Jade Dowling, Senior Beauty Therapist at RY.com.au
Start off with a gradual tan for a more subtle and natural colour - my favourite (and one that's perfect for newbies to the tanning scene!) is the JBronze Gradual Tanning Cream. Once applied allow some time for it to dry before dressing. Also, avoid deodorant or perfume while tanning as it can stop the product from sticking to the skin.
There are different base colours in tanning products, including violet-based, green-based and caramel-based products. Violet is perfect for olive and dark skin types, while green suits those with fair skin. If you're not sure, caramel-based is the way to go for a gorgeous bronze effect.
These areas tend to get patchy in the tanning process due to buildup of the tan and dry skin. Apply moisturiser to these areas before you tan. It'll ensure your skin is hydrated, and will smooth out the application so product isn't caught between the fingers or toes!
As for application, since these are the most visible areas of your body you want to get these right. Again, mix with moisturiser to ensure there's no streaks. The Sukin Facial Moisturiser never fails me on this front.
If you go quite a few shades darker it's probably best to buy a foundation to match, unless you blend your makeup like crazy!
Exfoliating your body thoroughly before tanning will prevent this in the first instance by creating the perfect base - my clients love the St.Tropez Optimiser Body Polish.
For maintenance, be sure to keep moisturising over your tan to prevent the patchy look – it's your skin screaming out for hydration! If you want to top up your tan simultaneously, use an extender. My pick is the Sunscape Gradual Tan Extender.
The typical spray tan will last between five to ten days, however a gradual tan will last as long as you keep topping it up, but will fade over a few days if you stop.
Absolutely. Fake tan has no UV protection and it's always vital you slip, slop, slap. That's the beauty of fake tan, you don't have to expose yourself to harsh UV rays to get that glow.
The key to fake tanning is an even, bronzed look, and for the best possible shot at this I keep a tanning mitt in my utility. For a fail-proof application try the Bondi Sands Reusable Self-Tanning Mitt. Oh, and it protects your hands from those nasty stains!