How to get the perfect Summer Tan

There isn’t much in the way of body hang-ups that a tan can’t cure – a lot of us feel that we look better, fitter and healthier with one, but of course, it’s always best to cheat it. Find out the most believable faux glows here…

0606_N_Akrans_07a copy
Image Credit @ Camilla Akrans for Numero

Whether you’re off on holiday soon, you’ve got a big event looming – or perhaps you just want to give yourself a quick pick me up, I always find that a bit of a tan works wonders. Fake tan is a trick I use on myself before I go away and something I often create on models for photo shoots. It’s a good pre-red-carpet touch-up for a lot of celebrities I work with as well.

With the advanced tanning technology we have at our fingertips today, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get an imperceptible faux glow these days. A lot of people tell me that they are quite scared of fake tan, so I wanted to share the products and treatments that I know are quick and easy to get right, and which give great, natural looking results.


Those who aren’t well versed in the world of tanning should begin with a gradual lotion. With these, you build up colour over a few days, rather than jumping right in at the deep end, and they tend to contain hydrating ingredients to moisturise skin while they tan. Try Vita Liberata Self Tanning Gradual Lotion which comes without the bad fake tan smell and Dior’s Self Tanning Jelly Gradual Glow for Body which has a lovely, lightweight texture.

Another option is tanning drops, like Clarins’ Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body, which you mix in to your moisturiser to give a very subtle, golden tan.

Those brave enough to go straight for a one-application tanner should try a mousse (James Read’s Express Bronzing Mousse gives a lovely, deep colour), which, when (thoroughly) applied with a mitt give great colour in as little as a few hours.

My top tip is to mix your mousse with a dollop of body moisturiser around areas like knees and ankles, where the tan tends to collect and create tell-tale dark patches.

0606_N_Akrans_05b copy
Image Credit @ Camilla Akrans for Numero

For an instant fix of colour, I also love body makeup, like Guerlain’s Terracotta Jolies Jambes and St Tropez’s Instant Tan Body and a shimmer oil never went amiss to highlight the shin and make legs look as lustrous as they – now – will be. The Nars Body Glow is great for this.

If you’re going to be swimming, and you don’t want a permanent fake tan, then Sally Hansen’s tanning sprays are water resistant – perfect for an instant, seamless glow that will last even in hot, humid conditions.

You should also check out cult classic Vita Liberata Body Blur, which is a favourite on-set. If you’re really scared of tanning, but want a glow, then Burberry’s Golden Radiance gives an undetectable, flawless golden glow, with absolutely no streaks – it’s not a tan, it’s a water-based fluid so you really can’t go wrong with it. I use it on the face, body, hands and feet backstage – its great on camera and doesn’t get on clothes either as it’s so light. Great for a very slight boost where people will say you look well, but have no idea why.

Top Tip

There’s nothing worse than seeing someone who has meticulously tanned their legs, face, arms – but then forgotten to match up their other body parts; it’s such a tell tale sign! If you’re going to experiment with fake tan, then make sure you do your whole body so that everything matches – hands, feet and ears included.

READ NEXT: Best Bronzers | Get To Know Your SPF | Festival Season Beauty

© Wendy Rowe. All Rights Reserved.