7 things I hate about fake tanning (and my 5 minute solution)


I like being tanned. I think it makes me look healthier, and more vital.

Yet for obvious reasons, those days of lying in the sun to get a tan are over (we all know about the damage the sun does to your skin, but regardless, as a mother of two little boys, as if I’m going to get time to lie in the sun in one place long enough to get any colour. At our place, it’s go, go go!)


The problem is, I find fake tanning to be a huge hassle. And here are the 7 reasons why:

1. You need to remember to exfoliate beforehand.

My kids keep using my loofahs as boats, and my body brush to scrub whatever they think needs a polish – including the tub, the plug hole, and probably other holes when I’m not looking. So I tend to forget this step and/or decide I need a replacement exfoliating tool, which only serves to push the whole process back until I can get to the supermarket.


2. You need to do your hair removal the day before.

I shave my legs. And I’m kinda hairy. So by day 2 I’ve got stubble. ‘Nuff said.


3. I hate cleaning.

Whomever invented tanning spray is a genius, and I really hope they got a great pay bonus that year. But if only they’d invented a fairy to clean the bathroom up afterward. Cleaning up the mess is a total fun-sucker.


4. Too many instructions.

Since having kids, I’ve got a limit to how much I can read at once, largely driven by the constant interruptions by the little ones (just got interrupted then as I’m trying to…right-o…where was I?) Key point: who’s got time to read lots of stuff?


5. You have to walk around in the nude.

I’m a fan of ‘nude’. In fact on more than one occasion, I’ve tried to convince Mr Fox to trial a nudist beach on the north coast with me (my rationale being it’ll be full of people much older and saggier than me and so I’ll walk away with an awesome confidence boost – the complete opposite of what occurs on a visit to Bondi beach).

Yet my little boys seem to find my naked body highly amusing. When they see me in the nudie, they stand shoulder to shoulder pointing, giggling, and chanting “Eeeew, Boobie Girl!” While I try to hold my head high, their taunting still bites.


6. My kids don’t look good in fake tanner.

Just when I think it’s safe to apply tanning product, a kid pops up from somewhere. This not only startles me (which has, on occasion,  led to them being sprayed with tanner) but interrupts my ‘train of tan’, ultimately leading to Point 7.


7. The streaks.

If you don’t end up with inconsistent colour due to either Point 6 or just waning concentration, you’ll inevitably end up with what I call ”The Streaks Freaks.’ This is when, despite having a perfectly applied fake tan, you start freaking out, thinking your legs, arms, etc. are all streaky, and subsequently, that you look all freaky.


The 5 minute solution

In a bid to get over myself and my whinging, I spent the last few weeks investigating and experimenting with fake tanners. I figured there simply had to be one that would let me cut a few corners, save time, and reduce the amount of brain space the topic was unnecessarily occupying. I just hadn’t found it yet.

So after weeks of trialling some very lovely, very capable tanning products with differing applications and claims to fame, and which left me in various shades of caramel, copper, biscuit and bronze, this is what I’d recommend:


Scott Barnes Body Bling – Original $42


5 reasons Body Bling is awesome:

1. You don’t have to worry about all the skin prep stuff.

Just apply it to your skin, as is. Especially perfect for those days when you pull on your favourite skirt and realise “OMG my legs look like two pieces of uncooked chicken.” With Body Bling, you can brown those drummies without even pre-heating the oven.

“See…! Uncooked chicken”


2. It goes on fast.

The application took me about 5 minutes all up. So your chances of being interrupted by the kids are minimised.

So far so good…

One leg done before a little one ran up in tears…”Stop the photos!”


 A quick consoling (without getting tanner on the kid), and the second leg done in minutes – just before the other kid stuck his head into frame.
Before & After

There you have it! Speed-tanning in less than 5 minutes, inclusive of kids going nuts around me.


3. It’s coloured, so you can see exactly where you’re applying it.

This will minimise the chance of streaks. That said, it still won’t prevent ‘The Streak Freaks’ as outlined in Point 7, above.


4. It dries in seconds.

So even if your kid sidles up to you post-tan, they won’t walk away looking like a rasher of streaky bacon.


5. It washes off.

Great if you’ve got a problem with committment, or if you do manage to spectacularly stuff it up. A pre-bed shower is probably a good idea, or it will rub off on your sheets. I know this for a fact ;).


