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The fake tan mistake we're all making, according to St. Tropez's tanning expert

Michaella Bolder explains how to get a faux glow, not a faux pas

The fake tan mistake we're all making, according to St. Tropez's tanning expert
Emma North
Emma NorthDeputy Beauty Editor
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It's officially spring. Which means one thing, self tanning season is within earshot. As the weather warms up, digging out your favourite fake tanner is essential for bronzed, beautiful skin with zero sun damage. But mistakes can happen. 

Orange elbows, knees or wrists, patchiness and missed areas are all common issues but Michaella Bolder, St. Tropez tanning and skincare expert whose clients include Dame Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Olivia Munn and Ashley Graham says the one mistake contributing to all of these is the amount of product we're applying. It might sound contradictory as some believe adding more than than needed stops you from missing areas but in reality, it adds too much product to areas that need a lot less.

MORE: The glow guide: how to fake tan the right way according to an expert

RELATED: How to bleach your eyebrows at home according to an expert

What is the biggest fake tanning mistake?

"The biggest mistake is applying too much tan," says Michaella. "When tanning, make sure you aren't overloading the skin. A couple of light layers is always better than one thick heavy layer. When you are applying the tan, really make sure you really buff it into the skin for a natural healthy glow."

 St.Tropez Luxe Body Serum
Luxe Body Serum - St.Tropez

How do I get an even fake tan?

Applying too much tan can leave areas like your inner wrists and ankles coated in product and this, couple with dry skin can cause the colour to cling. "Always put a generous amount of moisturiser on these areas...almost TOO much moisturiser," says Michaella. "This will help to dilute the DHA within the tan and create a 3D effect rather than a strong hit of tan. Next, sweep over these areas very lightly using any residual tan left on the mitt (do not apply a fresh pump of tan to these areas) then with a clean area of the mitt, buff over the area to really make sure you have blended any excess tan, leaving the skin with a super light diluted covering."

Starting with two pumps per for each arm, upper leg, lower leg and torso, is a good general rule of thumb but you can always add more if you find it's not covering your whole body.  "When you are applying the tan, really make sure you buff it into the skin for a natural healthy glow. If you have doubts about a specific area that might have too much product, apply another dose of moisturiser to mitt and dab over the areas of concern to further dilute the DHA."

What is the best fake tan to use?

For the most natural looking tan, we rate St. Tropez's new Luxe Body Serum. Formulated with collagen-boosting ingredients, it gives a long-lasting tan with lots of hydration. The serum texture doesn't stick to dry patches and gives a gorgeous deep glow. If it's good enough for Ashley Graham...

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