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Discover our tips and tricks on how to get a natural-looking, even tan

Selftan

Preparation is key

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Selftan
Selftan

Preparation is key

Two words: Exfoliate and moisturise. If you want a beautiful, natural-looking, streak-free tan you have to prepare your skin properly.

Why exfoliate? You need to remove dead, flaky skin because if you don't your tan will simply brush away; if you have dry patches it will look uneven and unnatural. The colour in fake tan develops best on fresh, moisturised skin so hydration is essential.

Pay particular attention to moisturising elbows, hands, knees and feet as these tend to be the driest areas. You can spot a fake tan a mile off if these areas have been neglected. Prepare properly though and your tan could last up to 5 days.

Selftan

defuzz in advance

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Selftan
Selftan

defuzz in advance

Again, like exfoliation preparation is key.

Remove any unwanted hair - legs, underarms, bikini lines - 24 hours before self-tanning to allow your pores to close, preventing tan from sitting in open pores.

If it does, you'll simply draw attention to the pores. Not pretty!

Selftan

the perfect shade

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Selftan
Selftan

the perfect shade

Don't just go for the shade you'd like to be. A dark tan on a naturally pale skin can look very fake. Not good.

Much better to choose a shade your skin naturally acquires in the sun.

If you are fair-skinned, for example, start with a product like Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Dry Body Mist Light, which will complement your natural skin tone by glowing subtly on your skin. If your skin tans to a more olive tone, try a darker shade.

Selftan

Tan before bed

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Selftan
Selftan

Tan before bed

Apply your tan before you go to bed so the colourants have time to activate as you sleep.

If you've prepared properly and applied carefully you'll wake up with your perfect sun-kissed 'glow'.

Selftan

avoid the shower

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Selftan
Selftan

avoid the shower

Self tan needs time to develop so avoid getting your skin wet or exercising – perspiration is your enemy – until 8 hours after application to ensure your tan stays in tip-top condition.

After that it should be 'fixed' so feel free to bathe or go for a swim but bear in mind that washing, soaking and towelling dry will not do your fake tan any favours. Self tan is only a temporary solution.

Selftan

don't forget your mitt

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Selftan
Selftan

don't forget your mitt

Pros always use a mitt. It's the best way to ensure a smooth, even tan, and it helps to keep your hands stain-free!

Apply your self tan confidently using a circular motion to achieve a more natural, less streaky finish.

Selftan

Tan from the feet up

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Selftan
Selftan

Tan from the feet up

Have a plan. Don't just go crazy with that mitt. Apply your self tan in sections, starting with your feet and legs to avoid creasing the tan on your tummy as you bend down.

Have you moisturised elbows, knees, hands and feet? If not, it's too late! See 'Preparation is Key' above.

Use any left-over tan on your mitt to blend over your hands – one then the other – for a smooth and even finish. If you are using a spray, three short sprays should give you perfect coverage.

Selftan

Try a tinted self tan

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Selftan
Selftan

Try a tinted self tan

When you've finished self-tanning, it's crucial to check your own work. Have you missed any areas?

It's a good idea to use a tinted self tan so you can easily see where you've been.

Selftan

It's all about the face

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Selftan
Selftan

It's all about the face

Tanning your body is one thing; making sure your face fits requires even more attention to detail, because that's where people look first.

Be particularly careful with the hair line and around the eyebrows. It's a good idea to lightly moisturise your hairline before tanning and to finish by blurring the tan in to the hairline. A hard line or 'tide mark' of colour will look ugly.

If you are using a spray, try wearing a headband to avoid any unwanted self-tan along the hairline.

Selftan

Keep your glow longer

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Selftan
Selftan

Keep your glow longer

You don't want to have to repeat this self-tanning exercise every day. And you don't have to.

A properly-applied self tan can last up to 5 days but it needs a little maintenance. The key to prolonging a fake tan is to moisturise regularly and reapply or re-touch when necessary.