By Jessica Frost

It’s official; time is moving faster than it ever has before. Well it feels like it anyway and with that comes winter; code word for chapped lips, wind-blown hair and for the majority of us, very pale skin.

One of the first things you need to know straight up about applying your own fake tan is that it’s a three-day process. You need to be prepared to put in the time to get it right. Choosing your product should be the easy part, there are a million reviews online but they all narrow down to a few trusty products. Personally, I like mousse for my desert and I like mousse for my tan. It’s easy to get even and doesn’t drip meaning you don’t have to replace your bathroom mat before your housemates see the mess you created.

The night before your tan, it is so so SO important to exfoliate your entire body; every crack and crevasse you can reach.  Using a natural bristle brush with your regular body wash is the best way to do this. Using things like coffee scrubs or other liquid exfoliators can leave you with a very thin layer of oily product on your skin that may make it feel amazing but won’t do your tan any favours. Clean and natural is the way to go. Also, pay attention to your face and give it a good exfoliation as well.

After exfoliating, cover your entire body in more moisturiser than you have ever used before. Skin hydration is one of the secrets of a perfect faux tan so now’s the time to down a bottle of water as well. You need to be using moisturiser the night before your tan to give it time to really soak in and do its job before your morning shower washes off the residue.

Which brings me to the next steps; get your beauty sleep and then have your normal morning shower. Avoid exfoliating and using any heavy shower gels or creams that will stick on your skin and then #girlboss your way through the day.

Just before you’re ready to curl up with a good book (or Netflix, no judgment), have a good shower to wash the day away and any left-overs on your skin like deodorant and makeup to give yourself a completely clean slate. When applying your tan, literally the best thing you can do to aim for that streak free look is use a good quality tanning mitt. I would advise you never to use any kind of tanning product, even gradual tan moisturisers, without a tanning mitt. Apply the tan to your mitt and then to your skin in light and even circular motions over your whole body. Go easy on areas such as knees, elbows, feet and hands. These spots really only need a single swipe over with your mitt because product easily builds up and discolours making it glaringly obvious your natural glow is really from the drugstore.

When it comes time to do your face, use a beauty blender or makeup sponge to apply it the same way you would your foundation to ensure a flawless and blended finish.

Sleep in loose fitting, dark coloured clothes on sheets you are happy to turn brown because the tan residue will end up everywhere overnight, it’s just one of those sacrifices in the name of beauty. The next morning, wash the residue off in the shower with a light scrub, bath yourself in moisturiser once again and enjoy your new life as a tanned, Amazonian like beauty for the next week.