Find Your Ideal Shade


Finding the right shade for your fake tan can be almost as frustrating as finding the perfect foundation shade. If you’re considering a fake tan but aren’t sure how dark you should go, we can help. We’ve created a guide to help you find the perfect shade of tan.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Your skin tone is the most important factor in determining your ideal shade of tan. If you are fair and burn easily rather than tanning when you are in the sun, you should choose the lightest shade if you want your fake tan to look natural. And that is what you should go for when tanning, a natural glow rather than neon orange or unnaturally dark.

Decide How Dark You Want to Be

Keeping in mind your natural skin tone as discussed above, decide how dark you want to go. Here are some guidelines for choosing how dark you should go based on your natural skin tone.

If You Have Fair Skin

Your ideal shade should give you a healthy glow that is just a shade or two darker than your untanned skin tone. Think Taylor Swift or the Olsen Twins.

If You Have Medium/Fair Skin

Your ideal shade should give you a sun-kissed, outdoorsy look, as if you’ve spent some time outdoors taking in the fresh summer air and a little sun. Think Kate Hudson or Pippa Middleton.

If You Have Medium Skin

Your ideal shade should give you a bronzed glow as if you spent a week in the Caribbean or other warm and sunny climate. Think Heidi Klum or Jennifer Anniston, but avoid straying into Malibu Barbie territory.

If You Have Olive Skin

You probably already have some natural color, so your ideal shade should be a little darker than those with medium or lighter skin tones. But you still want a natural look that will enhance your already sun-kissed skin. Think Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez.

Choose the Best Product for the Tan You Want

Different products will give you different results, so be sure to choose the one that gives you the look you are going for. You can also choose from a mousse, spray, or lotion. In general, it is easier to apply a product with a tint so that you know where you’ve applied tanner and where you haven’t. Sprays and mousses can be harder to control since you may not be able to see where they are going. Lotions can give you better control. It all depends on what you are comfortable using.

There are also self-tanners and gradual tanners to choose from. A self-tanner develops over a period of time once you’ve applied it. A gradual tanner gives you a gentle tan that can be deepened to a darker shade with additional applications over a period of time. There are also overnight tanners, spray tanners, and temporary tanners if you are in a hurry or aren’t ready to make a commitment to a particular shade.

Experiment with what works best for you and how to get the shade you like best. Once you get used to a particular type of product, the application should be pretty uncomplicated.

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