This is my Holy Grail of self tanners, and I think I've tried tons form the cheapest to ones priced such as this one, and no other brand and formula can come close to this! I have been using Fake Bake one for about 5 years now, and I will never dream of stopping. There are a few things I do now, part of my self tanning ritual that are simple enough to continue for years. For best results I shower and scrub my whole body, with some grainy and even oily scrub, then shave, I also scrub my face with face scrub, then I use body wash and dry the skin at the end. Next I put on some light body lotion all over as well as my face lotion on the face.
After about 30 minutes when the lotion sinks in ( don't use anything greasy, except for something heavier on knees and elbows, self tanner seems to accumulate on that drier and tougher skin) a I either wear plastic gloves if I have them( from hair color kits or cosmetic stores)or I use bare hands ( and I scrub and wash them about 3 times when the whole body is done - the hands will be mahogany brown!!) and apply this lotion in circular motion, from feet up. I rub it in really well, and this stuff comes out BROWN. You will look like something form another planet once you are done, but that is the color guide that tells you if you missed any spots, Better to see them now than in the morning! I also put it in the face, then I get dressed in pajamas, after waiting fro like30 minutes while I relax. I wear dark pajamas only, because this will rub off on the clothes, and I make sure I wash the sheets the next day, they will stain a bit, but it always comes out in the wash, no worries, just don't use your special 1000 thread count crisp white sheets, better safe than sorry. I always do this before bed, theres not way you can walk out in this, its so dark on!!
The next day when you wake up the color is a wee dark, but once I shower, the remaining color guide washes off and I look like I just came form a tropical get away. This stuff makes you look like a trillion bucks, and I love it!! I put a dab on my face almost every night, to even out my complexion, I am really white and pale and this really makes me glow, not much makeup is necessary after this self tanner. So give it a try, it's a bit of a job at first, but I have been using it for so long, that I will always be worth the price and effort, I simply love the outcome!! I also always get complements on my skin after I use this, like suddenly I'm skinny and tan, wowweee.
I've been sunless tanning for well over 7 years. When I don't sunless tan, I am naturally so pale that I have a blue tint. A CPR instructor once used me as an example of what someone would look like if they weren't getting enough oxygen, and no, I'm not kidding you. I've used everything from drugstore graduals to airbrush solutions, and I hope they never stop making this Fake Bake lotion. There's a sunless tanning community forum where this was mentioned as being foolproof, and I thought I'd try it as I always ended up with streaking on my legs with the airbrush solution I was using, and graduals didn't give me enough color to be worth it.
Let me tell you, this Fake Bake lotion is great. The first time I used this was on vacation which is a little scary but I wasn't disappointed. The only places I don't apply the Fake Bake are my hands and feet (I blend Dove med-dark Energy Glow there into my wrists and ankles) and my face (I worried that the dark color guide would get in my pores, so I use clear airbrush solution on my face). I'll apply 2 coats in the same night, by applying one coat all over starting at my ankles and then once I've finished doing my arms, I'll go right back and apply more on my legs, working my way up again. (Don't worry if the color guide doesn't blend in evenly at this point, it'll come out even in the morning.) This will make me as dark as I can get. The first time I used Fake Bake my husband noticed and exclaimed, "You are TAN!" He thought it looked very good and natural, and all the times I've used the Fake Bake since then, he still gives it a thumbs up. I love it. My husband doesn't particularly care for Fake Bake's scent, but he doesn't mind because he knows I like to be tan, and he's just happy I can be tan without the sun or tanning beds.
Some rules apply to all self-tanners, otherwise you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Here goes:
1) You have to exfoliate before you tan. Use exfoliation gloves you can find at any drugstore, and don't bother with scrubs (like the paste kind that come in a tube or tub), they just don't work as well. Get exfoliation gloves.
