Ten hacks for flawless from-the-bottle bronzing

21 February 2018

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

There she glows.

Ugh. Tanning. When it goes right, we feel like a million dollars. But when it goes wrong, it goes so wrong. Never fear: We’re here with ten hacks to ensure you never mess up your faux glow again.


Never shave or wax right before you apply a faux glow — it’ll open your pores and give you that ‘speckled egg’ look. Do it the day before instead.


Always exfoliate before tanning, but ensure any products you use are oil-free. You may find it easier to use an exfoliating glove.


Get an even finish by using a tanning mitt to apply your colour. Add it to the centre of the mitt, then clench your fist to distribute. For smooth, fast application, put a mitt on each hand.



Avoid staining your hands with very dark tanning products by wearing a plastic glove (or a plastic bag) under your mitt. Afterwards, remove the plastic and lightly sweep the top of your hands with the mitt. Use makeup remover wipes to clean any rogue product off your palms.

 Tanzee sheet protector, $86; Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, $75; Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser, $25


To reach your back, slide your tanning mitt onto a spatula and secure it with a hair tie before applying the product and rubbing it in.


Leave your elbows, knees and feet until last. As with your hands, rather than adding more product, simply use the excess on your mitt.


To tan your face, try adding tanning drops to your regular moisturiser for a custom-blended, subtle colour that won’t clog pores and cause acne. Alternatively, use a dense facial brush to evenly buff on a tinted tanner. Don’t forget your ears!


To remove stickiness, prevent any colour transferring and speed up your drying time, use your hands or an old, fluffy makeup brush to apply a little baby powder over the top. Or use a hair dryer on cool.


For best results, avoid showering and sweat-inducing activities for 10-12 hours after tanning. Or, if you want a low-key glow, experiment with washing the product off after only an hour or so.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist, $56; Le Tan Ultra Dark Self Tanning Foam, $23; Velvotan tanning mitt, $10


Applying a rich body lotion every day will help to maintain your tan. For even longer wear, apply a gradual tanning product over the top every second day. As soon as it starts to look patchy, use a tan eraser to remove it all evenly before starting over.

Words: Megan Bedford
Photos: Supplied and Pinterest

This article originally appeared in Miss FQ Issue 3 2017. 

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