Fake Tan Tutorial

How do you have a year round tan? 

I think this is one of the things I get asked most about on social media and I've been asked to blog it many times, so here it is! It's probably great timing for all of us in need of a glow this time of year. This picture was taken in November!

Despite having dark hair I am as fair as they come and even though we all know the sun is bad for us I don't actually tan or burn anyway, I just get more freckles! If I haven't fake tanned though every single person I meet ask's me if I'm OK. So now I tan every Thursday like a religion and think I could do it in my sleep; but it maintains a year round healthy glow...and no one thinks I have the plague! I am 36 and had 2 children so I haven't subjected anyone to half naked pics of me but try to describe it as best as I can.

Lets Glow Up!

I have tried many fake tans over the years from expensive to cheap but I find this one to be the BEST and at £2.99 - £4.99 a bottle (depending where you buy it from) is amazing. Easy to apply, doesn't smell too much and not patchy. 

'St Moritz Mousse in Medium' 

I have on rare occasion used 'Dark' in the summer but for me I find it just clings to my knees and elbows but isn't actually much darker in colour.

You will need:
Scrub mitts
Fake tan - Your choice and shade.
Tan Mitt - Any brand will do.
Light moisturiser.
Rubber gloves.

A full length mirror and a towel will be an advantage.

Day before you tan - 

Have a good Scrub.  I like to use a really good oily exfoliant with scrub mitts. It will wash off any old tan and moisturise nicely too, also apply lots of moisturiser after. You can not use this on the day of tanning though as the oil will make your tan go weird.

Tan Day - 
This is just my routine. I always tan at night usually a Thursday ahead of the weekend so I can sleep in it and wash off in the morning for the least hassle.

TIP - If have an event on, depending what I'm wearing I will move to the night before as sometimes bra or clothes can start to leave strap marks or patches so I like it fresh.  


1. Just before I tan I always jump in the shower. Scrub myself top to bottom with mitts and the St Moritz scrub, although any non oily scrub would also do. Paying close attention to dry areas and under arms. 

2. I then shave everything I want shaved, particularly under arms and whole legs. Rinse off with a body wash - nothing oily or creamy just soapy. Basically be squeaky clean ready for tan.

3. Get thoroughly dried, tie up hair tightly and apply a light moisturiser to my hands, face, elbows, knee's and whole feet. I use anything but like this vaseline one, just nothing oily - let it sink in for a minute. I use this time to brush my teeth and get my tan stuff ready. 

4. I always put a towel on the floor in front of my full length mirror. I rarely spill now but you don't want tan on your carpet ever! I have everything set up including some baby wipes. Put thick kitchen rubber gloves on as find the the others rubbish and you will get orange palms. 

Tip - If you have already tanned and it is looking a bit like tiger bread I find 'Hair remover creme' a dream to strip off areas you can use it on - Full legs, ankles and elbows. I usually do this before every holiday to ensure there is no crusty tan left on especially if I have had a wax and its left a few patches, this will leave a lovely fresh base to tan ready for your bathing suit.


5. Shake and pump a golf ball of tan into your mitt, then using long strokes start on your shins covering your legs in the mousse. I do the entire legs then feet patting the tops of the feet and knees so it doesn't go on too dark. I then using light long strokes upwards literally slathering my whole body in the mousse, don't be stingy and you cant go wrong as long as you're totally covered and have no white patches you're good. 

6. When I get to my neck and face, I again kind of pat the excess on all around vs rubbing it on so it doesn't go too dark, including the back of neck and ears.  By now everywhere except your lower arms and hand should be covered in tan. 

7. This is when the mirror comes into play, have a good look all over and using the mitt pat in any excess tan or patchy bits to blend making sure there are no white bits. If so apply more tan to them. I find the backs of thighs and ankles always tricky.

TIP. I have very long arms and can reach all of my back with a bit of work however you can get a mitt on a stick for this job - Can buy at any good shop in the tan section for a few pounds. Failing that rope in your fella or family member but make sure they scrub their hand after.

8. At this point I take off the gloves, put the mitt on and rub tan all over my arms to my wrist line, being careful not to get any on my palms then turn my hands over and pat all over my hands including between my fingers.

9. While you let it dry/settle for a minute,  use a baby wipe to carefully wipe all your finger nails and toe nails just in case it stains your french manicure! Wipe over just your palms and dry.

Don't be too concerned if you look a bit streaky or very dark that is normal. 

Put on something loose and preferably dark. I have a 'Tan Nightie" which is perfect for the job and then I go to bed. Leaving Tan on for at least 8hrs. - I have on occasion done it early but just sit on a towel watching TV.

10. In the morning wash it off in the shower. I try to combine this with hair washing day as there is nothing nicer to wash it all off but don't scrub or rub too much. If not wetting hair I use a baby wipe to go around hairline and face properly. Apply loads of moisturiser all over and voila....people will think you have just been on holiday.

TIP- I always combine this with bed washing day. It will really stain the sheets a brownish green colour but we have a white sheets and it always come out in a normal wash so don't panic.

This is just my method and routine but you can alter as you wish. It might take a bit of trial and error first time tanners but I have done this for years and haven't had many hiccups. Even the streakiest tan has washed off beautifully the next day. I also once had a few glasses of wine and tanned completely missing my feet somehow....so I just wore knee boots! You work it out and failing that it only last a few days and buff it off.

TIP - You can buy instant tan and if you have a really noticeable white patch this will blend it in lovely a pinch...just as long as it doesn't rain!

Let me know your top tanning tips below. 


  1. Hi ashlie, your instructions were perfect! And my tan turned out amazing, however I'm having issues with the fade out and what to do... How many days after applying do you start exfoliating it off? I'm on day 3 and it's already looking like tiger bread lol... And also, what and how do I use hair remover cream? Which brand is better and how long do I leave it on, do you put this on the night before you reapply?
    Thank You Xxx