LET'S TALK UNDERTONES Every tanning product has a base colour to ensure a natural result on different skin tones, the most popular being peachy-red (fair skin), green (medium skin tones) and violette (olive to dark skin). Despite what brands will tell you, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to which base colour will suit you, says Natalie Papadopoulos, founder of The Parlour Room. In Papadopoulos’ experience, while these categories can provide a guide, don’t be afraid to break the rules. “It comes down to personal preference on what will also compliment your features, not just your skin tone.”
DELIVERY METHOD Whether you choose a cream, foam, gel or spray, the outcome is the same – however, the application method can vary. If you’re working with a foam or gel, use a tanning mitt. Most gradual tans come in a creamy consistency and Papadopoulos recommends using your hands “as a cream would soak into the mitt”. For mists, spritz onto skin and blend in with your mitt.
PREP WORK Your prep work starts not long after your last tan. “For regular tanners, you should begin exfoliating lightly two days after you’ve applied your tan,” Papadopoulos tells Gritty Pretty. “Because your skin sheds in cycles, you’re not going to get the same result from one exfoliation.” A gentle scrub each day – nothing compares to Frank Body’s Original Coffee Scrub, $16.95 – will help your tan fade evenly. If it’s the night before and you need to call in the big guns, try Bali Body Self Tan Remover, $24.95 to scrub off every last bit.