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Being naturally quite pale, and finding it hard to tan when the sun eventually comes out is a pain as others like me know, so I have been on the hunt for a great fake tan for years now, trying to find the best one all-round:
I don't want to spend too much, I want a natural looking tan, I want it dark enough because I'm pale (but not too dark!), I want it to last long enough, (at least three days), and obviously no streaks! No funny smell, and just generally nice to use.
So first off, to give every fake tan a chance i prep my skin as best as poss. I exfoliate all over, and i mean SCRUB! As the fake tan comes away with dead skin cells, it's best to get rid of as much dead skin as you can, otherwise your tan really will not last long. Just don't hurt yourself! Moisturise elbows, kness, ankles, and face.
You get a pair of latex gloves in the box with the fake tan, I'e found these really are the best thing to use, I've never got on with the mitt personally. On the box, and the bottle are directions for use, they recommend 4-6 hours of leaving it on to develop. I've always preffered to leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning.
I think the lotion has a nice smell, a little strong, but not that horrible biscuity smell like some others! Its a very dark brown colour, but it is a colour guide, and won't stay that dark once washed off. I start from my calves and work my way up, I normally leave both feet and hands till last as they dont need a lot of fake tan. I've made lots of mistakes putting too much tan on the hands and feet, I've definitely learned! I don't really follow any special technique, I just rub it in making sure it's even. Ive often had darker patches where I have applied more to one area accidentaly, but this has never shown up once washed off, so I wouldn't worry if you don't rub it in perfectly.
I've put this on my face too, just putting it on like normal, and not forgetting a bit behind the ears!Once the whole body is covered I do my feet, and hands. I've always found the feet hard to get right, too much build up between the toes, or not enough tan, or a nice line down the sides where it's clear i've got fake tan on! So I just put a small amount rubbed between my hands, and quickly slide it all over the foot, I don't rub it in very much as I don't use a lot. Then with my hands, I slide the lotion over the hand, again not rubbing in a lot, just any excess, making all the colour even. Then put the glove back on, then do the other hand. The colour is dark, and I do look like I've been working in a coal mine, but don't worry it really doesn't stay that dark!
It doesn't take that long for the fake bake to dry, you can get dressed, but loose clothing, and clothing you don't mind getting fake tan on. It doesn't stain, but it does rub off on both you're clothes, and your bedsheets, if you decide to sleep with it on. The bottle says to leave it on 4-6 hours, I've always slept with it on which is between 6-8 hours. I like to leave it on as long as poss just to make sure because I'm quite pale, someone darker may not need to leave as long.
In the morning I go ahead and wash it off. Just using a nice natural soap, nothing harsh. A good majority of the colour comes off, so you have very brown water, but underneath the skin is a nice natural colour.
I personally really do like Fake Bake Original. The price is ok, I paid £20.00, and it will do a full body and face, about 3 or 4 times, depending how generously you apply! The colour is really nice, as I'm pale it does give me a very natural looking brown colour, which can be hard to achieve. Although, as I am pale my legs seem to have a little trouble looking as nicely tanned as other areas of the body! This is where I think it should be a little darker, but I always just add more to the legs after. I would say it lasts 3 to 4 days if I don't top it up, I really need to add more by the third day. I've nearly always had even coverage (apart from the legs, they seem paler) and no streaks. The only other thing about the coverage is the feet, I'm often left with feet that have a buildup between the toes, or white toes, and darker round the heel, and then white lines where the natural lines of the feet are. I'm not sure if this is a problem with my skin or the way I apply, or if the product doesn't sink in quick enough. However I have had other fake tans that do the same, and others that haven't. I think the smell is nice, a little strong but not in a horrible way, and overall I would say it's a very nice product to use.
I have recommended this product to friends, and they have all liked this too, but ultimately I think we all agree it isn't perfect, problems with feet and hand coverage mostly! Will we ever find the perfect one??!! For now though this is one of the best darker fake tans that I have used so far.