The ultimate self-tanning guide

The right way to get a summer glow is from a bottle. Editor Trudi Brewer shares her tips on getting a easy, streak-free glow in time for the party season ahead.


Image BeautyEQ Model wears Witchery swimwear.


Labour weekend marks the start of summer, and because there is no such thing as a healthy tan, (skin cancer is serious, and melanoma doesn’t discriminate when it comes to ethnicity), we want to share the safest, streak-free way to go brown from a bottle.

Skin prep

Never tan, dry, flaky, skin. To get the best result, shower, exfoliate with a loofah or gritty body scrub, and then dry your skin. Apply body lotion. While tanning before you go to bed is convenient, it's when most of the streaking occurs. Applying self-tan in the morning so you can watch the colour develop during the day.

Always use a mitt

The biggest tanning faux pas is orange palms. A glove-like tanning mitt protects the hands from staining, prevents streaking, and helps to spread self-tan colour evenly all over the body. Once you see the results you can achieve with a tanning mitt, you will never be without one.


St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt, $15.

A genius tanning tool, simply apply the tan to the mitt and use long massage-like strokes as you apply the product to your skin. Work from the legs upward. Finally, wash the mitt with mild detergent and dry it standing up your bottle of self-tan .

Where to start

Start at the ankles and work your way up the body. Leave those tricky spots like the feet, knees, elbows, and wrists until last. Use long, sweeping, movements and work upward, in one direction. Don’t rub back and forth; this can cause streaking. Finally, when you’ve finished tanning the body, use the residue on the mitt to glide over the feet, knees, elbows, and wrists that way you get a small amount of colour on the skin, but it doesn’t grab and appear patchy once the colour develops.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Mousse

New St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse, $60.

For anyone who wants a light, natural colour with zero streaking - or you're a nervous self-tanner meet your perfect tan match. It pumps out as an ultra-light foam that dissolves on the mitt, spreading easily over the skin. The uplifting green mandarin tropical-inspired fragrance lasts for hours, and while there is no guide colour, rest assured it won't streak or look patchy. Expect a golden glow within a few hours. The team at BEQ are completely under its spell.

If you need to tan in a hurry

If you need some colour in a hurry for a special event or impromptu night out, use a self-tan with a dark guide colour. Not only will it give you the instant hit of colour it will show you exactly where you have applied the self-tan and any spots you may have missed. Always wear a dark colour so if any of the guide colour rubs off during the event it won’t show up on your outfit.

St. Tropez Extra Dark Mousse

New St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Mousse, $75

The darkest self-tan from the St. Tropez wardrobe of colour contains 'quick intelligent tan development'. Meaning you get a deep, dark bronze, the moment you apply it that develops into a long-lasting tan over the course of a day. The nourishing formula glides over the skin thanks to Jojoba esters, vitamin E - and natural plant-derived DHA (the ingredient that tints the skin) so if you’re a confident, self-tan aficionado this guide colour is great for shading the cleavage and arms to add extra definition in that summer party dress.

How to make your tan last

The dryer the skin, the faster your self-tan will fade or appear patchy. Apply body moisturizer every day after applying self-tan, this keeps the skin hydrated and allows the tan to fade evenly.

Thanks to Go Hawaii for assistance on this shoot.