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The dos and dont’s of a great fake tan according to Elle Ferguson

4th October, 2021
Elle Effect founder, Elle Ferguson

When you create your very own cult fake tan brand then it’s safe to assume you know the key to achieving a perfectly bronzed finish. Enter Elle Effect founder Elle Ferguson, who arguably always has the best tan around. Having worked tirelessly to create a product that not only achieves a flawless finish but also smells gorgeous, I turned to Elle to share her golden rules for achieving a great faux glow.

With spring/summer upon us, it’s almost time to shed our winter layers and start embracing easy, breezy pieces and it’s time to get our fake tan on. So, before you book yourself in for an at-home tanning session, read the following first and commit them to memory. You may just achieve a tan a la Elle herself.

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

Before applying tan make sure to cleanse the skin (try The Wash by Elle Effect). Use an exfoliating glove combined with cleanser to remove exisiting tan and banish dead skin (be sure to pay special attention to between fingers, toes, knees and heels). “This buff and polish will ensure even application and result in a longer lasting tan. If you need to wax any areas make sure you do so 24 hours prior to applying tan.”

Start with clean skin

You want to start with a blank slate so that means your skin should be free of any moisturiser, deodorant and perfume. Also make your your skin is clean.

Apply gradually

Slow and steady is the best approach to achieve a great finish according to Elle. Be sure to use use an application mitt (try Elle Effect glove) to achieve a polished effect. “Start with a small amount of product on the mitt and always make sure you blend the product into your skin so it looks natural.”

Go sparingly on hands and feet

The hands and feet should be the last areas to apply product to. “Use the excess tan on your mitt for this and remember to blend between fingers and toes. These areas soak up the tan so don’t go overboard and you will have a bronzed, natural looking body.”

Preparation is key if you want to achieve a glow like Elle’s

Go for thin layers

Elle says you’ll achieve a more flawless finish by applying a few thin layers gradually and building to the depth you want. “Thin layers dry quickly and allow you to control your desired colour.”

Blend out

When it comes to applying to your face, Elle says to “start in the middle of your face and then blend out to your jaw line. Don’t forget to apply to your neck also.” You can reapply to your face every three days as your tan will fade naturally.

Maintenance is important for extending the life of your tan

Sleep on it

To achieve the best finish Elle suggests sleeping in your tan to give it plenty of time to develop (but it can be washed off in four hours if required). Also Elle assures that Elle Effect dries quickly which means you won’t ruin your linen. “When showering off, do not use any soap or shower gels, rinse the tan with water and pat your tan dry with a towel. Your tan will remain perfect for longer if you don’t have long hot showers or baths.”

Keep skin hydrated

Elle says moisture is key to extending the life of a great tan so be sure to moisturise with a thick cream day and night. If using Elle Effect, avoid body oils as they will remove the tan. And voila! You’re done.