We all know it’s possible to provide a smooth all over fake tan without using spray tans, it just takes that bit more care. This article aims to give you a helping hand when faking your client‚Äôs tans with tanning lotion¬†this Autumn.


Before any tanning lotion is applied it is important your client’s skin is prepared. Their skin needs to be smooth so it is essential you make sure they wax or shave in preparation for tanning. A general rule is to wax at least 48 hours before or shave 24 hours prior. It’s also important that their skin is clean; ensure they have nothing on their skin such as deodorant that creates a barrier. Dry exfoliate to clear the skin if needs be, after all, the dreaded ‘white armpit’  is a dead give-away that fakery has been taking place.


When tanning the body, focus on one area at a time and start with the lower legs. Make sure you use wide, sweeping motions that work up the leg. This is important to make sure you don’t smudge what you have already tanned. When applying the tanning lotion to a large surface area it is a good idea to use a¬†tanning mitt¬†as this will guarantee an even coverage.


To ensure your client’s face is sufficiently exfoliated, dab their face with an ice cold cloth. This will ensure their pores are closed. Apply the tanning lotion liberally as you would a moisturiser on the face, blend down to the décolleté and ensure you take a lot of care on the hair line. To make the look as natural as possible, wipe the upper lip and eyebrows with a dry towel to make sure they aren’t overly dark.


It is extremely important not to overlook your client’s feet. A poorly tanned flip flopped foot might expose the whole tan as a fake. To create the perfect ‘beach foot’ you need to mimic the effect the sun would have if the client had been on a two week holiday. Overall, the sun would only hit the tops of the feet and the bottom half would remain un-tanned, make sure you apply the lotion with this in mind. To perfect the look, blend halfway down the sides before wiping away the blend with a dry cloth to give a natural finish.


Tanning the hands is very simple when you get the technique. Make sure that the fingers are closed when you apply to the hands in order to avoid tanning between them. To avoid staining the nail bed make sure you work away from the nails toward the back of the hand. After this, open your client’s fingers and gently blend the side of each finger in turn. To gain a natural finish, wipe the knuckles and nails with tanning wipes to remove any excess.

Looking After Your Tan

Make sure your client is aware of seemingly innocent household shower products, anything that contains lemon, essential oils, lavender, salt or petroleum can strip the tan off as if you were scrubbing it off with soap.

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