Self tanning is always such a taboo – the streaks, the ever burning question of ‘will I go orange’ and that Ross from Friends episode. But fear not, I am here to give you simple steps to ensure you have that holiday glow rather than anything too extreme – the best kind of self tan is the one the looks real.

Choosing a product:

With tanning, you really do get what you pay for. Choosing a value brand that’s on special offer might be fine for breakfast cereal but when it comes to the colour of your face – keep your eye on the prize. Don’t be afraid to check out the sea of information online from the tanning brands and their websites – the better ones will stand out a mile. 

Choosing the right product depends on a variant of factors: how busy you are vs how much stubble you have. Here’s how to work out what product you really need:

You have:

A busy routine, you want your product to build up naturally over a series of days so you can monitor the colour. You’re not afraid of streaking but you just want to control the level of colour you achieve and when you’ve reached your optimum colour, you can stop.

You need: 

Gradual Tanners. These have a low level of tanning agent in them and usually come in a moisturiser format. You can use them in place of any existing moisturiser and build the colour day on day. If you have ‘designer stubble’ or a beard – I’d suggest buying a Gradual Tan Spray. Hold roughly six inches from your face and gently mist each day to build a golden hue.

You have: 

A busy lifestyle, but time to spend one night in a week. You want a tan that lasts as long as possible.

You need.

Self Tan. These require 8-12 hours developing time and give you colour for roughly 4-7 days. If you’re using a Self Tan Mousse, simply mix half a pump with moisturiser on an applicator mit and apply to the face. If you have extremely fair hair, rub a small amount of moisturiser over the hairline and eyebrows. If you have ‘designer stubble’ or a beard – I’d suggest buying a Self Tan Spray. Hold roughly six inches from your face and gently mist. Self Tan Gels are also great for men too.

You have:

A surprise hangover and you’re desperate for a hit of last minute colour to make you look less grey in the chops and disguise any signs of the 4am kebab.

You need:

An Instant Tan Wash Off for face product. Simply apply a pea size amount to your fingertips and rub into the face and neck like you would a moisturiser to instantly give the skin colour, but one that washes off with warm soap and water. 

Make-Up and Tanning

You will notice that when adding a tan into your regime, your make-up patterns will change.

While a tan develops, the skin can form a level of shine due to a build up of excess sebum reacting to the tan. This is easily rectifiable with a blot powder. Simply dust over your forehead and nose to remove any unwanted sheene.

You will need much less cover up, as your complexion has been evened out and lifted. Tinted moisturisers are great on top of a self tan as they aren’t as heavy as foundation but still give that added coverage. 

With a hint of colour from a self tan – you’re eyes and teeth with stand out more. You can accentuate these further by adding a lip balm or a mascara to draw in some more attention!

My top tip for tanning is don’t be afraid. Start with a wash off or a gradual tanner and build up your confidence with it. Less is more and practice makes perfect.