Credit: Instagram @romeestrijd
The power of a good fake tan is tanner is undeniable. From professional spray tans to DIY jobs, getting a faux glow has earned their place on many women’s seocial occasion to weekly routines, their ability to give skin a traceless, healthy glow sans UV damage. If anyone gets it, it’s St. Tropez’s Skin Finishing Expert Michael Brown can attest to that.  The man behind the faux glows of Tash Oakley, Jessinta Campbell, and Elyse Taylor and more, naturally we had to quiz him on how to get that flawless, bronzed finish just in time for summer. 

His number rule? It’s all about the mitt. “If you’re doing your self-tan at home and using your hands, your hands could have dry areas and grooves, and obviously tan can catch onto that, so you may have a patchy effect, and make sure you start from the feet and work up to avoid crease lines and streaking”.

Credit: Instagram @sttropeztan
Of course the standard rules apply: First, exfoliating beforehand will ensure a longer and better looking tan and second, moisturising before and after is just as crucial. “If you’re doing your self-tan always moisturise your elbows, hands, knees, ankles, and the feet, and if you’re getting a spray tan at a professional salon and your girl or guy doesn’t do that remind them to moisturise those little areas because tan will catch on that area,” says Brown.

Furthermore, for a tan that really lasts make sure you invest in a quality moisturiser. If you plan on applying tan weekly, having a strict moisturising routine (with a heavy-duty, rich moisturiser) will avoid uneven buildup, and tell-tale patchy fading. “All my celebrity clients that have tans, some weekly, know to moisturise their body pretty much every single day they have a tan on. If you have tanning product on your body it’s going to get dryer and can be prone to cracking. Moisturiser protects and prevents against fading, and those ugly little areas where you can see the patchwork.” 

Kit Essentials
Go the extra mile with your preparation and upkeep for a truly noticeable difference that’ll make your at-home tan look professional. As per Michael’s Brown’s tips exfoliation and moisturising before and after is key. 
Soap & Glory, Scrub ‘Em and Leave ‘Em Body Buff, $15. SHOP NOW
St Tropez, Tan Applicator Mitt, $11.99. SHOP NOW
Frank Body, Coconut Body Balm, $24.95. SHOP NOW

Fail-proof Staples
A go-to fake tan for a rainy day is a staple in any fake tan fan’s beauty cabinet. Brown recommends St. Tropez a mousse texture “mousses are amazing for colour, they do have a more darker tone. So if you’re someone that likes more of that real shine and glow on the body this is great”.
tan7 James Read Tan, Express Bronzing Mousse, $57. SHOP NOW
Becca, Luminous Body Perfecting Mousse, $50. SHOP NOW
St Tropez, self tan bronzing mousse classic, $59.99. SHOP NOW

For the Face
Creating a faux glow for your face veers on tricky territory, especially when sensitive skin comes into play. Make sure you use a specialised formula to avoid breakouts, and opt for something that has skincare benefits mixed with a tanning agent to nourish at the same time, or mix with your existing moisturiser to gradually build up a traceless bronzed glow.
Clarins, Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $40. SHOP NOW
Josie Maran Cosmetics, Argan Liquid Gold Self Tanning Face Oil, $61. SHOP NOW
Eco Tan, Face Tan Water, $29.95. SHOP NOW

One Wash Wonder 
If you’re more looking for a one-night tan versus anything long-term, a wash-off wonder if your party go-to. Generally these formulas work like a streak-free moisturiser that flawlessly gives a bronzed finish that’ll give you a ‘I’ve just come back from holiday’ look (even if it’s for one night only). However, if you’re more after a general radiance versus any ‘colour’, a shimmering, body oil will have your friends none the wiser at your new-found glow. Tan3 The Base, Wash Off Bronzing Gel, $30. SHOP NOW
St Tropez, Gradual Tan Tinted Lotion, $33.99. SHOP NOW
Tom ford, soleil blanc shimmering Body oil, $135. SHOP NOW