2) Tan in the evening, giving yourself 30 minutes to dry before heading to bed. Tanning during the day simply does not work. You'll smell funny, it'll get on your clothes, and you can't avoid water during the day. Let the tan develop while you sleep!
3) Make sure your sheets are dark colored, like burgundy, dark brown, or plum colored. If you have white or cream colored sheets, forget about it, they will be brown in the morning. I also have a thick mattress pad because sunless tanner will work its way through a fitted sheet and stain your mattress if you don't have a pad under your sheets.
4) Wear gloves! You have to wear disposable gloves! Using bare hands and washing them afterward has never worked for me, I'd still get crazy dark palms. So, wear gloves until you've finished everywhere else, then tan your hands with a gradual tanner and blend into your wrists well.
5) Apply lotion to your palms after you've finished gradual tanning your hands, and rub your palms to your elbows to get a good bit of lotion there, and this will sound weird, but carefully apply lotion with a fingertip to the knuckle on your big toes. They grab tanner on me, so I apply lotion there too. Then take a paper towel and rub the lotion off your palms and big toe knuckles, and wipe the lotion off your elbows (because of the color guide, it'll look odd there, but it'll be even in the morning). Use the now-lotion-covered paper towel to wipe your fingernails and cuticles off.
6) Avoid water until the morning. Don't brush your teeth after you've applied sunless tanner, you'll end up with a lovely pale ring around your mouth because the tanner was disturbed there.
I hope this helps! It's never too late to stop UV tanning and start sunless tanning. Your skin will thank you!
*Update August 2012* 2 helpful tips about self tanning in general:
1) Regarding any sunless tanner, whether it's this Fake Bake or a non-tinted gradual tanner - my natural nails would get stained yellow from sunless tanners, even though I used lotion to wipe off the nails after I finished applying the tanner. So, what works for me is making sure I have a coat or two of clear nail polish on my fingernails and toenails before I sunless tan. The clear nail polish doesn't get stained by the tanner, and it effectively blocks the tanner from staining my natural nails.
2) Self/sunless tanners like to soak into rough, thick, or dry skin and make those areas super dark. I've found it really helpful to use regular daily lotion all over every day after my morning shower, and I use a softening lotion in particular on my feet, knees, hands and elbows. The softening lotion I like is Gold Bond Ultimate Restoring Lotion with CoQ10... with this lotion, I no longer have areas that "grab" onto excess tanner anymore. Woohoo! Have you ever sunless tanned and gotten dirty-looking feet or hands? Softening lotion will help eliminate this. =)
on April 8, 2008
I have used fake bake for several years and really like the product. I used to work for a tanning salon where I would administer spray tans, and fake bake has many of the same ingredients as the solution we used (specifically DHA which is what makes you look tan). You need to use gloves when you put it on, and I would recommend putting lotion on your knees, ankles, feet, and elbows before applying the Fake Bake lotion to avoid getting these areas too dark. Also, you can use regular Fake Bake on your face; I have very sensitive skin, but if I mix a small amount of Fake Bake with my regular face lotion, I don't have any problems (they have a special one for faces too if you prefer). Fake Bake goes on very dark so that you can see any areas that you have missed. You are supposed to put it on before bed and wash it off in the morning. It has never stained my sheets. I can tell a significant difference the very first time I use it. It normally takes 2-3 times for me to get my desired color. After that, I use it weekly for maintence. Hope this helps!
on July 5, 2005
I've done spray tans and other off the counter sunless tanners. This one gave me the most natural look (I'm fair and redheaded), no allergic reactions (I've broken out in a rash from others), and lasted about 7-8 days. Faded naturally, too. Only drawback is that you put it on at night, and it takes a while to dry before getting into bed. So you end standing around for 15-20 minutes waiting for it to dry a bit.
on March 1, 2009
I'm very pale (Swedish & Irish) and do not tan easily. I have tried every product out there, and every single one made me orange. This is the only one that gives me a bronze, natural tan. The color guide is wonderful so you don't miss any spots. The only con is that you must sleep in it. But even that is soooo worth the end results. Plus, it doesn't stain clothing or sheets, so one wash and it's out. If you are pale and have had zero luck in finding a self-tanner that doesn't turn you orange, use this!
on June 19, 2010
I'll firstly state that i'm a blonde haired blue eyed female who is very light skinned. Also, i have been using all kinds of self tanner for about 10 years, so am somewhat of a pro in this arena!
