SHOP THE POST:
Us bloggers form quite the bond with delivery people. I for one, have a very lovely postman that I see every other day called Jeff. We exchange Christmas presents, wave frantically at each other in the street and I'm actually going to be really sad when the day comes that Ollie and I have to move away from dear old Jeff. He's my friend. He's seen me at my best and oh, has that poor man seen me at my worst. I'd like to say Jeff knows me pretty darn well by now. That was, until I opened the door to him the other morning.
"Oh my god what's wrong!? Are you okay!? You've lost all your colouring!"
See, little did Jeff know that I was a closet pale girl. You'd think by looking at my dark features that my skin could hold at least some colour in it, but unfortunately my body hasn't had a real tan in years. Of course there's nothing wrong with pale, but - as you can tell by Jeff's reaction - it's just not the best look for me. So this got me thinking that, maybe, I'm actually not too bad when it comes to bronzing myself up, and so I thought I'd share a few of my secrets with you (and Jeff).
WHAT I USE:
I won't lie to you guys, my tanning routine is pretty damn extensive. For years I used to use any old fake tan and pile it onto my skin in hopes of waking up the next day like some sort of Victoria's Secret model. Or J Lo - either would do. But instead I ended up waking up to orange-stained bed sheets, looking patchy and stinking of biscuits. These days, I'm much more tactful when it comes to when I tan and what I use to give myself that faux glow. I like to use a variety of exfoliants - from the Scrub Love coffee body scrub to a simple dry body brush,an epilator, a variety of moisturisers (oils, butters, lotions, you name it) and the Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark.
PREPPING THE SKIN:
I feel like prepping is the most important part of any tanning routine. If the base is good, the tans gonna be good - it's as simple as that. When it comes to tanning it only actually takes me about ten minutes to put the brown stuff on my body - it's the rest of the routine that eats up my time. But trust me, it's worth it.
It all starts, well, before it even starts. I tend to do the majority of my tanning on either a Saturday or Sunday, depending on my plans, so at some point near the end of every week I like to do a once over on my legs (and *ahem* stomach) with my Braun Silk Epil epilator. Be sure to do any hair removal a day or so prior to actually tanning, to give your pores a chance to close up a little. This will ensure that the tan doesn't sit inside your pores, giving you a more natural finish. I like to scrub myself with a dry body brush both before and after epilator, to help get rid of any dead skin cells. Mm, sexy.
When it comes to actually tanning your skin the first step is to make sure your skin is completely clean and free of any deodorants and/or products. So, hop in the shower! Whilst there I like to give myself a good once over with a shower sponge, followed by a seriously intensive scrub using the Coffee Body Scrub by Scrub Love. Scrub scrub scrub. I love using this in the morning as the scent really helps to wake me and my skin up, but it's mostly a favourite of mine because of how easily it takes off any excess tan left over on my skin. The sweet almond oil helps to lift the pigment of the tan, whilst the coffee grounds buff it away, leaving super soft skin underneath. Yu will end up leaving your shower smelling like a cappuccino, and its the best feeling in the world.
APPLYING THE TAN:
The moment you've all been waiting for! At the moment I've been loving using a combination of Loving Tan's Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark (for my weekly tanner) and James Read's Express Glow Mask Body Tan for whenever I want a mini top-up or extra glow. Prior to tanning I make sure that I moisturise any dry sections of my skin, such as my knees, feet and elbows, to make sure I don't get any OTT dark patches. I also like to cover my hands and feet in lotion, so that when I carefully sweep the tan over my fingers and toes I don't end up with Oompah Loompah feet.
The Loving Tan takes around six hours to fully develop, but has absolutely zero biscuit-y smell when on your skin, so you can head out and about without a problem! It's potentially the darkest tan I've ever come across, but looks so unbelievably natural. It's so cliche to say, but I've actually had a few old friends come up to me asking me where I'd been on holiday. Oh, if only they knew the secrets hiding underneath. To apply, I simply buff it in using the Loving Tan mitt (although any decent mitt will do), allow it to dry for a few minutes and slip on some casual clothes. Then, six or so hours later I'll hop back in the shower and wash it off using just water.
This tan looks it's best for around four days or so. Sometimes I'll repeat the whole process again by this point, but most of the time I choose the lazy option. I'll shower, give myself a quick once over with some Scrub Love (exfoliating is key for a super natural tan) and dry myself off thoroughly. Then I'll pop on a layer of the James Read tanner - again, using a mitt - and leave it to work it's manage for a few hours or so. This one is a little more natural than the Loving Tan, but it's great for perking up the skin if you can't be bothered to go the whole hog. Top tip: Invest in a onesie. It'll become your new tanning-day BFF. I recommend one with cute animals ears.
MAINTAINING THE TAN:
Maintaining my tan is the bane of my life. I use deodorant and it rubs off. I scratch an itch, it rubs off. I breathe and - you guessed it - my tan rubs off. It's happened with every single tan Ive ever used, and the only way I've found to make it better (and not look so obvious) is to just go with it and exfoliate on the daily to ensure my skin remains smooth and the colour fades naturally. No one will ever know you're a secret pale girl like me. Apart from maybe your post man..
What are your top tips for the perfect fake tan?
*This post is in collaboration with Scrub Love, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!*