Faux Tan Tips

April 23, 2018

This weekend was glorious in the weather department. So much so we spent the majority of it in the sun and for a second I felt like we were already in summer… until I looked down and saw my pasty limbs [insert record screeching]. Now I know I’m not the tannest girl on the block but I can get a few shades darker, don’t let my ginger coloring fool you. But I’ve learned a thing or two in my day and laying out in the sun is great for vitamin D occasionally but these days I’ll happily hide under an umbrella, save myself a few wrinkles and opt for a faux tan straight from a bottle. Just make sure you do it right, no one looks good with an awkward orange moment.

Step #1: Base Tan

If it’s sunny in your neck of the woods, sit outside for 15-30 minutes. Getting just a hint of color will seriously help make your faux tan a little more fo’ real.

Step #2: Exfoliate Before Applying

Hit the shower, exfoliate and shave. This will help make your overall tan look more real and prevent streaks and patches from happening—is that a birthmark? Uh…. Yep! For a thorough exfoliation grab Cane + Austin Retexture Scrub before the water hits your limbs or (my current favorite) try True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask that will create a perfect blank slate.

Step #3: The Best Tanners

It’s all about the product if you ask me. I love a tinted moisturizer that builds a tan over time like St. Tropez Gradual Tan or easy-to-travel-with Kate Somerville Towelettes but my absolute favorite color is James Read Liquid Bronzer—just make sure you use a mit to apply it. I get the best results when I moisturize lightly after exfoliating and before applying. I personally have the worst luck with cheap drugstore buys. I end up looking orange with questionable birth marks.

Favorite products pictured above:
James Read Self Tan Liquid Bronze, James Read Gradual Tan H20 Mist, PRTTY Body Lotion

Step #4: Moisturize… A lot.

A faux tan gets better with time…if you do this last step. Self-tanner in general is drying for your skin, which is why moisturizing is so important to keeping your glow. Go for something thick like African Botanics Body Cream or True Botanicals Radiance Body Oil—also brand spankin’ new and so good. If you’re heading out somewhere special and need a kick in your faux tan’s pants, grab this amazing product, Prtty Peaushun, which evens your skin and enhances your color—I’m obsessed with the scent too.


Photography by Jacqueline Pilar

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