How To Get The Perfect Faux-Tan
Welcome to our bikini advice column, featuring the hard-earned wisdom of our very own swimsuit master, the Bikini Whisperer. Today, we hear from a student heading out for Spring Break, unsure how to fake a tan — and the Bikini Whisperer has some ideas for how to handle. Looking for some advice of your own? Drop us a line!
Hi Bikini Whisperer,
I'm heading to South Padre Island in a week for spring break and look pale AF — please help! I need a decent tan before I dare to wear a bikini but have no time to hit the tanning bed. Do you have any fake tanning pointers?
I have one major piece of advice that you've probably heard a million times: skip tanning beds! Nowadays, self-tanning lotions are incredibly effective, so why damage your skin? Take the time to do an in-house self-tan process carefully, and that's it. I promised you'll be looking extra glowy if you follow these steps; nobody will even question it as faux tan.
Sunless tanning preparation is just as crucial as the actual application itself. Start by shedding excess layers of dead skin. Jump into a warm bath and after 10 minutes when your skin is soft, apply Kopari's delicious scrub. You'll almost want to eat it, but don't — even though it's 100 percent vegan, and free of silicones, petroleum, phthalate, GMOs and all the yucky toxins. Lather every part of your body, turn off running water, and massage in a circular motion, paying extra attention to elbows, knees, and feet. Rinse off and dry off.
Dry areas like knees, feet, and elbows absorb tanning products quicker than the rest of the body, so apply a thin layer of body butter to these regions to avoid extra darkening. Do not moisturize the entire body.
Now you're ready for the actual tanning step. Our fave to use: Vita Liberata. It's one of the luxe, high-end tanners that genuinely works and doesn't leave streaks, nasty scents or an orange tint behind. It's packed with organic botanicals, which actually smell decent and are good for the skin. Trust, this mousse formula is easy to use, so you shouldn't be intimidated — even if it's your first time. Apply two to three pumps onto a spongy mitt and lather away. Don't rush the job but do apply rapidly in long strides, blending well in circular motions till the mousse dissolves. Luckily, the color of the foam displays exactly where it has been applied to, so you can clearly see any spots missed. Use sparingly on feet, knees, and elbows. Although this mousse dries instantly, wait 10 minutes for it to soak deep into skin before putting on any clothes. The tan will gradually develop and darken in four to eight hours. Avoid sweating, wearing tight clothes, or sitting and laying on fabrics too long during this period. Expect your killer bronze to last up to three weeks, and for darkening effects, re-apply in eight hours.
In case of any mistakes, don't fret, scrub away with a pumice stone — only use on feet, elbows and knees.
Making a faux tan last is all about moisturizing right. Any coconut-infused lotions like Kopari's body milk have fatty acids that deeply nourish and prevent shedding or dryness. Look for grease free, water-based formulas that are fast absorbing. Greasy oil options will smear your tan and could even stain fabrics.
Tip: To counteract a fading glow, use a daily self-tanning body moisturizer every two days. It's great for traveling and for when you don't have time to reapply a self-tanner. You'll love the gradual, natural-looking effects! Again, use sparingly around dry areas of the body and wait till the cream is entirely absorbed.
Vita Liberata's bronzing mineral powder is pure magic — it's the one self-tanner that's suitable for the face. It's a mineral powder with a lasting tan effect, basically a bronzer that stays! Apply over your usual face moisturizer and blend well onto face and neck. For contouring effects, add more powder to the regions you'd like to define. For darker shading, wait to reapply after the next face cleanse. Expect the color to last up to seven days.
And for the ultimate glowing touch, Kopari's golden shimmer is everything. It's a lightweight illuminating formula that gives a subtle shine for the perfect faux tan you want.
Psst ... don't forget to pack a water-resistant bronzing SPF for when you're actually under the sun.