With spring and summer right around the corner (and our beach days becoming more frequent since the weather has been gorgeous), it’s time to get that skin ready for swimsuit weather! A little extra color always makes me feel better about being in a swimsuit, so I wanted to share my favorite self tanner: Fake Bake Flawless. I learned about this product over a year ago and have been using it ever since. I’m absolutely in love with it — it really is the best!

I buy mine here, and the 6 oz bottle lasts me a few months with regular use and includes the mitt and gloves.

The three things I love the most about this tanner is that it’s a really natural color (not orange and not too dark), it works instantly (I hate when I have to apply for a several days before seeing results), and it’s pretty much fool proof and streak proof. Also, as a bonus it doesn’t smell gross.

After using it for a year, there’s a few tricks to getting the perfect tan that lasts, so snag yourself a bottle and try these tips!

  1. Before using, take a shower and exfoliate your skin. It’s also helpful to shave your legs before use. Once you’re out of the shower and dry, hydrate your skin with lotion. Make sure your elbows and knees are especially hydrated, or else you’ll get uneven coverage. Now you’re ready for application
  2.  I always start with my face. The mitt will be clean since it’s last use, so you can control how much color is on the mitt and carefully apply. Two or three sprays is all you need for your face, and gently buff it on until you reach your desired color. Then move down your neck and the rest of your body.
  3. As I mentioned above, go carefully over your knees and elbows. If they’re dry at all, you’ll get uneven coverage, so make sure they’re super hydrated (use a body butter or even Vaseline) and gently go over them.
  4. The kit comes with rubber medical gloves so you can protect your hands from stains, but obviously you don’t want a stark difference between your hands and the rest of your body. Once I’m completely done with my application, I use any leftover color on the mitt and apply to the tops of my hands so it blends down from my wrists. Don’t bother to color the rest of your hands since you’ll be washing them during the day and will wash it right off anyway.
  5.  The color dries almost immediately, and as soon as it’s dry you can get dressed and go about your day as normal. I’ve never had trouble with the color transferring to my clothing, but I also never wear white the day I use it, just in case.
  6. Don’t shower or use lotion for a full 24 hours after application so the color has time to apply. The product includes a “cosmetic bronzer,” which gives you instant color and helps you apply evenly. This will wash off in the shower — you’ll see it coming off immediately with water. If you shower too soon after application, your tan won’t stay. It needs 24 hours to truly color your skin and to stick around after the top color has washed off.
  7. If you like a darker color, apply at night after your shower, several nights in a row, still allowing 24 hours in between each application. If I do 2-3 days of applications, my tan lasts about a little over a week before needing to be applied again (which is pretty much the only downside of this product for me).
  8. If you apply right before bed, you might see some transfer to your sheets, but it washes right out.
  9. After application, always wash the mitt. I use soap and water and rinse until the water runs clear. This will keep your mitt in good shape and help it last a long time.

Now grab a bottle and get yourself ready for summer!


  1. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I’ve been wanting to start using some sunless tanners so this is awesome! I’ll have to give this a try! I love that it comes with the mitt and gloves and everything you need!


  2. Haley says:

    Thanks for the post! Did you use this while you were pregnant? I ask because I’m pregnant and looking for a good self tanner. Thanks!!

  3. Melanie Harris says:

    I bought this last summer because you had mentioned it. I love it! It works great for me too and that’s saying a lot because I am naturally very white, almost fluorescent, haha! Most sunless tanners make me look orangish. This one was perfect. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I always struggle with the application of fake tan, but thanks for the tips. 😉


  5. Pritha00 says:

    i love this outfit so much! do you recall where the shorts/shirt are from?

  6. Sarah Cowles says:

    I just bought this! How many sprays do you use per area? legs, arms, etc. or do you just go based on the guide color?

    • Merrick says:

      It totally depends. I go off of the guide color, but usually within a few minutes it darkens a bit. So I would suggest just playing around with it. I think I use 4-5 sprays for my face, and maybe 8-10 for each arm and leg (usually spraying 4-5, applying, then 4-5 more and applying). Hope that helps!

  7. Great article! I have tried this one before as well, and I thought it worked well! But, I did find the application kind of messy. Do you think it’s kind of messy? Do you have any tips to make the application easier? Thanks for the tips!!

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