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The Golden Glow

Posted: 2012-03-21 09:00:00 After a long, cold dreary winter its great to see the evenings getting longer. As we emerge from our hibernation, along with the anticipation of the spring equinox comes the realisation that our skins are a funny shade of blue. So to create a wonderful spring glow some us turn to false tan.  This is when the trouble starts......

A good natural tan not only gives us a lovely golden glow, it also makes us appear slimmer and more radiant. Unfortunately the idea of false tan application can be enough to make some of us want to go back into hibernation. For others it’s a constant nightmare of orange colours and streaks along with patchy knuckles and wrists. To help prevent this disaster  here are some tips to help you achieve a natural, warm golden glow. Creating the perfect tan can be compared to building a house. Foundations, the main build and finally the finishing touches. If the foundations are not right the finished result will be a disaster, if the main build is not completed properly it will look awful and if its not decorated nicely all your hard work beforehand is a waste.

The Foundations
As I mentioned already the foundations are the most important parts of building a house which also applies to false tan application. Exfoliation is the first essential step for a great tan. Exfoliate a night or two before, concentrating on areas of dry skin such as knees, elbows, ankles and heels. This will remove any dead, dry skin and create a more even and natural looking tan. Next step is moisturising. You ideally should moisturise every time you step out of the shower or bath but it is particularly important to moisturise following exfoliation. This helps smooth the skin, ensuring streak free application and again helping the tan last longer. It is also recommended you shave or wax the day before the application. Never shave the same day as a tan application.

The Main Build
At this stage it is essential to choose the correct shade to compliment your skin tone. If you are naturally pale then choose a tan designed for fair skin. Don’t be temped to apply one for dark skins as this will not make you look darker or last longer. It is better to apply a second application the next day and build the colour up gradually. Once you have exfoliated and moisturised apply a barrier cream (e.g. Vaseline) along your hairline, on knuckles and anywhere you may have dry skin or any areas you think the tan may streak. Using a tanning mitt apply the product in circular movements ensuring to glide over bony areas such as knees and elbows.  Use dry cotton or a clean dry mitt to blend in the tan afterwards. Allow to dry for a few minutes before dressing in loose clothes. Avoid water or anything that may cause the tan to streak while the tan is developing.
If you are having a professional spray tan follow the therapists recommendations.  Find out in advance if you should apply moisturiser beforehand as some spray tans won’t develop as the moisturiser can act as a barrier.
Finally apply a clear nail varnish to both fingers and toes to prevent discolouration of the nails. This is more likely to occur during a spray tan application.

The Finishing Touches

After your tan has developed, shower off excess product. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Moisturiser helps give a sultry, sun kissed look as it highlights the tan.  A moisturiser containing a little shimmer is gorgeous when applied to the shins, shoulders and shoulder blades as it illuminates these areas.
These are all the guidelines you need to unwrap the bronzed goddess in you! With a little practise your dull pasty complexion will be a long forgotten memory of last winter.

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