Tips for a Natural Self Tan at Home

Hi friends!  Thanks so much for the love on Jordan’s big girl room!  I’ve been loving sharing more home content with you- you saw Jordan’s playroom here and our backyard and patio here.

If you’re looking for some organization projects, my pantry is still all neat and tidy, our organized holiday storage closet helped so much when I went to pull out the Spring Decor.

With the kids home all day, I’ve been working mostly in the dining room while James does schoolwork, but my office is still one of my favorite rooms and even the office closet got a major clean out recently.


Today, I’m sharing my tips for how to get the best, natural looking tan at home.  I’ve been using self tanner at home for years now and it works great and is super easy to apply!  After trying several self tanners, I found the one that’s easiest to apply and gives the most gorgeous, natural looking tan!

Self Tan Tips

Fakebake Flawless Tanner •  Mitt


Make sure to exfoliate your skin before applying self tanner. I used Colleen Rothschild Tahitian body scrub, but any exfoliator that doesn’t leave a greasy film on your skin will work.  The color will adhere to your skin best when you have clean, dry, well-exfoliated skin.


Most tutorials recommend that you apply moisturizer/lotion to the dry parts of your skin (hands, heels, elbows, knees) before self tanner.  This is because if those areas of your skin are drier than the rest of your skin, the product will tend to collect there.

I moisturize on a daily basis, but skip it before applying self tanner.  I’m just careful to go extra lightly on those parts and buff well with the mitt.  More on that below!  I just make sure that I am completely dry before I apply self tanner.  I usually shower, towel dry, then wait a few minutes to ensure there are no damp parts of my skin.


Once your skin is prepped you are ready to apply the sunless tanner. My favorite brand to use is the Fakebake Flawless tanner. I also use this mitt for application so I don’t end up with stained palms.

This self tanner comes in a spray bottle and sprays out brown so you can see where you’re applying it, which helps in getting a streak-free tan.  I start with the upper part of my leg (knees to booty), then knees down to feet.  I do the front part, then the back.  Right after you spray, use the mitt to lightly smooth the product all over that part of your body.

After my legs are done, I spray onto booty, then stomach, chest, arms.

I’ll switch which hand I’m wearing the mitt on, depending what side of my body I’m working with.


I don’t spray directly onto those areas that tend to be more dry.  Instead, I use the mitt to buff over areas like my heels, elbows, arm pits.

For my hands, I’ll spray the tanner onto the mitt, then buff over the back of my hand and between my fingers.


It takes about 10-20 minutes to dry completely, but if you’re in a hurry, you can lightly blast your skin with the cool setting of your blow-dryer to speed up the drying process.


You will immediately notice the tan, but it will deepen and develop into a darker tan over the next 4-6 hours.


If I want an even deeper tan, I’ll apply self tanner at night, go to bed without rinsing, then apply it again in the morning.  I love those results, especially in the summer if I’m wearing a swimsuit.

Avoid super hot showers and moisturize daily with an non oil-based moisturizer.  Oil-based moisturizers tend to rub your tan off faster.  I also avoid doing a super sweaty workout the day I tan.  I’ve watched my tan run off my skin when I went for hot, humid run right afterwards! #lessonlearned

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If you’re shaving your legs, don’t press super hard.  Each shave takes a bit of the tan off with it.  You can go swimming, but your tan will fade more the longer you stay in the water.


If you follow those guidelines above, the tan lasts about 5 days.


I have sensitive skin and haven’t tried this product on my face.  But, I do use the Trish McEvoy Self Tanning Drops on my face and love the results.  You put a few drops in your hands and then massage it all over your face.  I usually do it at night and wake up in the morning with a light tan glow!  You can use more for a deeper tan.

Good Vibes Tank • White Distressed Shorts • Slide Sandals (from my latest Amazon post)

You can watch my self-tanning video on InstaStories saved to a highlight, SELF TAN.

Self Tan Tips

Fakebake Flawless Tanner •  Mitt

If you liked this post, you may want to try my at-home gel manicure.  It includes the magic product that makes your nails smooth as glass so your polish looks flawless!  And you can find my Skincare Essentials here.

Have a great day friends!



  1. April 28, 2020 / 10:34 am

    Okay, but you forgot to tell us how you tan your back. Because the only way I figured out to do it w/o my husband’s help is to put my mitt on the extendable swiffer duster (without the duster on it), tie my mitt on with a hair tye, put the tanner on it then extend it over my back while watching in the mirror.

    How do you solve the back tanning issue?

    • April 28, 2020 / 11:12 am

      Hi Alyssa! That’s a great question! I demonstrated how I get my back in the video on my Stories. I find I can reach pretty good by going over my shoulder for the top part and around my back for the lower part. Using the mitt really helps reach more places too!

    • Nancy
      April 29, 2020 / 8:14 pm

      I ordered, from Amazon, a back ‘tanner’ mitt. It is made out of the self tanner mitt fabric and you spray your tanner on it and use it like you would a back scrubber to spread it all over your back as needed. It has fabric handles on each side and it’s very easy to use. Highly recommended. I think it was around $15 or so.

  2. April 29, 2020 / 9:43 am

    I’m not a fan of self tan also from pics seems absolutely a natural tan…however that black bikini is Amazing!!!

    • Patti
      May 4, 2020 / 9:02 am

      I agree on the black bikini, do you have a link? Thank you!

  3. Lisa
    May 3, 2020 / 10:06 am

    Hi Megan,
    Do you have a link for the black suit you’re wearing? It is adorable! You look amazing in it as well!

    • May 4, 2020 / 9:27 am

      Hi Lisa! Thank you! That suit is from J.Crew, but I think it’s sold out- my link isn’t working, but you can search “Scallop Laser Cut Swimsuit” 🙂

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