Not blessed with naturally bronzed skin but willing to fake it? As much as we love at-home tanner for its ability to provide fair and medium-complexioned ladies with a back from the beach glow—without soaking up the sun’s harmful rays—avoiding streaks and splotches isn’t always easy. Before applying your next faux glow, check out these must-know tips from go-to expert for red carpet tanning, Fiona Locke. As the seasoned celebrity tanner for the life-changing line Vita Liberata, Fiona knows a thing or two about staying streak-free and gorgeous all winter long.
This post was updated from its original format on 12/31/2014.
Expert Tips For The Perfect Faux Glow
Vita Liberata Super Fine Skin Polish ($20) & Earth Therapeutics Loofah ($6).
First, be sure to shave or wax prior to applying sunless tanner. If you wax, wait 24 hours. Exfoliating with a superfine, oil-free skin polish removes dead skin cells and primes skin without being too abrasive. If you don't have a scrub on hand, applying soap to a loofah works just fine. Avoid using oils or heavy moisturizers before tanning, as they can interfere with the application process.
If you're experimenting with a new formula or have never self tanned before, try a test area so you know what to expect.
Vita Liberata Moisture Boost Body Treatment ($20).
Before self tanning, it's important to moisturize excessively dry areas of the body. This includes your hands, knees, elbows and the edges of your feet. After applying your faux glow, keep your skin hydrated. Using a moisturizer like this one after your tan is dry will extend it and prevent premature fading.
You can use sunless tanner on your face—just be sure to apply it carefully and with a mitt.
3. Apply It Like A Pro
Vita Liberata 2-3 Week Tan Mousse and Tanning Mitt ($54).
Choose your shade based on your desired result. When all else fails, go with medium, which adjusts nicely to a variety of skin tones. As for the formula, Fiona (naturally) recommends Vita Liberata's pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse (it's organic!). Mousse is fast drying, light, fluffy and easy to control. The best tool for application is a tanning mitt—no splotchy orange hands or feet! After exfoliating and moisturizing rough patches, put a few pumps of mousse on your mitt, start at your feet (working your way up) and blend evenly. For noticeable results, use your formula of choice 2-3 days in a row. Voilà, the perfect tan!
Style It With
Wait 4-8 hours after applying your tan to shower, exercise or swim. To be safe, stick to black clothing—there's nothing worse than orange stains on your favorite white tee.