December 5th, 2012

My Favourite Fakes.

Alright you’ve made me blush…

Had lots of questions and emails this week asking which fake tanning products I use. I’m fairly religious with my faux glow maintenance and swing between spray tans, home application and wash-0ff variants.

I think you need a wardrobe because just like clothes – different occasions call for different tans.

Here’s a rundown of what’s in my tan cupboard – I suggest trying a few until you find exactly the right formulation and colour for your skin.

Let me know how you go.



A wash-off instant bronzer is a game changer. When you don’t have time to top up your spray tan or you throw on an outfit that shows your pasty legs unfavourably, this product will save the day. Again and again.

Apply them like you would a fake tan but only on the parts of your body you can see – legs, arms, decolletage, back. Give them a sec to sink in before dressing and heading off on your merry way. At the end of the day rinse it off in the shower.

CLICK TO BUY: Le Tan Body Bronzer, $12.99Youngblood Mineral Illuminating Tint for Body, $52Fake Bake Bronzer Instant Tan, $24.95.; ModelCo One Night Tan, $28St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Glow Body Lotion, $29.95*.

*This St. Tropez wash-off bronzer also comes in a mousse formula, which I prefer when it’s a 40 degree day and sweating is inevitable.

Spray Tan.

I use two different spray tans - St Tropez and TechnoTan. My rules are these:

- Once you find a great technician treat them like a hairdresser and stay loyal. They will get better over time the more they get to know your skin, body etc.

- If the the event is really special get your tan TWO days before. This leaves room to fix errors which even the best tan technicians can make.

-  Take it down in shade during winter – a super dark tan in the rain looks ridiculous and also fake.

- Sleep in it. Leave it on at least twelve hours before showering for a tan that holds and lasts.

- Moisturise like a maniac. Twice a day or otherwise it will fade like the bottom of a desert sea bed.


I’ve tried a lot of self tanners and by far these are my faves.

CLICK TO BUY: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, $39.95; Ella Bache Great Tan Without Sun, $39; Asyana Bronze Tanning Lotion, $49.95.

The secret to a great tan is using a mitt. It helps give you an even application and saves you from tan-hands. Not a good look. CLICK TO BUY: St. Tropez Applicator Mitt, $12.95ModelCo Blend Buffing Mitt, $11.95.


Faces don’t tan as well as the rest of the body. Not sure why – they just don’t. To fix this you need a good bronzer. Like these two.

CLICK TO BUY: Nars The Multiple in Palm Beach (rich bronze), $64MAC Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in Golden, $39.


  • Claire

    Great recommendations Paula, you always rock a gorgeous faux glow! I also love the Napoleon Perdis mousse tan, it has a green tinge when applied so there’s no chance of orange. I always get compliments when I wear it!

  • Lauren

    Thanks Paula – your tan always looks great! Would you recommend avoiding scented etc moisturisers for after your tan – do the scents in moisturisers affect the tan? would you recommend a plain and simple lotion or does it not really matter? Thanks!

  • PaulaJoye

    Hi Lauren

    I prefer non-scented body creams generally anyway but after tanning most definitely.

    I swing between the following:

    Kiehl’s Creme De Corps
    Bio Oil
    Palmers Cocoa Butter

    I love a good coconut scented lotion too.
    The main thing is moisture though – with all things beauty – trial and error – you need to work out what works best for your skin.

  • Kate O

    St. Tropez, hands down the best range of tanning products out there! I also use Le Tan deep bronze mousse which is quite good for day to day. I wear latex gloves when applying my tan then do my hands at the end that way I can control the amount of tan going on to my mitts! Black Magic also produces a very natural looking spray tan

  • Barb Fisher

    Love St Tropez products, and using a mitt has been life altering. Like seriously.

  • Nonnymus

    Paula, I need the rules for face make up when it comes to spray tans. I always get my face sprayed lightly but never know what to do about foundation… do I need a second one that matches my tan? My face just looks ridiculous to me when I’m wearing a shade that matches my tan but not my usual complexion. I feel like it looks muddy and dirty.

  • Trish

    I have just started using Elle Bache’s Great Tan without Sun and I LOVE it. I apply with a mitt and because of its dark colour it makes it really easy to see if you have missed a bit. It takes effect almost instantly and as long as you moisturise will last about 5 days.

  • Emma

    Paula thanks for the tips – I suspect your ‘natural colouring’ is lovely – with or without a top-up of fake tan. Can you recommend a spraytan technician somewhere near to Bondi Junction?

  • Ali

    Thanks for the recommendations Paula. You always look gorgeous! I am a Mum of three who had started to give up on myself as I lacked the time to get ready in the mornings, but your site has given me back my desire to keep trying, and to value myself outside of being just a Mum. Love what you do!

  • PaulaJoye

    Ali this makes my heart sing.
    Sitting here, with my morning cup of tea and there may be a tear in my eye.
    From the very first day I wanted this site to be about inspiring women. Not be fashionable but to find their best style. They’re very different things and the latter has more to do with how you feel about yourself.
    So glad you’ve found that here.
    The school run is no different to the office – use your good things and be your best self.

  • PaulaJoye

    Agree Trish – have been using since 1996.

  • PaulaJoye

    I think this is post because you’re right.
    Muddy is not good.
    Will do next week.

  • Katie. A

    Loved the recommendations, and can’t wait to try them out, especially ASYANA, which i was very pleased to see as one of your top picks! x

  • The Peach

    I am a fanatic fake tanner and recently picked up an awesome tip that has helped my fake tan last and last: add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to the bath and soak for thirty mins. Your skin will feel amazing for a couple of days.

  • Pingback: Best Fake Tans to Glow in | Glamour Mama

  • Len

    Hi Paula,
    How do you get rid of the awful patchy look when your tan is wearing off? Apart from exfoliating this can take days to disappear.

  • Pingback: WIN! Alice McCall For Ella Bache Tote. « LifeStyled


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