7 February 2017

The Ultimate Fake Tan Guide

girl with tanned legs fake tan guide st tropez
This ultimate fake tan guide is dedicated to every Summer soul out there!

Finding the right fake tan is a bit like finding your soul mate. Some just don't fit, some leave you feeling pale, and there's that disturbing one that just made you feel itchy. But once you've found your perfect fit, it's all sunshine, smiles and feeling giddily beautiful.

So how do I find the fake tan that's right for me?
 Whether you've never fake tanned, or you are just looking for your perfect product, read on for my ultimate fake tan guide...

 I remember around a year and a half ago when I was working in retail. Stood sorting out product, I looked up to see a pretty, young girl teetering towards me with anticipation.

'Oh my gosh, what fake tan do you use?', she beamed.

I tried not to look too much like the Steven Hawking of the fake tan world as I excitedly rattled off my routine to her.

How funny that I used to struggle with orange palms, zebra-striped knees and crimson feet! However, once I discovered how to apply fake tan properly I never looked back.

Over the years, I've tested out enough fake tan to turn a whole hotel's worth of beds a biscuit-y tangello. Now, I'm ready to share my thoughts, recommendations and advice with you...

For Mid/Olive Skin

le tan self tanning foam ultra dark review fake tan guide

When I'm looking for a seriously dark tan, I opt for Le Tan Self Tanning Foam in Ultra Dark. The best thing about this product is that you only need to leave it on for three hours for a tan that looks like you've been on a two week cruise! 

However, the deep and dense shade means that alabaster beauties should avoid it like the plague. But if you have tanned, medium or olive skin, this one is for you!

For Pale/Medium Skin

j bronze dark tanning cream review fake tan guide

Considering how darn tanned Jennifer Hawkins is, I was annoyed to find that her 'dark' tanning cream didn't turn me her glowing, caramel tone. As a matter of fact, this product is so light, that I recommend it for those with a light skin tone.

Even though the result was incredibly light for a product labelled 'dark', the green pigments in this fake tan give it a really natural finish without a hint of orange in sight!

For The Fake Tan Virgin

st tropez in shower gradual tan review fake tan guide

I sort of giggled when I first heard of this in shower tanning lotion. Surely, by applying it in the shower, the colour will have no chance to develop? As St Tropez is quite literally the Gucci of the fake tan world, I decided to give it a go.

Keep in mind that I like being very dark, but this product really let me down. Then I thought 'duh, Rach, it's gradual; it's not gonna give you that VS tan after one use'. After a few uses, it does build up a subtle, natural-looking tan.

I would recommend this to those who have never fake tanned before, as you can't mess up! 

For The Vegan/ Sensitive Skin

luna bronze vegan tanning moisturiser review fake tan guide

Never ever ever has fake tan smelt as good as the Luna Bronze Tanning Moisturiser! Infused with mandarin, lemon myrtle and orange blossom, this dreamy concoction is miles away from the 'stale biscuit' honk of most products.

It's 100% natural and vegan, making it a fantastic choice for beauties with sensitive skin.

I tend to use Luna Bronze in between darker fake tan applications, as it makes a fantastic moisturiser and tan top-up in one.

For Faking Instead Of Baking

model co bronze dry touch sunscreen review fake tan guide

 Picture this: it's Saturday morning and you're about to head to the beach. You whack on your bikini, only to find that you look like you belong in the cast of 'Twilight'. 

Rather than baking it out in damaging UV rays all day, get that bronze look instantly and get protected from UV rays at the same time!

Model Co Bronze Dry Touch Sunscreen is a coloured sunscreen that is basically a wash-off sunscreen.

Warning: don't wear this with a white, crochet or fabric bikini. Sweat, salt and sea can cause this stuff to stain like a b-.

 For The Last Minute Bronze

model co wash off instant bronze tan review fake tan guide

A last minute night out with the girls? Last minute plans don't make for developing tans (You can call me Jay Z), so opt for an instant bronzing mousse.

Unlike other instant tanners I've tried in the past, One Night Tan will actually last through sweaty dance floors, rain and spilt drinks without turning your party dress a wonderful shade of mahogany.

For The Splurge-r

st tropez bronzing lotion review fake tan guide

Even the most clueless fake tan connoisseur will know that St Tropez is the real deal! However, in Australia, this fake tan hero comes with a hefty price tag. 

My advice is to bag an abundance of St Tropez when its on sale! I often use reduced St Tropez and still manage to pay off my mortgage!

ultimate fake tan guide girl with tanned legs

Now that you've decided which fake tan product is right for you, you need to learn how to apply fake tan. Luckily, I did a post on this a million light years ago that you can check out here.

Happy tanning!

Love it? Pin it!

the ultimate fake tan guide fake tan tips


  1. This post is the best! I actually JUST tried St Tropez shower tan for my first time two days ago!! You are so right it is really subtle, but I am a fake tan virgin (mostly) and I am super pale, so it was perfect. You can actually just see it a little on my foot in my newest post.
    Also, love love love your blog title!

    xx Leah

  2. Nice post dear ;)

  3. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing beautiful xoxo

  4. Great post babe!! I'm always trying to stay tan, so I love all these options! The St. Tropez products are amazinggg definitely my favorites :)

    XOXO, Jessi
    Would LOVE for you to check out my new beauty tutorial!!

