Fake tan is the essential accessory to complete your Grand National outfit but only if applied correctly. No-one can pull off that streaky uneven tan look!

So we asked James Harknett, the Global Creative Consultant of Fake Bake to take us through our tanning paces:

What’s the first step to self tanning?

“Skin preparation is essential for a perfect even glow and the first thing to remember is hair removal. After waxing, the skin needs time to heal over and pores to close, therefore we recommend having this done at least 48 hours before. It also gives you time to remove and wash off waxy residue that could block the tan from activating evenly. If you prefer to shave you can do this the day before.”

Eclipse recommends:

Waxing lasts longer (usually up to four weeks) and so will help your tan last longer too. Veet Gel Wax Kit – easy to use with almond oil to protect sensitive skin. Price £11.99 from Boots.

Or for readymade wax strips go for Veet 40 Cold Wax Strips Sensitive. Price £13.19 from Superdrug.

If waxing is too painful then a removal cream is a good alternative. It won’t last as long as waxing but will last longer than shaving. NB. Please use at least 24 hours before applying any tanning products.

Veet Hair Removal Cream with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E for sensitive skin. Price £4.40 from Boots.

If you prefer shaving your legs, check out the amazing monthly delivery service from Friction Free Shaving. From just £5 per month you can have razors delivered straight to your door.

 

When should you exfoliate before applying self tan?

“Many people are told to exfoliate the body just before applying, however my top tip is to do this the morning or evening before applying self tan, the skin then has time to renew.”

Body polishes to use: Fake Bake’s new Coconut Body Polish, £10. Sienna X Polishing Body Scrub £9.60 (RRP £11.95) from Life and Looks.

James continues: “Avoid moisturising the full body pre tan too as this can barrier the tanning ingredients from taking evenly. However, so that your tan looks as natural as possible always use an oil free moisturiser on the hands, elbows, knees and feet first. Moisture on theses areas allows for a more natural blend. Use Fake Bake oil free moisturiser, price £10, to ensure skin is perfectly prepped.”

What is the best way to apply fake tan?

“Always work in sections, starting from the feet and working your way up. Once completed, use a wet wipe to remove any excess tan from the nails, brows and palms of hands.”

Eclipse recommends using a tanning mitt: Bellamianta Luxury Tanning Mitt, RRP £7.99 but £6.80 from Life and Looks.

He Shi Tanning Mitt, was £4.75, now £3.30 from The Garden Pharmacy.

 

Body Contouring is the latest trend for the perfect tan look so how easy is it to sculpt and contour the body with fake tan?

“First thing is to apply an all over self tan to create a golden base. A tanning liquid is fast and one of the easiest applications; I would recommend Fake Bake’s Flawless Liquid, £24.95 from Superdrug which will provide a perfect base to contour from.

“A tanning mitt spreads the liquid evenly across the limbs, and I suggest blending the product with some oil free moisturiser for areas where tan can cling, like the hands, elbows and feet.”

“The following night is all about definition. Focus on enhancing cheeks, accentuating the collarbone and toning the tummy. I would suggest using Fake Bake’s Airbrush, £28 from Boots, its arousal nozzle will make it easy for you to build layers, and is the nearest application to having a professional spray tan that you can achieve at home.

“The face is the first place where self tan can fade, due to make-up removal and cleansing. When contouring the face with self tan, think of where the sun would hit your features! Sweep a fine layer of mist across the nose, top of the forehead and then contour the cheeks by applying tan under the cheek bones (from ear towards the corner of your lips).

“Next, frame the collarbone by spraying underneath and within the hollows. For the stomach, nothing is more flattering than a sculpted looking pelvis, sweep Fake Bake’s Airbrush from the sides of the body, arching down towards the pelvis. The build-up of darker lines accentuates the abs to create a toned looking silhouette.

“For gleaming legs a great tip is to enhance definition with the natural contours, like the inner thighs and calves.”

 

Five Other Top Tanning Products to Try:

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Original

This is the world’s first tanning product that only takes one hour to develop. If you prefer a darker tan then you can leave it on for two to three hours. Price £7.99 from Superdrug.

Top Tip – Do not use shower gel, or shampoo your hair when rinsing off the mouse after the hour is up, as the PH in these products can interfere with your tan developing which will continue to gradually deepen for a few more hours.

St Tropez Dark Self Tan Mousse

For those who prefer a deep dark tan. However this easy to apply lightweight mousse contains melanin technology which ensures your deep tan is tailored to your individual skin tone. Price £33 from Garden Pharmacy.

Allow 4–8 hours before showering.

Bellamianta Self Tanning Tinted Lotion

Free from parabens, harsh chemicals, genetically modified ingredients, perfume, sulphates, silicones and alcohol. Contains a high grade DHA plus natural fruit extracts such as mango, papaya and goji berry.  Dries in 60 seconds, develops in 2–4 hours. RRP is £16.99 but from Life and Looks the price is £14.60.

He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel

Ideal for dry skin and achieving an instant golden tan. It tans on contact so you can see where it goes. For a deeper colour reapply. Made from 100% natural DHA, it is paraben and alcohol free. It is also suitable for the face.

Usual price is £18.50 but at the time of writing The Garden Pharmacy has a 10% discount so is £16.65.

Sienna X Express Self Tan Mist

Spray tan in a can. Infused with anti ageing ingredient Q10. Price £16 from Life and Looks.

Ready in 4–8 hours. Also suitable for the face.

Last but not least, the must-have tanning accessory is the St Tropez Tan Build Up remover Mitt. Price £5.99 from The Garden Pharmacy.

For the nervous novice self tanner this can help even out a fully developed tan and for the experienced and regular tanner, this removes tan build-up.