If you’re a bride or groom to be wanting to practice creating a perfect natural-looking glow for your wedding day, or you’re just feeling rather pasty after three months stuck indoors during lock-down and want to have a quick and easy summer ‘glow up’, here are my top tips for creating the perfect fake tan.

If you’re a bride, I would recommend not go too dark with your fake tan, otherwise it can look a bit tacky and the contrast will be too stark next to a white dress. So stick to a shade or two deeper than your natural skin tone.

I’ve tried a ton of different self-tanning products over the last twenty years or so, and I’ve learned the hard way from my own mistakes – orangey streaks, dirty-looking knees, patchy hands etc are not a good look!

When you get it right though, a good tan will make you look healthier and slimmer, make your teeth look whiter, and your eyes look brighter, and no-one will know that you faked it!

So here are my FOUR key steps to help you create the perfect self tan:

(1) Do a full body scrub the night before you plan to do your self tan, concentrating on your elbows, knees, hands, ankles and feet, as these areas tend to be much drier than the rest of the body, and fake tan has an annoying tendency to overdevelop in these drier areas. I highly recommend MOR Marshmallow Sugar Crystal Body Scrub and Herbivore Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish. Then moisturise these areas after you’ve dried off after your shower, either with a dry body oil or a rich moisturizer.

(2) Apply your self tan to your whole body the next day, EXCEPT your hands and feet, blending all in thoroughly using your hands and/or a mitt. My favourite self tanner (and I’ve tried a lot..!) is Tan-Luxe The Butter which is – as the name suggests – a rich nourishing tanner ideal for drier skin types. It gives the most beautiful even, natural tan, although it’s not one of those tanners that you can get dressed straight afterwards! However, if you’re a self tan novice, you may prefer to use a tinted tanning mousse, such as those from Loving Tan, as the brown guide colour will show you if you’ve missed any bits!

(3) About 1.5 hours before you intend to wash it all off, carefully paint a small amount of the self tanner onto your hands and feet using a flat make-up blending brush, including between your fingers and toes. Make sure that you blend it all very carefully at your wrists and ankles, as these are major danger zones for streaks!

(4) Once it has developed to a colour depth that you’re happy with, wash off your fake tan thoroughly in the shower. Don’t forget to moisturise all over daily after that, to ensure that your tan stays looking fresh for as long as possible – if you don’t do this, it may start to flake or peel off after a couple of days. Happy tanning!