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A Guide to the Best Fake Tans of All Time

A Guide to the Best Fake Tans of All Time

Keeping a post-vacation, natural tan all year round would be perfect, wouldn’t it? Luckily, self-tanning products do wonders to help us pull off the most convincing fake tan without spending an arm and a leg at a tanning salon every week.

We’ve rounded up our top tips and selected the best fake tans out there for you to master the art of faking a gorgeous glow.

How To Make Your Fake Tan Look Real

Keep these easy tips in mind and effortlessly achieve a natural-looking fake tan.

Prep Your Skin

Using an exfoliator, ideally 24 hours before applying your tanning product, helps to remove dead cells and create a uniform surface. Be really attentive to dry areas such as your feet, ankles, elbows and knees. The St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Body Polish is ideal to prepare the skin before self-tan.

Then, make sure that your skin is well-hydrated, to prevent fake tan from clinging to dry areas. Apply moisturiser at least 3 hours before your tanning product, to avoid creating a barrier to the fake tan. We love Fake Bake’s Oil Free Mistifier Moisturiser Body Spray for its anti-oxidant and soothing properties.

If it’s your first time, our Beginner’s guide to fake tanning will walk you through the process!

Master The Art Of Applying Fake Tan

The secret for a smooth and even application is to use a tanning mitt. One of our favourite for flawless self-tanning is the Xen-Tan Luxury Tanning Mitt. Start at the bottom of your legs and work your way up, applying product in circular motions, without neglecting any patch.

Gently buff any leftover tan form the legs and arms over your hands and feet, to avoid orange streaks on these areas. Achieving a perfect application on your back is not that easy, so if you can, ask for someone’s help. If not, Bronzie’s Got Your Back Tanning Mitt is specially designed to help you targeting those hard to reach areas.

If you want your tan to seem as real as possible, give your face a nice glow as well. Use a product formulated for the face, which will avoid blocking your pores or getting a too dark result.

Pro-tip: your palms won’t get orange if you’re wearing latex gloves underneath your tanning mitt.

Maintain Your Tan

The routine is similar to when you’re back from a sunny destination and want to keep your tan. Daily exfoliation and moisture will help your glow fading evenly and it will make it easier to touch up your fake tan in a few days.

If you’re going out and want to enhance your bronzed skin, go for a body oil such as the luxurious Be Bella Bronzed Shimmering Dry Body Oil from Bellamianta. Body oils are a great way to instantly boost your tan and help your skin glow. If you’re looking for a more high-fashion look, check out our ambassador Louise Thompson’s Naughty In The Nudes glamorous look, achieved with the Instant Tan Body Gloss from St Tropez.

The Best Fake Tans

Here at LookFantastic we’ve got all types of fake tanning brands, from the celebrity favourite James Read to the luxurious Vita Liberata.

To make it easy for you to find your perfect tan, we’ve put together our top picks for a gorgeous, sun-kissed skin from head to toe. Want to know which ones we tried ourselves? Read our reviews as well.

  1. Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Face and Body Tanning Serum
    £29.95 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Face and Body Tanning Serum

    We’ve already told you about it, but we can’t get over the Flawless Coconut tanning serum from Fake Bake. We love this non-greasy formula for the ultimate bronzed finish it delivers, in 4 to 6 hours.

    Enriched with Silk Amino Acids and Coconut Oil, the serum softens the appearance of fine lines and provides superior hydration.

    Fake tan newbies will appreciate its streak-free colour that fades evenly.

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Mousse
    £19.50 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Mousse

    When you just don’t have time to wait for your self-tanning product to dry, this fast-drying mousse is all you need. Its lightweight formula is super easy to apply and delivers immediate sun-kissed glow.

    Plus, its Odour Remove™ Technology that eliminates that “biscuit smell” is highly appreciated.

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. Lancôme Flash Bronzer Face Gel
    £26.00 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Lancôme Flash Bronzer Face Gel

    Keep a golden glow all year round with this facial self-tanner from Lancôme. Quick to apply and to dry, the smooth gel texture is infused with Vitamin E and moisturising agents for a satin-finish.
    All you need is to apply a pearl-sized drop to the forehead, nose, cheeks and neck, before blending in well.

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. He-Shi Overnight Ageless Tanning Balm
    £22.50 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    He-Shi Overnight Ageless Tanning Balm

    Ideal for mature skins, this self-tanning balm delivers a subtle glow as well as anti-ageing benefits. It contains Hyaluronic Acid that improves skin elasticity and Almond Oil for deep hydration.

    Its blend of tanning agents build a gradual, streak-free tan and leave you with a gorgeous bronzed complexion that looks and feels natural.

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. St Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Face Lotion
    £11.60 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    St Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Face Lotion

    Get a sun-kissed complexion and keep your skin hydrated with this lotion, specially designed for the face. Suitable for sensitive skins, the quick-drying formula gradually builds to deliver a radiant glow.

    Apply daily as a makeup base until achieving your desired depth of tan.

     

     

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid with Mitt
    £26.95 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid with Mitt

    With a formula that develops into a bronzed colour in an hour, this product is another go-to choice for a quick fix. Its tinted formula avoids you to miss any patches during the application, and makes the process even easier.

    Just apply, leave to develop for an hour, hop in the shower to rinse off and you’re ready to go!

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Cream-Gel Self-Tanner
    £16.00 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Cream-Gel Self-Tanner

    Even ultra sensitive skins can get a gorgeous tan with this self-tanner from La Roche-Posay. Paraben-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, this formula will give you a bronzed complexion without drying out your skin.

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish
    £29.95 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

    Get a picture-perfect, glowing skin with this wash-off body make-up from Vita Liberata. Suitable for the face, the light-reflecting lotion is formulated with innovative BodyBlur™ Technology and works to minimise the appearance of blemishes and uneven tone.

    The result? A flawless, air-brushed complexion in no time.

     

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. Caudalie Divine Legs
    £26.00 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Caudalie Divine Legs

    If you have a last minute event and don’t have the time to tan all over then this is just what you need. Caudalie‘s silky lotion gives your legs an instant, luminous glow. The luxurious formula nourishes and tans your skin, and leaves you ready to get dressed 60 seconds after application.

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. St Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse
    £26.40 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    St Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse

    If you want a deep tan, this quick-drying mousse is all you need. Infused with Melanin Technology, the streak-free formula tailors the results to your skin tone for an intense, yet natural-looking glow.

    Easy to apply, this non-sticky mousse nourishes your skin and delivers a long-lasting and perfectly even tan.

    Buy now with free delivery
  11. Xen-Tan Moroccan Tan
    £26.99 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    Xen-Tan Moroccan Tan

    This innovative lotion from Xen-Tan gives an instant glow to your skin then develops into a long-lasting, radiant tan. Enriched with nourishing Argan Oil and Collagen Boosting Peptides, it keeps your skin looking young and healthy.

    We love its silky texture and delightful tropical coconut fragrance that makes us feel like we just got back from a tropical destination.

     

    Buy now with free delivery
  12. L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Gradual Tan
    £4.85 Buy now with Lookfantastic UK

    L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Gradual Tan

    Give your fair skin a glowing boost with this light weight self-tanner, specially designed for pale skin tones.

    Enriched with a dose of Soft-Tan, this smooth formula progressively builds a sun-kissed tan day after day.

     

     

    Buy now with free delivery


Chloe

Chloe

Writer and expert