So how do you pre­pare and what are the best tan­ning prod­ucts for new­bies?

Here, Hobbs and two other tan­ning pros share their top tips for be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter your tan...

Be­fore: How to pre­pare your skin for fake tan

“For as long as pos­si­ble pre- tan­ning, ex­fo­li­ate and mois­turise as much as pos­si­ble to keep skin soft, sup­ple and tan-ready,” says Hobbs. “On the day of your tan, ex­fo­li­ate to get rid of that last bit of dead skin cell build up.”

Wax­ing should be done 24 hours be­fore tan­ning and shav­ing 12 hours be­fore.

“Leav­ing these time frames al­lows the fol­li­cles, from where the hairs are whipped out, time to calm down and the pores on the sur­round­ing skin to close so you don’t get a spotty tan,” she ex­plains.

Ap­ply a coat of nail pol­ish to your nails on your hands and feet, as this will pre­vent tan from stain­ing the nail plate, says Marissa Carter, founder of tan­ning brand Co­coa Brown.

If you have dark cir­cles un­der your eyes, Carter ad­vises ap­ply­ing Vase­line to stop the tan from fur­ther dark­en­ing that area: “You can also add a small amount of pe­tro­leum jelly through your eye­brows to pre­vent the tan from dis­colour­ing them too.”

Dur­ing: The best tan­ning tech­nique

While moisturising in the week lead­ing up to your tan is im­por­tant, skip the lo­tion on the day: “En­sure your skin is free from any prod­ucts, mois­turis­ers, oils, make-up and de­odor­ant on the day you tan as this can af­fect the fi­nal re­sults,” warns Jayne Cooper, St Tropez skin-fin­ish­ing ex­pert.

“St Tropez Grad­ual Tan One Minute Ev­ery­day PreShower Tan­ning Mousse is the per­fect prod­uct for be­gin­ners. Sim­ply ap­ply to dry skin with or without a mitt, leave for just one minute and shower as nor­mal and your tan will de­velop over the next eight hours.”

If you are us­ing a prod­uct that re­quires a longer de­vel­op­ment time, you must use a mitt.

“Ap­ply your cho­sen tan in up­ward sweep­ing move­ments, over­lap­ping each area,” Cooper rec­om­mends.

“Let your tan dry be­fore hav­ing a drink or brush­ing your teeth as ac­ci­den­tal drips may wash away the colour. This also ap­plies to tan­ning with wet hair,” says Carter. The same goes for do­ing the dishes, and you can’t get sweaty so ex­er­cise is out of the ques­tion.

“Sit back and re­lax in loose clothes as your tan de­vel­ops, ideally go bra-less too so you don’t dent or mark your gor­geous glow,” Hobbs says.

“Have a quick warm, not hot, shower af­ter your de­vel­op­ment time, but don’t use shower gel all over in the shower. In­stead, keep soap or cleanser to just bits and pits to avoid strip­ping off all your hard bronz­ing work.”

Af­ter: You’ve prepped thor­oughly, tanned care- fully and you’re bronzed to per­fec­tion. Now what?

“The first time you shower af­ter you’ve ap­plied your tan, use shower gel but don’t ex­fo­li­ate your skin,” warns Carter.

“Mois­turise daily with an oil-free mois­turiser to keep your skin hy­drated and gen­tly ex­fo­li­ate ev­ery two to three days, which can ex­tend your tan by up to three days,” Cooper says. “Self­tans will last on av­er­age five to seven days de­pend­ing on which prod­uct you’re us­ing.”

Once it’s faded, ex­fo­li­at­ing or us­ing a tan re­mover mitt will re­move any last traces.

“Don’t for­get your SPF when go­ing out even when you’re tan­ning - fak­ing it doesn’t pro­tect you from the sun,” Hobbs says. “And if ever you want to strip off your tan, dive into the swim­ming pool. The chlo­rine will pare back all of the colour.”

Fake favourites:

Co­coa Brown by Marissa ■ Carter Tough Stuff 3in1 Body Scrub, €4.99

Co­coa Brown by Marissa ■ Carter 1 Hour Tan Mousse, €7.95

St Tropez Grad­ual Tan One ■ Minute Ev­ery­day Pre-Shower Tan­ning Mousse, €11.89

St Tropez Ap­pli­ca­tor Mitt, ■ €6.99

Si­enna X 1 Hour Self Tan ■ Tinted Mousse, €33

Ame­lio­rate Trans­form­ing ■ Body Lo­tion, 200ml, €30, M&S

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