Ever wonder how celebrities achieve a flawless red-carpet worthy tan? We spoke to celebrity tanning expert and Founder of VANI-T, Tania Walsh, who gave us her top tips to ensure a flawless glow every time…

Step 1: Find the perfect tan for you…

With so many tanning options on the market, it’s important to find the one that suits all your tanning needs. Here are three key elements to look for when searching for your perfect self-tan:

  • Natural-looking finish

Gone are the days of Oompa Loompa-looking faux tans that have you feeling as if you’ve just rolled around in a bowl of Doritos. Thankfully, self-tan formulas have advanced drastically over the years, which means you can achieve a sun-kissed glow or an ultra dark tone with ease.

  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Of course, it’s always good to find a product that is cruelty free and vegan. Absolutely no fur babies should be harmed in the making of a self-tan.

  • Organic ingredients

Self-tans are known to have artificial and chemical-based ingredients, however, there are a variety on the market that are jam packed with all-natural ingredients. Organic formulas tend to nourish the skin, while also preventing any chance of skin sensitivities. If you are unsure what to avoid, Tania recommends staying clear of parabens, mineral oils and any artificial fragrances. You’ll also want one with luscious botanical and skin-loving ingredients. Without these conditioning and hydrating ingredients, your tan may end up fading patchy.

Step 2: First, create the perfect canvas!

There is no doubt that smooth, hydrated skin is the ideal canvas for a fake tan. Tania’s hot tip? Exfoliate, shave and moisturise the day prior to tanning.

Exfoliating is a crucial step in achieving a flawless tan as it removes flaky, dead skin cells to reveal a fresh layer of soft, silky skin. Not only will the tan formula glide on seamlessly but will absorb into the skin flawlessly, helping your tan glow for longer.

Tania swears by VANI-T Tan Eraser Mousse which uses a heavenly blend of skin smoothers and fruit enzymes to gently remove all dead skin cells and any traces of previous self-tan. For maximum results, she recommends using VANI-T Exfoliating Mitt. These two products work like a dream in conjunction with each other.

Step 3: The ultimate ‘how to’

A good quality application mitt is an essential. VANI-T Bronzing Mitt is the ultimate option for beginners and professionals as it has a waterproof lining, protecting your hands from getting stained. To keep track of where you have applied the tan, start at the ankles and work your way up, applying the tan to one section of the body at a time. Once the tan is applied, be sure to wear loose, dark clothing. Simply rinse the tan using warm water, then pat dry.

  • The correct way to tan your face, hands and feet!

Less is more when it comes to tanning your face, hands and feet! Tania recommends tanning these areas last, using any product left on the mitt. To prevent over tanning, apply a light layer of moisturiser to your face, hands and feet as it will act as a slight barrier between your skin and the tan. Ensure the formula is blended up into the hairline and down the sides of the neck.

  • How long do I leave my tan on for?

For a rapid or express tan, wash off after 1 hour for a light tan, 2-3 hours for a medium glow or 4+ hours for a deep, golden tan. For those looking to achieve an ultra dark result, it's recommended leaving the tan on overnight.

Step 4: Icing on the cake; sculpt, glow and go!

“For my clients it’s all about the next level of tanning – sculpting and highlighting," says Tania. “Using a brush, add an additional layer of tan to the area you want to sculpt. For example, under the collarbones, underneath the bicep indent, and the outer torso to define the waist. I also like to contour down the inner/outer thighs and calves to really give the illusion of model-worthy legs. You can also give yourself semi-permanent face contouring by applying tan under the cheekbones, along the hairline and jawline, as well as down the bridge of the nose. Ensure you buff in gently either side to blur any harsh lines.”

“For special events, I love using glow products on the body. My go-to is VANI-T Liquid Radiance Highlighter Drops, applying it to the shoulders, collarbones, cheekbones and the front of the legs to create a healthy sheen. It adds the most amazing luminosity to the skin!”

Step 5: Blessed are those that take special care

Now that you’ve created the perfect tan, you want it to last.

“To ensure your tan lasts longer and fades smoothly, stay hydrated (inside and out),” says Tania. “In addition to drinking plenty of water, moisturise daily using a deeply nourishing lotion or body oil. To extend the life of your tan and boost colour, I recommend VANI-T Bronzing Custard which is a 3-in-1 gradual tan, moisturiser and tan extender. It contains a small amount of the active tanning ingredient, so the colour will deepen with each application. Avoid harsh scrubbing, exfoliating or soaking in a bath. You should only exfoliate once the tan has completely faded or just prior to being re-tanned. After washing, pat body dry – do not rub”.


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