As a self-proclaimed beauty obsessive (and ghostly white pale person), I’m no stranger to fake tanning – I’ve probably experimented with every fake tanning brand in the business. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that fake tanning is an art form that takes serious skills to master, and so many factors apply to nailing the perfect golden glow.
In order to compile a foolproof guide to fake tanning, I’ve enlisted the help of fake tan guru Jules Von Hep to lift the lid on the tips, tricks, and techniques he swears by for getting that a flawless faux glow. Jules has been the mastermind behind celebrity fake tans for years, working with the likes of Blake Lively, Kate Moss, and Sienna Miller. Plus, he launched his own self-tanning line last year, and I’m obsessed with every product I’ve tried from it (expect long-lasting, non-smelly, natural colour) – so I feel confident telling you that if you follow this guide, you’ll end up with the best tan of your life.
Below, Jules tells us how to best prep for, apply, and maintain fake tan. Keep scrolling!
It’s all about the prep babe
Jules says: “In life you get out what you put in and baby that applies to self tan prep too. I’m all about starting with a clean slate, ensure you remove what’s left from your last self tan application before you top up your tans colour again.
“Use oil free salt or sugar scrubs every other shower before you apply tan, and if you have super stubborn tan, get pro and use Isle of Paradise Over IT tan remover – spray onto the skin, lather up and leave for five minutes, exfoliate off and start again.”
Dry areas need extra prep
Jules says: “Dry areas need attention – add moisturiser to your hands, elbows, knees and feet directly before you apply your self tan. This will act as a blending agent and therefore wont leave you with brown knuckles and patchy ankles afterwards.
“Spray the skin liberally with Isle of Paradise Prep It Spray – this is a self tan primer so is designed to help your tan penetrate deeper into the skin, sit more even in its final colour, last for up to three days longer and of course fade evenly *drops mic*. If you have fair hair add a touch of moisturiser (my favourite is the Skin79 Jeju Aloe Aqua Emulsion) to your eyebrows and hairline before you apply your tan.”
Nail your application technique
Jules says: “Get naked, put on your favourite playlist and stand in front of the mirror. You have got this. Take an applicator mitt and pump Isle of Paradise Glow Clear Mousse three times, join the mitt together to spread the clear lightweight mousse and apply to the skin in sweeping motions (circular motions aren’t a good distributor of even tan). Keep sweeping the mitt over the skin until the skin feels dry, the more the sweep all over the area the less chance you will have of a streak.”
Get your dosage right
Jules says: “The more pumps of tan you add to the mitt, the deeper your glow will be. Take a wooden spoon and tape an applicator mitt to it, pump onto the mitt and apply to your back with ease – remember, keep rubbing the skin until it feels dry, that way you know you’ve rubbed it all in. If having no guide colour makes you nervous, try mixing highlighter into your tan on the mitt or try using our classic Self Tanning Mousse.”
Do your hands, feet, and face last
Jules says: “Sweep the mitt just once over hands and feet. Immediately after, moisturise your hands and feet once more (this will blend the tan through the knuckles and dryer areas). When you apply to the face, take half a pump and mix with your favourite moisturiser on your mitt. Sweep over the face and follow with a kabuki brush to blend, teasing the tan up and onto the ears as you buff.”
The post-application time is key
Jules says: “I refer to the following five minutes as ‘key wafting time’ – this is your drying time. Apply a translucent powder to your neck, inner elbows and inner thighs to set the tan and put a hairdryer on cool setting to speed up the drying process if you wish. If you are tanning in the morning apply fragrance to your hair if you must but not to your skin while the tan develops. Powder based make up is better than liquid based here too.
“If you are heading to bed try to tan an hour before bed so the tan has properly settled into your skin. Don’t worry about Glow Clear transferring onto your sheets, there’s no guide colour so the white sheets can stay white!”
Made a mistake?
Jules says: “Own it babe, own it. Use our new Blend It stick to colour in the areas that you missed, within 4-6 hours any paler streaks appear minimised. Blend It is infused with coconut, avocado and chia seed oil to hydrate the tan as your apply (this stick is also incredible for contouring).”