The Californian Tan
That natural-looking, Californian sun kissed glow is usually the result of two weeks spent surfing the waves in Venice Beach. You’ll be pleased to know it’s surprisingly easy to achieve at home, but it does take time. Gradual tan formulas are the way to go if you’re looking for a natural finish. “Anyone who wants to show more skin but doesn’t want the tan to wear them should invest in Oskia Adaptive Tanning Mist, £59,” says tanning expert James Harkett. We also rate Tan-Luxe The Gradual Tan Lotion, £14 and for fairer skin tones, we love Institut Esthederm Sun Kissed Self-Tanning Face Cream Light Tan, N/A Light Tan.
Apply your tan of choice two-to-three times a week and within a fortnight you’ll have that Californian glow. If you want to go the extra mile, add a smattering of ‘freckles’ with the help of Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer, £35.
Expert tip: “Don’t forget to moisturise your feet to prevent excess mist darkening between your toes,” says James. “Start with your legs and tilt one leg at a time to open the kneecap – no one must detect a white circle.”
The Italian Tan
“To create the finish of a week on the Amalfi coast, you need one even coat of Omorovicza Glam Glow, £39,” says James. “Use a mitt to achieve a smooth tan across your arms and legs with speed and accuracy.” If you prefer mousse formulas, look to Tan-Luxe Hydra-Mousse Hydrating Self-Tan Mousse, £36. Complete your bronzed glow with a dusting of Nars Matte Bronzing Powder, £31 swept along your temples, cheekbones and jawline in a ‘3’ shape.
Expert tip: “Dilute the fake tan with your body moisturiser for a natural finish around the trickier areas,” says James. “Mixing half of each creates a lighter finish when approaching heels, feet and hands.”
The Dubai Tan
If you’re usually lounging around a pool and sipping a cocktail in Dubai at this time of year, don’t let the Covid restrictions affect your tan. “This is all about the sleek sculpted finish. A dark, unashamed colour worn day and night,” says James. Using a luxe-finish tan, such as Amanda Harrington Body Illuminating Bronzing Mousse, £38 is the perfect starting point. “Use a tanning mitt to contour around the collar bone and chest,” advises James. “Once your base tan has developed, enhance with This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, £39 to add lustre, radiance and luminosity.” If you want to add a hint of shimmer, reach for Tom Ford Soleil Neige Shimmering Body Oil, £75 and spritz down the centre of your arms and legs.
Expert tip: “If you want to focus on your face, the Amanda Harrington The Face Lifter, £14 enhances and defines your cheek and brow bones, as well as your jawline and chin area,” says tanning queen and brand founder, Amanda Harrington. “Starting in the centre of your face, buff the self-tan into skin using circular motions, remembering to blend product into the hairline. Then work down the neck and across the décolletage using circular motions.”
The Brazilian Tan
Achieving a rich, mahogany tone using fake tan can be daunting. Prepping skin beforehand is key to creating a smooth finish with any tan, but especially so when trying to create this finish. We recommend using Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £20, followed by Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion, £17 (it’s lightweight, but offers long-lasting hydration and it smells divine).
“This is darkest and most dramatic of all tans; try Coola Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist, £25.8 and use a mitt to smooth the oil over your body giving even coverage,” says James. “To add an extra dimension of colour, enhance with Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body Highlighter, £45 and pay special attention to your shoulders, outer arms and legs to create an elongated look.”
Expert tip: If you forget to exfoliate or have gone too heavy with your self-tan, fear not, we’ve compiled a guide to rectifying fake tan disasters.