Win bronze: how to apply fake tan with no streaks

Story

Win bronze: how to apply fake tan with no streaks

Image via Getty Images

Ah, Australian summers. They're hot, dry and demand we wear sleeveless tops and short shorts at all times – which isn't good news for those of us who aren't blessed with naturally glowy, bronzed skin.

Down here in Oz, we're pretty switched on when it comes to sun safety, and know the importance of covering up with sunscreen, a wide-brim hat and light clothing. Luckily, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to faux tanners, so we can recreate a holiday glow without the dangers of the sun.

If you're new to fake tanning (or have been using the same products and process for years) you might find our no-fail guide useful to achieve the ultimate colour. Now, where's my piña colada?


Image via Frank Body (available at Mecca Maxima).

Step one: prep

Achieving a bronzed, streak-free tan is all in the prep!

The night before you tan, use a tan eraser to remove any leftover tan and jump in the shower to exfoliate your entire body using exfoliating gloves and a good quality body scrub. By dodging this step, you risk the tan clinging onto last week's tan or areas of dry skin, making you look – gasp! – patchy.

Right before you tan, lightly moisturise any rough areas, paying particular attention to your elbows, knees and ankles. You don't want tan gathering here! You can also use a cleansing wipe to protect your palms from being tanned.

Once your body is free from deodorants and freshly exfoliated, it's time to tan!


Pictured: Palmer's Shea Butter Moisturizing Body Lotion from Amcal, Manicare Exfoliating Gloves from My Beauty Spot, Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes from Chemist Warehouse, Natio Wellness Body Scrub from Chemist Warehouse, Lush Shangri La Moisturiser, Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser from Pharamacy 4 Less.


Image via Frank Body (available at Mecca Maxima).

Step two: apply

This is the fun part! It's important here to set aside enough time to tan properly – a rushed tan only results in an uneven tan.

The first rule is that you must use a tanning application mitt, which will not only ensure a smooth, streak-free tan, but also protect your hands. Pump a small amount of product onto the mitt and apply in long, sweeping motions, buffing as you go. Start with one arm, then move down towards your stomach, and finally to your legs. Swap the mitt to the other hand and repeat on the other side.

Applying the tan on your own? No stress! You can use the Loving Tan Easy to Reach Back Tanning Applicator, or follow the advice of tanning guru James Read, who told Mecca Maxima that a wooden spoon inside a tanning mitt secured with a rubber band works a treat.

Leave your face last, using only the residue on the mitt so as to not over-apply. Alternatively, if you don't want to tan your face, you can squeeze a couple of drops a wash-off tanning gel in your foundation each day. We love The Body Shop Honey Bronze Drops of Sun Holiday Glow Creator.


Pictured: James Read Self Tan Fool Proof Bronzing Mousse from Mecca Maxima, The Body Shop Honey Bronze Drops of Sun Holiday Glow Creator, St Tropez Tan Application Mitt from Price Attack, Dr Denis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self Tanner for Body from Mecca Maxima, Loving Tan Easy to Reach Back Tanning Applicator from David Jones, St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil from David Jones.


Image via Frank Body (available at Mecca Maxima).

Step three: care

Most of us can get a little lazy after we've applied the tan, but unfortunately, the work doesn't stop there.

Rinse off your tan in a warm (not hot) shower and avoid soaps or shower gels, then pat dry with a towel. When you're fresh out of the shower, apply a generous layer of moisturiser. Do this every day when you're still warm from the shower, as this is when your skin soaks it up best.

Over the next few days, as your tan begins to fade, you can apply a tan enhancer or extender to give it new life or use a shimmer body oil to freshen it up. And remember – most faux tanners don't contain SPF, so you must still apply sunscreen every day!

After about four days, when it's time to wave goodbye to your tan, give yourself a good scrub with an exfoliating mitt to make sure it fades evenly, rather than going patchy. Lastly, smooth on a luxurious body butter.


Pictured: J Bronze by Jennifer Hawkins Exfoliating Mitt from Chemist Warehouse, Napoleon Perdis Whipped Dream Tan Enhancer, Clinique Sunscreen Virtu-Oil Body Mist SPF 30 from David Jones, The Body Shop Piñita Colada Exfoliating Body Cream Scrub, Frank Body Magic Shimmer Oil from Mecca Maxima, Aesop Resolute Hydrating Body Balm from David Jones.

Denim wardrobe essentials for the whole family
Combat the winter blues with bright home decor

What's happening