THE whole point of fake tanning is to look like you just stepped off a plane from Ibiza with a sun-kissed glow only the Balearics could bestow.
All too often, however, those hopes quickly fade as the tell-tale signs of a fake tan fail emerge.
Fabulous spoke to Celebrity Make-up & Tan Artist, Olivia Todd (PIC IN FOLDER), to find out the common mistakes everyone makes and what to do instead.
Read on to ensure no more streaks, patches or Oompa Loompa jokes from your dad.
Failing to prep the skin
If you skip on exfoliating, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even start.
“It is essential to create the perfect base for your tan,” says Olivia.
“The more even and smooth your skin is, the easier it is for tan to glide on and achieve those perfect results.
“Exfoliate, then exfoliate some more as this will reveal gorgeous new skin, enabling the tan to fade more naturally and give you a longer-lasting, non-patchy finish.”
Make sure to give your elbows, ankles, knees and collar bone a good buff as these areas are most prone to dryness.
Not leaving enough time
Slapping on some tan 10 minutes before walking out the door is a recipe for disaster.
Olivia says: “I always suggest to my clients to ensure they are fully prepped the evening before they intend to tan.
“My favourite pre-tan ritual is to fill a hot bath up with essential oils, soak for a while and then use scrubbing gloves with a smoothing, refined exfoliating scrub to ensure you are ready for your instant tanning fix.”
Although a fake tan lasts best on soft, smooth skin, don’t be tempted to apply moisturiser on the same day as tanning.
“The evening before is the time to lather yourself in moisturiser,” explains Olivia.
“Tan application works best on a dry surface.”
It’s also important to make sure you leave the product on for long enough to fully develop (eight hours) as an under-developed tan can go patchy.
Olivia’s favourite exfoliators
Budget buy: Organic Brazilian Coffee & Sugar Scrub, £2.99
Splash-out buy: Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub, £29.00
Using the wrong shade
If your fake tan gives you an orange hue, it’s a cue to change the product you’re using.
Olivia says: “It’s always worth investing in a high quality tan, one that reacts with your PH balance, so that it works with your skin tone.
“A tanning product that also has skin-loving ingredients is a definite must, as it’s a multi-tasking product that works to tan, illuminate and hydrate the skin for the ultimate glow.”
The wrong application technique
Do you know whether you should be rubbing, buffing, sliding or patting?
It could make all the difference.
“I suggest doing long, gliding upward motions with your tan mitt, rather than patting or rubbing the tan into the skin which is a common technique error,” says Olivia.
“This will ensure a more even finish and is much more time efficient too.
“Start with your arms, legs, torso first and tackle hands and feet last.”
Her top tip is to use a large make-up buffing brush over your hands and feet instead of a tan mitt as this is where you want a much lighter application.
She says: “Just take a coin-sized amount of tan, or any excess tan left on the mitt, to brush over these areas with care.
“I also love using a make-up brush to apply tan to the face too, as this avoids any tan in unwanted areas on the hands.”
If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts, Olivia recommends mixing self-tan drops in with your moisturiser as this will keep your face from drying out and also helps to keep your skincare routine consistent.
Olivia’s favourite face tanning drops
Budget buy: Skinny Tan Face Self-Tanning Drops, £14.99
Splash-out buy: THE FACE Self-Tan Drops By Tan Luxe, £35.00
Neglecting post-tan maintenance
Poor post-tan care includes wearing the wrong clothing, washing your hands or splashing water over a freshly-applied tan, or forgetting those finishing touches that make all the difference.
Olivia says: “My advice is to avoid wearing a bra entirely until you have washed your tan off the next morning and ensure you have loose, dark clothing to put on to avoid any rubbing or smudging.
“Steer clear from splashing water to avoid any risk of your tan washing off before its ready.
“When you wash off your tan in the shower and towel dry, go lightly and pat dry as anything more vigorous may have an impact on the tan.”
Then make sure to apply a nourishing and hydrating gradual tan moisturiser daily to prolong and maintain your glow.
For some fake tan fails; one woman was left in hysterics after she was left looking like Ross Gellar from Friends following a spray tan gone wrong.
Plus, this fake tan fan revealed a quick hack using lemon juice that will easily fix any tanning blunder.
Meanwhile, check out these hilarious examples of when applying fake tan has gone horribly wrong.