Fashion Health & Beauty Lifestyle

How to Get the Perfect Fake Tan

St tropez self tan routine dani austin8

St tropez self tan routine dani austin11

St tropez self tan routine dani austin11

all white bathroom

St tropez self tan routine dani austin8

all white bathroom

all white bathroom

POOF: Wayfair // Sandals: PJ Salvage

Ok, guys, I’m gonna break it down for ya: Summer is around the corner (Ok, maybe not RIGHT around the corner, but a girl can dream, right?), and my legs are feeling a little on the ghostly side. I’m longing for those warm, sunny days when I can lay back and catch some rays (safely, with SPF, of course), but until then, I gotta turn to some alternatives to get that glowing goddess look.

Now, last time I checked, skin cancer was not cool. So my suggestions for achieving the perfect fake tan will not involve laying under ultra-violet lights. There’s SO many awesome products on the market that can give you a really natural looking tan, without breaking the bank. Read on to see my steps in getting the perfect fake tan all year long.

FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCT. Like I said, there’s a ton, and it can be overwhelming standing in the aisle at Wal-Mart for 20 minutes just trying to decide what the heck product to buy (yeah, that was me). There’s lotions and sprays and foams and wipes (oh my!). There’s also different levels based on your natural skin tone. So if you’re naturally fair skinned, look for one that specifies that it’s for light skin tones. Darker? Go with one designed for deeper, darker skin. The ones I shared in my video are my tried and true favorites!

PREPARE YOUR CANVAS. Before you go getting all happy with your newfound boyfriend…er, I mean tanner…you MUST make sure your skin is ready. First, shave and exfoliate. This will help the tanner set better on a clean, smooth surface. You might also want to try a water-based moisturizer all over, since sunless tanner tends to saturate dry areas like knees, ankles, elbows, etc. Trust me, you do NOT want to look like an Oompa-Loompa!

APPLY. Whether you chose a lotion, foam, spray, wipe—whatever!—the goal is the same: an even application that doesn’t result in blotches or an orange hue (I like Cheetos, but sure as heck don’t wanna look like one!). Long, smooth motions up and down are a better approach than rubbing. The first time you use the product, you might want to be a little more conservative until you see the result. Not enough color? Next time, apply more. But my motto is slow and steady…you can always add more, but it’s not as easy to take off!

NOT INTO DIY? The good news is that spray tan booths are super popular and give a nice, overall look. Yes, they’re going to be more expensive than buying a bottle of lotion at the drugstore, but if it saves you time and convenience, then I say go for it! The same prep rules apply for using a booth. There’s also usually written or recorded instructions at the salon (just be sure to actually FOLLOW them. Don’t believe me? Check out the Friends episode where Ross learns the hard way).

Getting that subtle glow can be a confidence boost, whether you choose to keep at it year round, do it for a big event (hint, hint: WEDDING!), or just in preparation for swimsuit season. Either way, you’ll be feeling “hey girl hayyyyyyy,” and your friends will be jealous of that Caribbean cruise you didn’t take.


get yo’ tan on


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  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I use the St. Tropez and I love it!! I use to go to a tanning salon to get sprays but it was so expensive to keep up so I got a big bottle of the St. Tropez and it lasted me awhile! Love your tip about body brushing the day of events to help with evenness 🙂

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I love St. Tropez gradual but I haven’t tried the other products in this post! As a naturally fair-skinned girl who lives on an island (but loves being tan) I would love to win this giveaway!


  • Reply
    Rianna Smith
    April 7, 2018 at 1:02 am

    I NEVER see the sun because of the multiple chronic illnesses that I have and I always look sickly pale. So I’ve been looking into self-tanning products but all the good ones are so expensive (for obvious reasons). My doctors say I’m not allowed to have a job so since I don’t make any money I can’t ever buy cute stuff for myself:/ this would be so nice to use so i can look cute like you and all your other blogger friends! 💕

  • Reply
    May 16, 2018 at 3:50 am

    Love St. Tropez! For sure my go-to self tanner. Do you just use your exfoliater to remove the tan when it starts to fade/look patchy? I’ve seen online that they offer a tan removal mitt and was thinking about getting it for those stubborn areas that don’t fade as naturally as the rest of the body. What are your experiences with dealing with the fading tan/starting a new one?
    Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    Taking Care of Your Summer Skin - The Darling Detail
    May 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

    […] I never have used a self tanner. I recommend checking out this guide by my friend Dani Austin, since I have 0 experience with spray tans of self tanners. I lay out 1-2 times a week; but I have […]

  • Reply
    August 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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