St. Tropez Expert Tells Us How to Get the Perfect Fake Tan Before Bikini Season

Rachel Adler

As the sun begins to show its face more frequently, our outfits are suddenly becoming a bit skimpier– which also means that the pale skin we’ve been hiding underneath chic layers all winter is suddenly back in the spotlight. The months when we can hide our pasty skin under oversized sweaters have officially been traded for sunnier ones spent showing off our bods in cut-offs and floral dresses.

To prepare ourselves for all of that exposure, we often hit the bottle– no, not that bottle– our magical self-tanning bottles. Each are filled with products that instantly make us look as though we’ve spent weeks at the beach sunning ourselves. Just in case you’re a newbie at the art of the self tan (or have never really mastered how to get the look) Fiona Locke, St. Tropez celebrity tanning and body finishing expert (who also happens to tan the cast of Dancing With the Stars), teaches us the tricks behind a flawless fake glow.

SC: What steps should we take before applying self-tanner for the best possible look?

Fiona Locke: Make the right decision on product. It is important to pick the application method that feels most comfortable for you to use. St. Tropez offers three choices– an aerosol spray, a mousse, and a lotion. Also, make sure you have an oil-free body polish to remove tired skin cells and prep your skin.

SC: Is it best to not shower for a day or two after applying? Are there any spots that you should avoid applying tanner to at all?

FL: You should wait at least six to eight hours after application prior to showering. You can apply self tanner to the whole body. Take your time if you have never applied it before to ensure even coverage.

SC: What product should we use to get the look on our face and still look natural?

FL: I personally recommend the St. Tropez Everyday Face lotion. This will give you a gradual build of color. Then, go over your face with the St. Tropez bronzing powder— so you will be in control of the end result.

SC: If the self-tanner we purchased didn’t come with a glove, is there a household cloth we can use to apply the tanner so we can keep our hands safe?

FL: Rather than messing with cloth, I highly recommend you purchase St. Tropez Self Tan Remover— a must-have. That way, you can just use your hands and right after application just wash your hands with the remover. This will remove all unwanted marks from your hands. It’s also good to have in case you catch any mistakes.

SC: How can we avoid orange streak marks and what can we do if we get them?

FL: If you have chosen the right products “orange” will no longer be a problem. To ensure that your tan is even choose a product like the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, which has a color guide in it.

SC: What’s the best way to make knees, ankles, and hands less dark?

FL: You should always apply a light layer of moisturizer to the areas that tend to grab too much color like knees, elbows, hands, and feet. This will prevent those areas from over-absorbing product.

SC: How much self-tanner should we apply for the shade that we desire?

FL: Start with one good all-over layer of product to see how your skin reacts. You can always go back and add more to certain areas if you would like them to be darker.

SC: What tanning product do you most recommend and why?

FL: This is a tough question because I have many that I love– but, if I had to pick one, I would go with the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. Beautiful color, easy to apply, lasting effects, great on all skin tones, smells amazing, fades evenly– I could go on.

Fiona Locke, St Tropez celebrity tanning and body finishing expert, is one of the most sought-after tan experts in the world– working with the film, television, beauty, and fashion industries’ top names. Recent clients have included Evangeline Lilly, Olivia Wilde, Katherine McPhee, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. She has also been the tanning specialist for numerous national television shows including all of the dancers and contestants on “Dancing With the Stars,” “Celebrity Circus,” the hosts on E! Network’s “The Daily 10,” and Kara DioGuardi, the new judge on “American Idol.”

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