Your winter tan plan

The bronzer rules to get you through the colder months

Girlfriend Beauty & Features Editor / January 11 2017

Rocking a full-on summer glow from June to August is like wearing a T-shirt that says, ‘THIS TAN IS FAKE’. How else could you look like you’ve just got back from Bali when we’ve seen you bundled up in a coat/scarf combo every day?

Faking it in the colder months involves a whole new set of tanning rules if you want to achieve a realistic winter glow. Here’s how to get a winter-worthy tan.


Go gradual

In winter, swap speed with patience – the last thing you want is to go from Snow White to Snow Orange overnight! Opt for a shade or two lighter than your summer colour – or use a gradual tanner to give the illusion of a natural build-up (but without the risk of looking like an Oompa Loompa). Gradual tanners are subtle and can be used all winter as a replacement for your regular body moisturiser.

Try: Sugar Baby Bronze Bombshell Gradual Tan Moisturiser


Try a patchwork tan

When June hits we can be a little lazier with our tanning application, since the likelihood of anyone seeing our bare legs is practically less than zero percent (thanks winter). Last-minute urge to glow? Save yourself the hassle and only target the areas that will be on show. We’re all about the instant tanners for touch-ups on your face, neck, chest and arms. Simply apply, leave for five to dry, then wash off before you go to bed.

Try: James Read Wash Off Tan


Highlight everyday

Yep, we know highlighters technically aren’t tanners, but they’re almost the same as the winter sun in a stick/bottle/tube. Following foundation, apply to your cheeks, nose, chin and even eyelids (hello, cream shadow!) for a next-level shine that screams palm trees and summer pool parties. 

Try: Rimmel #Instaflawless Perfecting Radiant Skin Tint


Bring on the bronzer

The easiest way to up your glow levels is to ditch the blush for a matte bronzing powder, because rather than looking on the pink side (air-con and heating is doing this naturally, unfortunately), it’ll give you a natural looking glow. Grab a soft, large brush and apply it in a number three-shape (watch our how-to video) – forehead, to nose, to chin, and repeat in a backwards three on the other side – after you’re done highlighting.

Try: Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder


Tan while moisturising

Thanks to the chill, wind and indoor heating, winter skin can be a little (ok, very) dry, which means that moisturising should be at the top of your skin care priorities list. Sneak in some extra hydration while you’re faking it by adding a pea-sized amount of made-to-measure tanner to your facial moisturiser. That way you get the tan AND the TLC!

Try: Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster


Exfoliate – then again, and again…

We know – the golden (pun intended) rule is to always scrub before you tan. But the thing with winter is you need double the dose to get all that extra dead, dry skin off. Increase exfoliating from once a week to twice a week gig – you can also combine it with a bath to really up the soft skin factor.

Try: Sukin Energising Body Scrub

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Main image credit: Getty