If you've ever been tempted by the lure of the bottle, you'll know that fake tanning yourself is no easy feat. There are so many risk factors at play: Will I turn out orange? Will I be left with streaks up and down my legs? Will my hands end up super patchy? And how the hell am I supposed to reach every last inch of my back without a helping hand?
The thing is that the actual application is only half the battle—working out which self-tanner is right for you can be pretty tricky too. You see, we have more choices on our shelves than ever: Tanning products now come in spectrums of shades that lend a glow to skin whatever tone it starts out, and the new breed of intelligent tanning formats (drops, oils, balms and the like) don't just take into account personal preference but your skin's individual needs too. The only downside is that it's never been harder to navigate the category.
It really needn't be this much of a headache, though. In a bid to clear up the tanning questions we still find ourselves asking, we teamed up with Jules Von Hep, tanning expert and founder of Isle of Paradise, to talk us through the process of how to apply fake tan, from start to finish. As you'll soon realise by watching the below video, it's actually much easier than you might have thought.
Byrdie UK; Videographer: Treve Jackson-Hicks; Makeup: Natasha Stone
Ready to give tanning another shot? Below we've pulled out a few fail-safe tanning products and the items required in every prep kit.
Use a few days before tanning to slough away the cloak of dry skin winter has left behind.
Simply add six to 12 drops of this formula to your body lotion or face moisturiser for a hydrated glow.
A nongreasy (but deeply nourishing) body lotion that works well with the tanning drops above.
With a rollerball applicator, simply swipe this tanning oil up and down the limbs, blending with your palms.
And for when you're done with one tan and ready to start afresh? This glycolic mist will nibble away at the top layer of skin, peeling back the layers of old tan and setting the foundations for a new one.
Suddenly in the mood to tan? We don't blame you.
Opening Image: Solid + Striped