Beauty How-To: Fake Tan


While we’re all well aware of the dangers associated with too much time spent in the sun, bronzed skin remains the holy grail where summer beauty is concerned. Fortunately there are plenty of options for forgoing the sun’s rays and getting sun-kissed the smart way. When it comes to self-tanners, Kate Walsh, the director and founder of paraben‑free, vegan-friendly Little Honey, says everyone has a favourite formula, but in today’s busy world most of us are looking for a fuss-free product with a quick drying time that is easy to use.

Forget what you thought you knew about giving skin a quick exfoliation before applying tanner – prepping your skin for self-tanning application needs to start more than a day in advance for the best results, advises Walsh. “If you do have an event on you wish to tan for, start your routine a week prior. Exfoliate and moisturise daily leading up to tan day, then you will feel confident your skin is at its best,” she explains. On the day of application, exfoliate but cut out the moisturiser. “Self-tan always works best on clean, dry skin, free of deodorants and moisturisers.”

As for how to avoid orange hands and get a streak-free application, Walsh swears by her Little Honey Flawless Blending Glove, which has a waterproof inner lining so there’s no seepage or stained hands. Start by buffing your self-tanner into larger areas, such as your arms and legs, leaving difficult spots, such as your knees, elbows and feet, until the end. Walsh suggests just flicking over problem areas with a much smaller amount of product to avoid unwanted build-up.

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Bronze Goddess


A great bronzer with a soft reflect is your best option if you’re after a glowing, bronzed complexion, according to Lisa Matson, L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics New Zealand’s make-up director. “The safest bet is to find a neutral-toned bronzer, one that isn’t too orange or red, but more golden, especially if you have fair skin,” she explains. Those with medium skin tones can try pinky-brown bronzers and olive skin tones suit copper-based shades. If you’re already wearing fake tan, Matson says it’s important to try and match your bronzer to your body shade so you don’t look uneven. “Ultimately, you want your skin to look naturally warm and sun-kissed, only a few shades darker than your natural shade.” As for whether you opt for a matte or shimmery bronzer, the finish really depends on the look you want to achieve, says Matson. “Soft shimmery bronzers look great all over, but super shimmery bronzers are better for the body or to highlight areas of the face. Matte bronzers are perfect for contouring.”

Application and the tools you use are key to ensuring you end up with just the right amount of tanning. Brush size really depends on where you are applying bronzer. “A large dense natural-haired powder or bronzer brush is perfect for the face and body, but if you’re using bronzer as a blush or contour, then use a smaller brush to suit,” says Matson. Apply bronzer where you want to enhance colour or even up tan marks. “Use a rotating motion when applying, starting with a light touch and applying more pressure as the product runs out,” she says. “When applying bronzer to your face start around the outside and work your way in, so the centre of your face doesn’t look too dark.”

Once you’ve perfected your bronzer, is it too much to wear a blush too? “Bronzer by itself is fine, especially if you’re heading to the beach,” says Matson. “But a little extra warmth on the apples of the cheek with a pink- or apricot-toned blush is definitely more flattering.” And if you’ve forgone the sun’s rays and the self-tanner, Matson recommends using a bronzer just like you would your regular blush.

Try the following products in the gallery below.

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