Bambi Does Beauty shares her ultimate fake tanning secrets, which have been 15 years (!) in the making

I’m known on Instagram for being pretty comfortable in my own skin, makeup free and hair undone most of the time, but if there was one thing I could change about my appearance it would be to have been blessed with gorgeously bronzed skin.

You know that skin tone that can spend 5 minutes in the sun and be lit golden? Well pasty is the card I was dealt with and as much as many have told me to embrace it, I just feel so much more me (ironically) when I’m quilted in a slick of fake tan.

I have spent the best part of 15 years using them, from back in the days of fake tan wipes (remember them?!) to now – where I’m unashamedly proud of the extensive routine I’ve cultivated, that leaves my skin with a sun kissed olive hue, dolphin smooth and knuckles stain free… (ok I’m still working on the knuckles!!)

Prep, Application + After Care

You’re either a re-applier/haven’t seen your natural skin tone since 2002 or someone who likes to strip it all back, buff it all off and have a nice clean canvas to work with. I’m the latter, so my pre-tanning routine is pretty solid. Once my tan has faded and I’m back to my natural skin tone, I will use something like Dr Dennis Gross Body Peel Pads, a newer launch and a welcomed entry into more body care for the brand – these combine Glycolic and Lactic acid to chemically exfoliate (ie no scrubbing needed).

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Then I’ll go in with a lightweight body lotion, something that my skin absorbs quickly like CeraVe Moisturising Lotion or The Body Shop’s Body Yoghurts. You can of course use something richer, an oily lotion like Bondi Sands Coconut Body Moisturiser will soften the skin and give it more of a smooth and silky surface.

A little later on it’s time for more moisture on the drier areas (elbows/hands/knuckles/feet) I’m constantly relying on Weleda Skin Food for this part, but Weleda also do a Skin Food Body Butter which is unbelievable too. Not only do I apply this liberally to those areas and wait a few hours before tanning, but I also apply a little after having tanned. Take the hands for example, after tanning I add a splodge of Skin Food to each hand and massage in with a tanning mitt, it improves the finish drastically.

To apply the tan, I use a combination of hands, mitt, and body brushes, and when this laborious activity is done and my heart rate is the highest it’s been since the year 10 bleep tests I grab a few of the Nip + Fab Glycolic Extreme Pads and remove tan residue from my cuticles, finger tips and the palms of my hands (again – another game changer).

Now that you’re golden and glowing, my one rule would be DO NOT use acid exfoliating body creams when your tan is at it’s peak, I did this once and was at a pool and basically came out of the pool dripping in my own tanning juices, it was like a scene from House of Wax. Keep your skin moisturised (preferably with an oil free lotion as oil strips tan quicker, keep your oils for pre tan!) and gently physically buff the skin a couple of times a week until it fades evenly – my favourite body scrub is the Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Body Polish!

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Fake Tans

I have tried SO many tans, and the ones below are my ‘olive toned easy to apply with no streaks and gradual fade’ anything less just doesn’t make the cut for me.


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