Tanning expert and St Tropez spokeswoman Jayne Cooper answers your burning questions on how to nail a fake tan.
Q. What’s your advice on tanning your face?
A Less is always more. Remember just a subtle kiss of colour will make eyes look brighter and teeth look whiter. It’s all about no-makeup makeup, which puts pressure on us to have ‘that perfect base’. Simply cheat the trend with tan. The darker your hair, the darker your tan can be – blondes should aim for sunkissed rather than a brunette super-bronze.
Q. If your body is prone to dryness, what fake tan type would you recommend?
A If you have particularly dry skin, you may want to opt for a gradual tan moisturiser so your skin is kept hydrated while developing a colour.
Q. How can you make your fake tan last as long as possible?
A To keep the tan on your face going for longer, avoid cleansing with oil-rich balms, using muslin cloths and clay or peel-away masks as they can strip the tan.
Q. What’s the correct way to prep your body before tanning?
A Don’t wax before tanning as this will open pores and leave you looking more plucked chicken than chic. Always remove deodorant, makeup and perfume pre-tan. Exfoliate, concentrating on feet, knees and elbows, where we tend to have dry skin. Use a cotton bud to apply a tiny amount of Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream around the nails, brows, lips and hairline, to stop the tan taking there.
Q. What’s the correct way to prep your face before tanning?
A Lightly exfoliate your face a day before tan application to ensure your skin’s surface is even. Any hair removal – eyebrow plucking/threading/waxing – should be carried out the day before. Try to avoid facial hair bleaching when applying self-tan to the face. Rinse your face before tan application to remove any residue oil from previous products and makeup, which acts as a barrier. I would recommend washing your face with an oil-free cleanser. Cream or foaming cleansers are best as they leave no film on the face. Splash your face with cold water to close any open pores or use a makeup wipe from the fridge. Brush your teeth prior to application as toothpaste around the mouth can lift the colour while the tan is developing.
Q. How do you go about finding the right tan for your skin tone?
A A light Cali Glow is great for blondes and redheads with very fair skin and blue eyes. A gentle wash of colour will lift the complexion and give a natural-looking sunkissed glow – go for a light gradual tanner that’s super-hydrating, such as St Tropez Gradual Tan One Minute Everyday Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse. It’s super-easy to use and buildable should you want a deeper colour. An Ibiza-inspired bronze suits all skin tones. I’d always recommend using a mousse formula. For medium and dark skin tones and that two-weeks-in-the-Caribbean-type tan, try a deeper bronze, such as the new St Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse – it suits the darker skin tones and is foolproof to apply.