The Beauty Insider: Fake Tanning In Winter

The Beauty Insider: Fake Tanning In Winter

Make-up artist and SL Beauty Insider Lisa Potter-Dixon is back with her fortnightly column, sharing her tips and tricks of the trade on what’s new, what’s cult and what you really need to know in the world of beauty. This week, she’s looking at fake tanning in winter, yes or no?

Ok, let’s talk fake tan. I’m pretty sure every single one of us has had a Tan-tastrophe. Whether this be streaky legs, orange hands, or a full on ‘Ross from Friends’ moment.  But when you do get a fake tan right, it can make you look and feel healthier. So, I’ve put together my top tips and favourite products. All have been tried and tested just for you, much to the dismay of my husband and the detriment of our bed sheets.
One thing I’ve discovered throughout this process is that you’ve got to plan your tan. The popular #tantuesday is a thing for a reason. I learnt the hard way. Rushing your tan is a no-no and prepping your skin is vital. This actually starts 24hrs before. I told you, it’s a process.

The Fake Tan Rules

Exfoliation is key. You can’t blame the tan for a patchy finish if your skin resembles sandpaper. Always exfoliate the day before you tan to ensure the smoothest finish. Be sure to thoroughly wash off the scrub as most contain oils which can act as a barrier.

My Faves Are:


I always add a bit of body moisturiser to the dry areas of the body. These are generally your elbows, knees, between your fingers and on your heels.  If you don’t do this, the tan can gather on these areas and dry darker.

Want to look fit? Use a mitt!

Honestly, your best tool is a tanning mitt. Using one gives you a much more even finish and ensures you don’t get the dreaded ‘tan hand’. You know what I’m talking about ;)
Put a dollop of tan onto the mitt and buff into your skin in a circular motion for an even finish.

My 5 Fave Tans

Self-Tanning Drops Light, £19.95 | Isle of Paradise
Self-Tanning Drops Light, £19.95 | Isle of Paradise

Fake Tan for your face

Most tans work on your face too. But I prefer to mix them into my moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated. However, there are a few tans specifically made for your face. The one I swear by is the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops. You literally put a couple of drops of this genius product into your moisturiser and you wake up looking like a bronzed babe.

Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tan

This has been my go-to tan for a good few years. Mainly because it actually lasts 2-3 weeks, and also because it’s really easy to use. The guide colour is pretty dark, so don’t make any plans during the developing time. But once washed off the colour is fantastic.

pHenomenal Tan, £37.50, Vita Liberata
pHenomenal Tan, £37.50, Vita Liberata
Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, £33 | St Tropez
Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, £33 | St Tropez

St Tropez Self-Tan Express Mousse

If you’re in a rush, this tan is great. It activates within an hour. If you wash it off then, you’re left with a subtle golden glow. The longer you leave it, the deeper the tan. The guide colour on the bottle makes it really easy to pick your time length.

Garnier Amber Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self-Tan Mist

This product has gained a cult following over many years, due to its ease of use. It has one of those ‘spray at any angle’ nozzles allowing you to reach your back. It dries quickly and is fully developed after 4 hours. The best thing is the finish. It’s natural, so you can go out with it on if you like. Although I always prefer washing it off.

No Streaks Bronzer Medium Self Tan Body Mist, £10.99 | Garnier Ambre Solaire
No Streaks Bronzer Medium Self Tan Body Mist, £10.99 | Garnier Ambre Solaire
Sunshimmer Instant Tan, £6.99 | Rimmel
Sunshimmer Instant Tan, £6.99 | Rimmel

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Wash Off Instant Tan

If you want a tan for one night only, this product is a dream. It’s water resistant so isn’t going to budge, no matter how long you spend on the dancefloor. The colour when applied is the colour it stays, so no washing off is needed. It includes a shimmer which is always a bonus.


If you do have a tan failure - don’t panic. You’ll be back to your normal skin tone before you can say, ‘What went wrong’?!
Lemon juice is your saviour. Squeeze some on to a flannel. Heat the flannel up in a microwave for 30 seconds, and when its lukewarm rub over the area’s you want to remove.

Steam it off Taking a trip to the steam room or sauna at your local gym is a great way to get rid of a bad tan. Stay in for a few minutes and then head to the shower and gently exfoliate with a flannel and body wash.

Bath oils Chucking some oils in your bath and soaking in it for a good 20 minutes will help to break down the tan and also keep your skin lovely and soft.
That is my end of my tan tips. I hope they help you get the even, healthy glow you’ve always dreamed off.
Love & Lipstick,
Lisa xx

Lisa Potter-Dixon is Head Make-Up Artist for Benefit Cosmetics. Make sure you tag us in your highlighter pics: @Lisapotterdixon, #LearnwithLisa and @Sheerluxe on Instagram.

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