How To Achieve That Flawless Fake Tan For Your Debs

Spoiler alert... It's all in the prep.

Are you finally counting down the days, or even the minutes to your debs? They may be late this year, but better late than never! At this stage, you’ve more than likely got everything almost sorted (if you haven’t, check out our list of things no one tells you about your debs here).

Your dress is ready and waiting, your hair appointment is booked and you know exactly what kind of makeup look you’re going for. But what about your fake tan? Well, if you’re opting for a faux glow for the night, thanks to the tanning experts at Cocoa Brown, we’ve got all the tips that you may need!

Prepping is key

First things first, exfoliate. A few days before you’re ready to apply your tan, pop on your exfoliating gloves, add a dollop of Tough Stuff body scrub and rub in long sweeping strokes backwards and forwards. The faster you sweep, the deeper the exfoliation.

Pay close attention to dry areas including hands, feet ankles and elbows, you don’t want those tell-tale signs that are often on these areas. This will remove dead skin cells as well as any old tan and will create a super smooth surface to apply the tan to, for the most even golden colour.


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If your tan is being extra stubborn on drier areas, use Fresh Start to ensure your skin is prepped perfectly. The revolutionary tan eraser formula contains no harmful ingredients and effectively removes all signs of residual tan, leaving skin fresh, clean and ready for your next tan application.

Don’t forget to moisturise

The next step, and perhaps the most crucial one around this time of year, is to moisturise. The Gentle Bronze Gradual Tan is a best-seller during the colder months of the year as it’s a really rich and luxurious-feeling moisturiser with a gradual tanning action. It keeps your skin beautifully hydrated while obtaining a subtle bronzed tan, designed to use it daily to moisturise your skin while adding a hint of natural colour.

If you’re keen to opt for a deeper tan, just make sure the exfoliation and moisturising take place at least 24 hours before application. Do not moisturise any closer before your tan application, as it creates a barrier on your skin meaning your tan can’t get in and do its job. Not exactly what you want just before your debs!

And for the actual application? 

Apply your chosen tan formula with a tanning mitt, in circular motions onto the skin. A mitt will protect the hand from absorbing all the tan and will also help to evenly distribute the product. If possible, apply the tan in a bright room in front of a mirror to make sure you don’t miss any spots.

Apply the tan methodically from legs, working upwards, rather than darting from limb to limb! This way, you know what’s been tanned and what’s left to do – it will become an efficient routine in no time.

Make sure there isn’t much tan left on the mitt and apply whatever is left sparingly to your hands, feet, ankles and elbows. Alternatively, you can use a tan-touring brush (or any clean foundation/buffer brush) on these areas to blend tan around knuckles etc.

Let your tan develop for 3 to 6 hours, or overnight, before rinsing off in the shower from your feet upwards. Voilá! All ready to go.