  5. THANK you for this in depth, details description of all of these tanners. Love your honesty! I haven't used St. Tropez in years, I think I will give in another go.

    xx, Elise

  6. I have really pale skin naturally but love my tan to be dark so I'm seriously tempted to try Le Tan Self Tanning Foam. I love that it develops really quickly as well so you could put it on a couple of hours before bed and then wash it off to avoid staining the sheets! x

  7. Thanks for your tips! Your legs look amazing!



  8. I should be getting a nice tan asap. Thanks for these great tips! :) xx

  9. Love this post!Thanks for the tips:-)

  10. Obsessed with this post, what a good find! Thanks for sharing xx

    Suki and the City

  11. Very nice post, thanks for sharing such details for tanning. Nice blog :)

  12. Never tried doing this, thanks for sharing!

  13. Such a great and informative post!

    Gemma x

  14. I have never heard of these brands, but they sound so good! :) xx

  15. Looks amazing! I always get so nervous with fake tan (because i'm no damn pale) so this is a great guide

    Lizzie | Takeoffs & Landings

  16. Wow, this is such a helpful guide, girl! I've only ever tried a tanning bed years ago and maybe I did about 3 times, but other than that, I've never used anything to create a tan before. After reading your thoughts/review, it seems as though Le Tan would work best for me and my skin tone. Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have the best weekend ahead!



  17. Yess girl! Thank you so much for this post! Spring and summer are coming up soon, and I need to start getting my tan on again! Hope you have an amazing weekend lovely :)

    XO Jessi,

  18. Now you know I don't tan but will be sharing this because this post has to be one of the best and well written guide I've come across.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  19. This post just got we way excited for fake tanning. I've tried it way back before and didn't have the best experience, so I'm going to give it a try again this summer.
    Thanks for this. Have a happy weekend!

  20. Love that you list so many different options!

  21. I SO need this post! I used to use various fake tanning products but have gotten so busy I've gotten out of the habit of doing so. Needless to say, I'm looking pretty pasty! I seriously now want to try ALL of these products!

  22. Interesting post.I have never actually used a tan. Looks like these products actually work very well.
    lovely pictures.

  23. very nice tips on the fake tan
    let’s follow each other on GFC/bloglovin?
    style frontier

  24. Dear Rachel,
    I see you are really experienced in fake-tanning! Such things like it happened to you in retail happen ...
    As I try to avoid sun-bathing fake-tannig is definitely a topic for me and I really like what you recommend.
    Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend.
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  25. I'm certainly saving this post! This is the first blog post I've seen someone do one some many different tanners and I really enjoyed it. I've had a true love hate relationship with tanner and I do like the idea of a shower tanner because I feel like it's such a task to tan and let it dry but something about it being in the shower makes it seems easier?

    Manda |

  26. Like I said on Instagram, your skin is flawless. I have never use the tanning products, but I would love give it a try. I just don't know how to apply, or I will end up look like I was burnt with the sun lol

  27. Great post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

  28. Thank you so much for such an informative and thorough post ! I have tried so many self tanners and kind of gave up but you have convinced me to try St.Tropez. You look so unbelievably perfect and the color is gorgeous!

  29. Wow! Such a great review, thanks for sharing all these amazing products. I've tried a lot of tan products, but always ended up with orange skin, because my natural skin tone I see very pale and with freckles, so it can be a real problem for me to get a proper tan. But after your post, I think I'd give a try to one of those products you've mentioned.
    Cheers, Eliza |

  30. I love that - Stephen Hawking of the tanning world! Haha 😂! If I'm honest with you over in Australia I assumed you now had a natural tan. It's good to know all the products you've mentioned. I'm useless at applying it but will definitely check out the San Tropez in shower one.
    Jaz xoxo

  31. This was a great guide for someone who has gone through everything you described above from orange palms to stripes and what not. I think I'll try the J Bronze as that sounds like it would suit me best :)

  32. Wow great roundup! My friend keeps telling me to fake bake but I like my pasty white skin LOL. I should some of these for kicks :)

  33. HAHA I didn't know tans can be faked cuz for Asians, we like our skin to be pale and fair. I would look bad if I'm tanned but yup guess the culture is different here and you're rocking that tan so well ;)

  34. I'm naturally tan but this is really insightful. Learning new things.

  35. Great post! Thanks for sharing xx

  36. Love this blog and i love most that LUNA moisturizer

    bruno mars stickers

  37. I've only every used St.Tropex when it comes to tanning so would love to try out some other brands! Great tips xx

    Jenny | Krystel Couture - Morphe 350 Palette & ILEX London Giveaway. x

  38. actually I never got a fake tan, but it seams so good and I need to try it :D

  39. hello dear!!!
    I love them and using often, beacause are very practic and no need to damaged our skin with the sun.Sending love from Italy.

  40. Hey love:)
    Love fake Tans but its really not esy to find good ones:) I will check out now your selections, sounds nice:)
    I am very curious how it works with my skin type:)
    LOve KIsses
    Open Kloset By Karina

  41. So this is perfect for me right now because I feel like I'm unevenly tan! Need to get my hands on this haha

  42. This is exactly what I need right now! I've been searching to the ultimate fake fan products for this winter! Can't wait for the summer to come I can get some real tannings!

    Xx Jessie

  43. Luckily, I have quite tanned skin, but I know my BFFs was looking for something like that to try! I will share with her

  44. With this crazy winter, I haven't tanned in ages and I have already forgotten about it. I am so pinning this post as I want to do tanning tomorrow!

  45. I have only used the Luna tan and i feel like it only gives a slight hint of looking tanner. But its a great all in one moisturizer!


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