Exfoliate: In order for the tan to apply evenly and without telling blotches, it's vital to ensure your skin is free from dry patches and dead skin that the tanning lotion can stick to. To get best results before a big event, buff your skin in the shower with an exfoliator every day for a week to leave a flawlessly smooth surface. This will also help the tan to last longer, as the colour sheds away with dead skin cells on the surface - the less you have, the longer it will take for the colour to fade. I love Rimmel's pre tan exfoliator (£6.99) because it's great at buffing skin both before and after you've tanned, as well as being affordable.
Moisturise: Pay special attention to your moisturising routine before, during and after your fake tan application. Hydrating your skin before you apply will ensure skin is even and dry areas are reduced, while applying afterwards will ensure skin stays supple and that dead skin churn is minimal - in turn, this should aid the length of your tan's life. There are some great moisturisers that can be applied quickly, while leaving no greasy residue or sticky feeling on the skin - try Vaseline's Spray and Go (£4.99) in the morning, as well as E45 (£4.85) lotion in the evening for a great hydration hit before bed.
The Application: Applying fake tan without a tanning mitt or glove is just too dangerous. They don't have to be expensive, but they really do aid application and help to create a flawless result. Primark offer affordable tanning mitts (£2.00) that can be washed and re-used multiple times, while Velvotan have fab mini mitts for the face, as well as back applicators, to make tanning easy and flawless. Just apply a few blobs of your chosen lotion or mousse to the mitt, using it to manoeuvre the tan around the body and buff into the skin - no finger marks or blotches in sight!
Wash-Off One Day Tan: If you're a little hesitant when it comes to tanning, then one-day wash off products are definitely a great place to start. They offer instant colour (no developing time required,) and a subtle glow without the faff. You can apply them all over or just to your visible bits, great for when you're in a rush and have decided to wear that knee-length summer skirt. My personal favourites include Rimmel's Sunshimmer BB Skin Perfector (£6.99) which also evens out skintone, and Caudalie's Tanning Cream (£16.00.) Both provide a subtle and natural glow, without the drying and developing time associated with other tanning products.
Sunkissed Skin: If you want to look like you've just stepped off a plane from the South of France, then you need a product that provides a natural sunkissed glow. The key here is to look like you're not trying to hard; your tan shouldn't be obvious or look too dark. These subtle tans are great for pale skins that don't want to suddenly step out looking like they've spent a fortnight in Marbella. As a pale skinned tan junkie, I frequently turn to Sunkissed (£3.99) and Cocoa Brown (£7.99) tanning mousses - both are extremely affordable and provide a flawless result that just provides a touch of health to my otherwise transparent limbs. They last around 2-3 days, so be sure to buff away the tan as it fades and re-apply for a continued sunkissed glow.
Holiday Glow: For a deeper colour result (and one that's more suited to tropical climates or the midst of summer,) then investing a little more in a great range is the way to go. I love He-Shi tanning products, as they provide a deeper colour result and long-lasting performance without streaking or looking too orange. They're easy to apply and great for pale skintones, especially as their Express Liquid Tan (£37.00) is the lightest I've ever applied. Deeper colours will last a little longer (up to five days,) making them better if you're going away and don't want to worry about re-applying away from the comfort of your bathroom.
Spray Tan Tastic: For a special occasion, there's nothing quite like a professionally applied spray tan. This is also a great option if you're a little worried about applying tan yourself, as you can work with your therapist to pick the right base shade and re-evaluate throughout the process. Sienna X are a great brand to turn to for a professional flawless finish, without feeling too dark. The Tanning Shop also offer in-salon spray tans, as well as St Tropez having spray booths within many beauty salons nationwide. It's a good idea to pop in and talk to a beauty therpaist before booking an appointment, just to ensure you've asked all your burning questions and are confident you can get the result you want. A fab spray tan will last up to a week, making it perfect for weddings or mini breaks to the beach.
After Care: To ensure your tan lasts as long as possible, moisturise thoroughly every day and exfoliate lightly every three days. If you can avoid excessive sweat or any spa treatments you'll look glowing for longer, but if you do want to remove it use a strong sugar scrub to buff it away gently when it starts to become patchy. This will fix you up for your next tan at the same time!
Hopefully you're now ready to spend the summer months looking flawlessly tanned. Do you have any favourite tanning products or top tips for looking flawless?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Beauty Recommended.