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The Self-Tan Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making, According To An Expert

Number 5 will shock you...

You'd think now that we have all spare time on our hands, we'd have mastered the art of self-tan. Sadly, mistakes are inevitable. But that's why we've teamed up with Rose and Caramel to not only fix all your self-tan mistakes but to also give one lucky Irish Tatler reader AND a friend the chance to win the ultimate self-tan bundle. 

Self-tanning can seem like a daunting prospect. Those accidental streaks and patches always look bad, whether it's winter or summer. Coronavirus is affecting us all in very individual ways, but the one common thread we have throughout all of this is that we are spending much more time at home. Whatever your circumstances, the news detailing unprecedented actions can feel a little overwhelming and whilst we are all trying to stay as positive and upbeat as possible, sometimes we need a little helping hand. 

And, as frivolous as it seems, a little self-tan can work wonders for our self-esteem...even if it's only seen on the skin below your pyjamas and above your slippers. Much like makeup has the power to raise spirits when we're feeling down, painting on a golden bronze hue will allow us all to feel much less zombie-like as we get to grips with our new reality. Plus, if you're a tanning neophyte, then now is the perfect time to get practising!

TRENDING TODAY: The Single Best Thing You Can Do For Your Skin, According To A Dermatologist

Still, no matter how long you've been practising the art of self-tanning, mistakes are inevitable. As much as we hate to admit it, orange streaks, mucky elbows, and awkward stains in between your fingers and toes are all apart of the process.

While self-tan mistakes are unfortunate, they are by no means permanent. That's why we reached out to Rosie Greenhalgh, creator and founder of Rose and Caramel to discover how to fix our self-tanning faux pas. So, whether you're applying tan because you've got a hot virtual date or you just want to kill an hour or two, we've got a solution for you. 

MISTAKE #1: You Don't Prep

"Achieving an all-over flawless look with self-tan is all about the preparation," says Rosie. Prepped skin equals guaranteed flawless results, every time - and just like an artist needs a blank canvas to create a masterpiece, the best results for self-tanning start with the clearest of skin."

MISTAKE #2: You Don't Shave

"When it comes to applying flawless tan, body hair is not your friend," says Rosie. "It’s super important to shave or wax 24 hours prior to tanning - giving the skin chance to recover from any abrasion and ensuring you have an ultra-smooth surface for when it is time to apply the tan."

MISTAKE #3: You Tan On Top Of Old Tan

"Don’t even think about tanning on top of old tan," warns Rosie. "Your skin should be completely free from self-tan so removing your old tan first is vital. Our tan remover range Purity includes the world’s first tan removing bubble bath and shower gel. Make sure you use an exfoliating mitt and within minutes your skin will be fresh and completely tan free."

MISTAKE #4: You Wear Perfume

"Keeping your skin completely product free prior to applying self-tan is essential as anything extra on the skin can affect the formula of the tan and how it develops," explains Rosie. "Try to avoid wearing makeup, deodorant or perfume when applying your tan and as it develops."

MISTAKE #5: You're Using the wrong side of the mitt

"When it comes to an even tan, the dry side of the mitt is paramount," says Rosie. "Always be sure to use a deluxe tanning mitt. Pump a generous amount of your chosen tanning mousse and sweep across the body in circular motions. Take extra special care around hands, feet, wrists and knuckles, buffing them thoroughly with the dry side of your mitt."


"For a believable tan, you need to allow the tan to develop for a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight," advises Rosie. When you’ve finished applying your products to the skin, check that it is dry to touch before getting changed into loose-fitting clothing. The next day, wash off with a light rinse in the shower, patting yourself dry with a towel – no rubbing!"

MISTAKE #7: You Don't Moisturise 

"Hydrated skin is happy skin - it will help boost the appearance of your tan on the skin as well as keep it glowing for days," explains Rosie. "Keep the entire body hydrated by applying body cream but be sure to pay extra attention to dry areas such as the hands, feet, knees and elbows."


Sorry, the promotion closed a week ago. Don’t worry, you’re still a winner to us. We have loads of other competitions running every Wednesday. 

Main image by @irishtatlerbeauty on Instagram

READ: Yes – You Should Be Washing Your Tanning Mitt

READ MORE: Fake Tan Not Sticking To Your Legs? This Could Be Why