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How to fake tan your hands and feet

How to fake tan your hands and feet
Holly James
Beauty Writer2 years ago
View Holly James's profile

Summer is just around the corner, meaning many of us will be dusting off our summer wardrobes and of course, glowing up with our favourite tan for that faux sun-kissed look that mimics the effects of two weeks somewhere tropical. However, despite achieving a natural looking tan on the body, it's our hands and feet that can often be an obstacle when it comes to creating a consistent colour from head to toe. We spoke to Jules Von Hep, founder of Isle Of Paradise, for the expert tips on how to tan these tricky areas like a pro for that flawless, airbrushed glow.


Why should we pay closer attention to hands and feet when self-tanning?

"Why SHOULDN’T you babe! These are the areas that give the game away in seconds – they’re the most important areas to tan" stresses Jules. "Working with TV personalities, I soon understood the pressure of learning how to tan hands. I couldn’t have my clients presenting TV shows holding a microphone with tan errors on their knuckles now could I? If you master the hands and feet, your glow moves up another level – trust me".

What causes patchiness around the hands, feet and ankles when self-tanning?

"The skin on the hands and feet is dryer than the skin in the other areas of the body. There’s also lots of folds in the skin and spaces where the tan can get caught.  Not moisturising the hands pre and post tan, and applying too much tan to these areas in the first place are the key culprits for tan mistakes to happen".

Why does tan tend to develop stronger on the hands and feet than the rest of the body?

"If a moisturiser hasn’t been added to the hands prior, the hands are hungry for moisture so drink the moisture from the tan, and therefore over develop. By adding moisturiser to hands prior to tan, the hands are hydrated and therefore absorb just the right amount of tan for a natural finish".

How can you prep the hands and feet for self-tanning?

"Ensure the skin is exfoliated prior to self tan application, this includes feet and hands! If you’re a fan of a mani pedi, ensure this is all done BEFORE you apply your tan".

"I’m a fan of brushworks exfoliating gloves used in gentle motions". Jules also recommends using a tan remover to ensure any old self tan is removed from the skin.

"Moisturise hands and feet (as well as elbows and knees for body) with Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum Cream and add a touch of lip balm to your nails. Remember to moisturise in between fingers and toes and on the feet ensure you moisturise the ankles and up onto the achilleas heel".

How to apply self tan to the hands and feet

"If you’re tanning your whole body, always do the hands and feet at the very end. As a rule I apply two coats of self tan to my body, one on the face, and half that onto my hands and feet". Advises Jules.

Step 1: tan the body

"As you apply your favourite self tanner to the body (for me it’s Isle of Paradise Oil or Glow Clear Mousse) ensure you sweep over the tan using an applicator mitt. As you do this the tan on the body is blended, while the mitt collects any left over product, that residue tan can be used to apply on the hands and feet.

Step 2: apply left over tan to the hands and feet

If you’re just tanning the hands and feet alone use half a pump of mousse for both hands, and another half a pump for feet, or two sprays of oil onto the mitt. Put your hands in a claw and sweep the mitt over 1-3 times on each hand ONLY. Sweep the mitt in the shape of an ankle sock over the feet".

Step 3: moisturise and repeat

"Re-Moisturise the hands and feet and add a touch of moisturiser to the inner wrists. Take the Isle of Paradise Shape and Glow brush and sweep over the hands (especially the knuckles) and the inner wrists sweeping it lightly up the lower forearm. Sweep the brush over the ankles and over the toes – this is blending any mistakes and making end result look more natural".

Step 4: micellar

"Wet a FaceHalo Makeup Remover with BioDerma Micellar Water and wipe the palms, fingernails, in between fingers, toe nails and soles" to remove the excess product says Jules.

Step 5: dry

"Put your hairdryer on cool and dry the tan and ensure it doesn’t get wet during the development time, hand sanitizer is your BFF".

How can you reduce any orange patches on the palms after self-tanning?

"If you need to soften the appearance of the tan glycolic acid is your BFF. It wont completely remove freshly applied tan, but it will soften the appearance. I recommend using Nip and Fab Glycolic Pads to soften the tan or Drunk Elephant TLC Glycolic Body Lotion".

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.