I'd heard about this product for years but didn't try it until a couple of weeks ago when i was in a clothing store fitting room and i heard someone compliment someone on a great tan and the tanned person claiming it was 'fake bake.' It already has a great reputation, so i thought i'd try it and i'm absolutely sold! there's not a hint of orange, and it looks so natural, that i couldn't even find a flaw after i'd done 3 applications over 2 days! I went to the beach and felt perfectly comfortable with the tan.
So, specifics of product:
- it looks like a dark brown cream - a bit like bovril or marmite (for aussies and brits) or the 'better than boulion' for my american comrades. The color is just a GUIDE and is there to help you apply it well, its not the tan and is going to go down the plughole the next time you shower.
- the first application won't create a really dark tan, expect to do it gradually. Not only will a gradually applied tan look better - coz the application of less is better but because if you apply layers over a few days, when it starts to fade, you won't get one layer of fade but rather different progressions of tan that will fade differently, hence, the tan will last longer and fade better.
- if you're planning on the beach on Sunday, for example, do an applications on thur, fri, & sat night. I know it sounds a pain in the ass, but it'll look 100% natural and will fade naturally too. I actually did an application before bed on fri, realized on saturday am after i'd showered that thte color wasn't that dark and added another coat sat Am, then another sat night before bed. Sun am, perfect!
- the day after, when i washed it off, i put on some body oil to preserve the color.
- for an even, fantastic tan do the following (expect to take about 20-30 mins total to do it right):
1) shower and scrub your whole body,
2)dry off and put a drop or two of body oil in your palm, rub together and then rub hand over areas when you want less color or where color soaks up too much such as top of feet, hands, elbows and knees - this will prevent these dry areas from soaking up the tanner
3) put on the gloves (do not miss this step or you hands will turn brown. my boyfriend did just my back for me with no gloves but he just did it for about 1 minutes, your whole body takes much longer - and he had to wash, wash, wash his hands and it stained a little - but his body is darker so you couldn't notice) the gloves will protect your palms because the whole process takes a while and the last thing you want after all your hard work is fake-tan-giveaway like dark palms.
4) apply a little to ONE glove (about the size of a walnut) and rub both gloves together and chose an area to start - i usually do my legs. Now, the application requires some elbow grease, so rub, rub, rub till the color becomes smooth, the residue from the bottom part of your legs put on your feet coz feet seem to pick up more color than other areas. Next move up to the thigh area. Note: you will need both hands working at the same time to rub it in because as it gets drier, it gets harder to blend. So, do one area til its completely blended and then move on to other areas. I usually do below knee, above knee, below knee on other side, above knee on other side, one arm, other arm, chest and stomach and kneck, and face. Also, don't panic when you see the darkness of the lotion on your pale skin, its not going to be that dark!!
5) when you've rubbed it in everywhere, look in the mirror and scrutinize every area to make sure each section is blended and there is not swirling or gathering of color. Wherever you see swirls or gathering, rub until it looks a smooth, even color.
6) Take of the gloves and do you hands. You can do it two ways; 1) you can put a pea/2 pea sized blob on the back of your hand and rub the back of your hands together, or you can 2) get a cotton square, add a touch of lotion, and the Fake Bake and apply it by dabbing it on.
