A Celebrity Fake Tanner Shares His Top Tips

Number 5 is pretty genius

It’s the season for shorts, skirts and slinky dresses. Which means lots of exposed skin will be on show – and lots of fake tan faux pas. 

We don’t want you to be one of those ladies with the telltale orange palms or splotchy knees (we’re nice like that), so we asked James Read, fake tanner to Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Lady Gaga, for his best tips on how to do it right.

You’re welcome. 


  1. The decolletage and wind pipe at the base of your neck, as well as the crease of your elbow, hands, feet around the ears and your armpit area, is where tan can gather, so remove build-up before re-doing your tan.
  2. People often worry that they can’t shave legs post-tan. Using an electric shaver instead of a disposable in the shower removes just the top layer of the hair rather than taking away your self-tan.
  3. For your back, wrap a tanning mitt around a wooden spoon and fasten with an elastic band. (Love this!)
  4. A steam will completely remove your self-tan, with everything coming off on your towel.
  5. Or try this: mix lemon and lime juice with a couple of teaspoons of water on a face cloth. Put it in the microwave for one minute and leave to cool for a few seconds. The warmth heats up the fruit acids which help break down the tan on skin. 
  6. Using a tanning mitt is the perfect way to achieve a flawless looking tan.
  7. When you get to your hands and feet, work the leftover product from the arms onto the hands, and from the legs onto feet and ankles.

RELATED: Emmys 2016: When bad tan happens to good people

To determine if your fake tan is too dark, take a selfie with the flash on – this will show you what others see, not what you’re seeing in the mirror.

How to fake tan your face like a pro. 

  • Always rub an ice cube over the face first to seal pores.
  • Post-tan, rub a cotton bud into the hairline to avoid that tan ring giveaway, and go over your brows with moisturiser. 
  • Always drink with a straw after you tan to avoid a white top lip.

What celebrities know about fake tanning that you don’t: they use fake tan to even out skin tone, make them look less tired, and to help the skin look camera ready. 

Speaking of celebrities … Rosie Huntington-Whiteley always gets it right. She is a huge fan of the Sleep Mask Tan and H2o Tan Mist, which gives her skin a gorgeous glow with that hydrated effect. Glossy looking skin is in at the moment.

Washing your hands right after tanning gives you the white-hands-brown-arm look. Wait 6-7 hours and always use a tanning mitt.

James Read H2O Tan Mist (Credit: Supplied)

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