how to apply fake tan for competitions
The Feis Look
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How To Apply Fake Tan For Competitions

While it doesn’t say in any feis syllabus anywhere in the world that fake tan is a required element of costume or appearance, fake tan has become de rigeur for competing. Skin can look washed out under heavy stage lighting, so makeup and fake tan are applied to pull the competition look together, along with a wig that’s bigger than day-to-day hair, and brightly coloured costumes adorned with sparkles.

If you’re going to tan up for feises, then you need to know what you’re doing or it can go horribly wrong! We spoke to Jules Heptonstall, St.Tropez Global Skin Finishing Expert and Tanning Expert on television show Strictly Come Dancing, to get the inside scoop on tanning for stage, and how you can do it at home without looking like a streaky oompa loompa!

Heptonstall says, “For the deepest, darkest bronze that looks totally natural it’s important to prep your skin, because you’re going to be putting A LOT of tan onto it.

I hold off applying any self tan for two weeks before my deepest darkest tan, to ensure my skin is totally free of any residue from old self-tan. To create a flawless skin surface I exfoliate twice a week before the application.

Before tan application, ensure your skin is make up and deodorant free. Moisturise dry areas including hands, elbows, knees and feet, and if you’re fair, moisturise your eyebrows and hairline too. You’ll need to do this on both applications.

Start by applying St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Lotion two days before your event – using a mitt and working around the body in sweeping motions. Don’t be alarmed if the guide colour looks uneven when you’re applying, this overlapping just shows you’ve totally covered yourself all over. Let the first coat dry (I like to wait 5 minutes) before applying the second. Wear loose dark clothing after application, and wipe your fingernails, palms, in-between your fingers and add a little moisturiser to the bottom of your palms. If you’re nervous, just take a buffing mitt and glide all over your body to blend.

Allow the tan to develop for 12 hours, and shower off using a nourishing oil-free shower cream.

Then repeat the process with St. Tropez Self Tan Lotion, leaving the tan on for 12 hours before showing, OR have a St. Tropez Self Tan Express Spray, leaving the tan on for 3 hours before showering.

My top tip for this is to moisturise with rich body butters to lock in hydration into the skin. Lotions are hydrating anyway, but because you’re double tanning, skin may feel a little dry. This tan will last the longest compared to using mousses and sprays.”

What are your top tips and tricks for applying fake tan? Do you have a favourite brand that you use?

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  • Audrey P

    I use Pro Tan and Iconic Tan for best results!

    • Elise

      Cool, thanks for the recommendation!