You can buy Scott Barnes Body Bling at  Amazon.com.


Note: No children were tanned in the production of this article, and this isn’t a sponsored post, I simply like the product.


Fake tanning: love or hate? And if you love it, what’s your secret?   

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  • Rachel

    I agree with all your points, but who doesn’t love a good fake tan.  That product looks perfect.  I am going to hunt one down.

    Rachel xx


    • Anonymous

      Hey Rachel, I really did try soooo many products for this article. Really happy with this – that said, there are some fab tanners out there if you’re in for the effort. 

  • Caveatcalcei

    I hate fake tan full stop. The smell, the way it pools round the ankles – but hey, it looks like it works wonders. 5 minutes is way quicker than the time it takes for my cover up – trying to pop all my suspenders on on stockings in the morning with two kids fighting SUCKS BALLS.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a hard life huh?! xA

  • http://delightfullytackylilsquirts.blogspot.com/ Yvette @ Delightfully Tacky

    PERFECT for my wedding day!!!!! :) 

    • Anonymous

      How exciting! Be careful though as it says on the bottle that it can rub off onto your clothes. I’ve tried on my legs, and have not had marks on chairs, and also wore to a wedding all over (including my face!). Again, didn’t mark, but I was wearing a nude coloured dress 😉

  • Adrienne Jansen-Howard

    I love Love love Body Bling!!! It’s a fantastic product!
    I’m a big fan of the body shimmer too…. Also try the brand Revolution, it’s a great colour smells good and applies easily (and washes off) – I’ve got the face and body tanning product.

    • Anonymous

      Will do – thanks for the tip! x

  • Meegs

    Great tips Foxy, thanks for sharing ; )

    I’m a mad fan of the fake tan and have tried all types and textures.

    I recently discovered a gradual tanner famousdavestanner.com $25.97/bottle + shipping or famousdavestanner.com.au $39.99/bottle + shipping

    It’s PH level prevents that tandoori orange colour some fake tanners provide.
    It’s also all natural
    It takes only 4 hours to develop to a beautiful natural colour that doesn’t look fake in any way.
    It doesn’t stain the sheets (tried & proven), it doesn’t streak (it’s shea butter based so spreads beautifully and evenly over the skin) and it only takes 5 mins to dry (whilst putting my make up on and doing my hair) before I pop my clothes on.

    It fades evenly and day 3 post application I zip over my body with exfoliating gloves and body wash whilst in the shower to spruce up the colour.
    To get a clean slate I’ll soak in a tub of epsom salts or radox and use a facewasher to wipe over my body, this removes all traces of fake tan to start afresh.

    3 cheers to fake tanning, love, love, love it


    • Anonymous

      Awesome, awesome tips here Megs – thankyou so much for sharing. I’ll be trying that bath soak for sure. x

  • http://www.kirrilywhatman.com/ Kirrily @ Sunny Side Up

    You have inspired me to attempt it… again.  And honey, those are not uncooked drummies! You wanna see mine. They’ll burn holes in your retinas from their brilliant whiteness.

    • http://www.kirrilywhatman.com/ Kirrily @ Sunny Side Up

      (when I say ‘attempt it again’, I mean fake tan altogether. Not this particular interesting-looking product!)

      • Anonymous

        LOL. x

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog/ Miss T

    Love this! You actually made me consider attempting fake tan. Looking at my legs is currently an exercise as dangerous as staring directly at the sun.

    • Anonymous

      LOL, that’s what sunnies are for 😉 

  • Cat Beloverly

    AWESOME! I shall have to try some as I am blindingly white in an underlying olive skin tone kinda way. Thanks for the reccie! x

    • FoxInFlats

      Pleasure Cat. I use this when I’m not organised enough to get a ‘proper’ fake tan. Which is often! Used for a wedding on Fri night, whacked it on in seconds. The BUSINESS!

  • Peaches_78

    Fantastic research work Fox! Quick question for everyone out there though – I LOVE fake tan (love the way I feel with a bit of sun-kiss) and had a good technique going (quick tip – use those disposable plastic gloves to avoid orange wrists!) but have developed an allergy meaning that although I end up a lovely shade of tan, I also end up in very itchy spots ALL OVER. Oh yes, very sexy. Any advice from other tanners out there as to a gentler / natural tanning product would be very welcome. I’ve tried quite a few but so far, but no joy… and lots of scratching…

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