The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Fake your way to the tan

As a self-confessed fake tan addict, Deputy Fashion and Beauty Editor Talia Lee-Skudder reveals her top tips for successful tanning that will give you that sunkissed glow ready for the warmer months

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Although we try our best, living in a climate like the UK means the chance of getting a natural tan is incredibly slim. Whilst at the slight sign of sun many strip off to try and catch the fleeting rays, the sun usually only lasts approximately three minutes and we are left shivering in a state of partial undress.

What’s a girl to do when she is faced with the unreliability of the British summer but is desperately seeking a tanned complexion? As sensible adults sun beds are out of the question, therefore we are left with only one option: fake tan. I have regularly been told that I am lucky that I have a natural tan to which I point out is absolutely not the case.

When I bought my first Mac foundation in 2011, I was told that I needed the lightest shade they sold but for the past four years it seems that I have managed to mislead those around me to believe that my tan is all natural.

Admittedly I have managed to top my natural tan at lengthy intervals over the past few years but the everyday maintenance is all down to my trusty combination of fake tan products.

The comparison photo of Ariana Grande circa 2011 surfacing on the internet in recent weeks, when placed next to a recent image demonstrates the power of fake tan in all its glory.

From a self- confessed fake tan addict to the fledgling fake tanners or the girls who know the tricks all too well, here is a list of my top fake tan tips:

1)   The cardinal rule to any fake tan endeavour: make sure you give your skin a good scrub/ exfoliate before you apply any fake tan.

2)   In the days leading up to your fake tan session and after you have exfoliated, make sure you generously apply moisturiser to your whole body to ensure that your tan applies smoothly.

3)   Pay particular attention to the knees, elbows and hands. These are the trickiest parts to apply fake tan to, so make sure you do this carefully. I’ve had a fair few misapplication disasters and trust me, the banter you receive almost isn’t worth it. I apply Nivea shaving balm for men to the drier areas to ensure a smoother application.

4)   When wearing fake tan overnight wear loose fitting long pyjama bottoms to protect your sheets from the stains.

5)   This one is obvious, make sure you wash the palm of your hands from all of the excess tan but be careful not to get the top of your hands wet.

6)   Start with a lighter tan and build it up. Garnier gradual fake tan is great for this and is super hydrating. It comes in two different shades, the light sunkissed look and the dark. I always opt for the dark. One occasion I unknowingly bought the light tan and was convinced that I had become immune to the product after excessive use. Actually, I had just bought the wrong colour.

7)   Fake tan contouring! Fake tanning can give your body the illusion of instant toning and definition. Don’t bother going to the gym, just fake tan and lose 5lbs!

8)   Reaching the middle part of your back is difficult but is imperative if you want to achieve a flawless tan. If you are struggling to find a willing volunteer to reach that awkward area, then make your own mitt-stick. I’ve have trailed and tested many different variations of this from shampoo bottles to hairbrushes, but after much experimentation, I can confirm that a loofah brush with the mitt fixed in place with a hair bobble is the perfect way to reach this area. Alternatively, if you’re a big spender then bronzieuk.com have a product called ‘got your back’ which is perfect for this notoriously tricky spot.

9)   Use make up wipes to get rid of the product that clings to the bottom of the palm and wrist. Excess fake tan tends to clump here and can leave you looking orange so make sure you pay particular care here.

10)   Finally, make sure your fake tan has fully dried before you get dressed to avoid any patches.

My favourite tan products include:

Garnier summer body fake tan moisturiser (£7.79), Superdrug’s Sunkissed self-tanning mousse (£3.99), St Moriz tanning mousse (£7.99) and of course, the holy grail St Tropez (£29.39). All products are available from Superdrug.

With the application of fake tan, comes the risk of orange related disasters but follow these simple tips and you’ll be looking as if you’ve just hopped off the plane from St Tropez. Just don’t let anyone in on the secret…