7) This is the fine tuning step. Take a cotton square, add a little regular body lotion and fold the square over to mush it into the cotton, and dab the areas where the tan and non tan meet, such as where the palms meet the top of the hand or around to side of the hand or where soles of feet meet the skin. During this step, you can also add a little more Fake Bake where you might have missed by just adding a pea sized blob on the cotton wool
8) stand in front of a fan for about 5-15 minutes until it drys a little. After that, you may put on a large, baggy tshirt and sweat pants/pajamas. next day when you shower, you will see the guide color come off in the water and will be left will a really beautiful even tan. It really is better to just put it on before bed coz while its on you can't really do much coz you risk sweating, so unless you wanna take it easy all day, do it at night.
There are some people who put this on during the day and put clothes on - you are insane!! The color isn't meant to be an instant tan, its just a guide for application. This color would ruin your clothes and the clothes of anyone you touched or hugged. Also, the coverage the next day will not be good because your bra straps, waist band, shoulder strapped, underwear line will ALL leave marks on your tan. Thats why you have to wear baggy clothes after applications so that you do not have lines.
Your skin might feel slightly dry after this application. Not sure whether it was the beach, the different shower water or the product, but my skin did feel slightly dryer than usual and i used the Jergens moisturizing gradual tanner, but it added a hint of orange.
So, my assessment: The best tanner i've ever used. Fantastic. So natural, even i forgot i had a fake tan and felt very comfortable on the beach in front of a group of girls.
I would definately recommend. I bought it for 22 bucks at Rickys but you don't use that much and its cheaper than skin cancer or cosmetic surgery from the wrinkles you will eventually get from real tanning.
on February 18, 2015
Still the best self tanner out there. I'm the blonde hair, blue eyes, super fair skin type and it helps me look like I've been living on a island! I've tried everything and this is by far the best, and this specific original formula of fake bake. Not orange at all and u can reapply each night till you get your desired deepness of color. I had melanoma this past year from tanning, so I am sticking to this. Can't find a better price than here on Amazon either. Will rebuy over and over again!
on April 28, 2005
Ive used many different types of tanning products but most in the past have managed to achieve the "tangerine" look or has streaked. Fake Bake gives you a complete natural glow that makes you look and therefore feel so good. It is an instant tan which therefore enables you to see clearly where yoyu are applying the product. I must admit at first use it looks pretty scary as it is thick and glupy like marmite but that is because of you obtaining the instant tan and the help of seeing where you have applied this. It may look very dark at first but that is what its meant to be as it is best to apply it at night before you go to bed and then in the morning have a shower to reveal this 100% beautiful looking tan!! it lasts upto 4 days or so and you just keep applying when wanting a tan and the product lasts for a while there is alot in the bottle so its good value for money too. So it is well worth it!
on June 4, 2009
I've been experimenting with self-tanners for the last 11 years. I am naturally pale and have a hard time tanning, so I use self tanners to get my glow. I decided to try Fake Bake because supposedly celebrities use it, however I was very disappointed. After two messy applications, I have very little colour as opposed to other sunless tanners I have tried. The lotion smells very good compared to others, but the fake tint is very messy and gets on everything, not to mentioon it stays put in every crease of skin and if you put it on ur face it sticks to every blemish and it gets all over your clothes. There is no way you could put this stuff on any time besides bedtime and then go out, because it would be extremely noticable.
Over the last 11 years and trying professional and drugstore self-tanners, I have found the Biotherm SUNTAN Sunless Tanning Milk for Legs and Body works the best. It gives the fastest, most natural colour as well as lots of moisture.
on May 30, 2008
I read many great reviews for Fake Bake Self-Tanner on different websites so I decided to give it a try (Amazon had the best price). I'm glad I did because this stuff really works! I'm have fair skin and Fake Bake gives me a nice light brown tan with just one use. I found that my tan looks best if I apply it 2 days in a row. The only bad thing about it is that you MUST wear gloves when applying it. It WILL stain your hands. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way. BTW, when I got some on my bathroom rug I threw it in the wash right away and it didn't stain at all.