Pale Princess to Golden Goddess | DIY Instant Fake Tan

by - July 16, 2018

In around 2 weeks time I have a family wedding to attend, it's taken me a while but I think I'm finally settled on my wedding guest attire. It wasn't till I decided I might ditch the tights that I realised how pale my legs were compared to the rest of my body since they don't usually see the light of day, even on a good summer's day, I've just never liked or had the confidence to have my legs out.
I've shown my outfit to some friends and family and they have said it looks better without tights. Truth be told, I'm still 50/50 on the idea, whether I do or don't wear tights on the day it will most likely depend on the weather and how I am feeling on that morning.

But just in case I do ditch the tights, I wanted my legs to look like they have a healthy glow to them and at least match the rest of my skin tone.
My original plan was to buy some fake tan from the drugstore but I've never used fake tan before and didn't know which was best, I also had the fear of what if it goes streaky or orange? And, I don't exactly want to waste money on something I'm probably only going to use once. Then I remembered an old DIY that I use to do all the time when I was younger which worked surprisingly well, and I know I always have these ingredients (is that what it's called?) lying around.

So here's what you'll need:

  • Container to hold your concoctionI used an old Soap & Glory Body Butter container.
  • MoisturiserYou can use any of your choice, I just happen to have some Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nordic Berry moisturiser left over.
  • Dark Foundation - Choose a foundation that is a good few shades darker than your skin tone. I got sent a free 5 day sample of Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation* in 6N2 Truffle.
  • Powder Bronzer/Contour - Again, you can use any dark bronzer of your choice, just make sure it's in a powder form to make life easier. I used the darkest colour in my Too Cool For School Artclass Contour Trio, since it was already hitting pan.
  • Highlighter (Optional) - I wanted to look glowy so I added 'Lucky Clover' from the Anastasia Beverly Hills MoonChild GlowKit, since it's a colour I never usually use, and didn't mind destroying.
  • A Makeup Brush (using the handle) or mini spatula - To help mix everything together.
  • Tissues - To clean the mixing utensil of your choice.
To start, you may want to to use a piece of paper to cover up the surface you're working on, it's not a messy thing to do, but just in case loose powder or foundation gets on the paper you can just throw it away after without worrying about cleaning your work surface.


Honestly, there are no precision to my measurements, I eyeballed everything and adjusted the variables as I went along, it all comes down to your own preference of how dark you want to go.

  1. Put some moisturiser into the container.
  2. Start scraping some bronzer/contour powder onto a piece of paper or lid of the container and try to break the pieces up as fine as possible, to prevent lumps of powder in the finished product.

  3. If like me you want an extra glow, do the same with a powder highlighter, then mix it in with the bronzer/contour powder.
  4. Pour the powder into the container, then give it a good mix.

  5. When fully combined test the colour, and add whatever is lacking in your tan, until you're happy with the results.

  6. For me, it was colour, so I used a dark foundation I had lying around and poured it all in, which gave a really beautiful chocolatey Nutella colour.

  7. Again, test the colour.
If you're ever accidentally heavy handed with any of the ingredients, this method is very forgiving. Too dark? add moisturiser. Too light? add foundation/bronzer.


I'm really happy with my results and it's given my skin a very beautiful healthy glow. It's really simple to use, you just rub it into your skin like you would a normal moisturiser, it didn't make me streaky and there was no detectable lines.

It's also buildable, so depending on how dark you want to go just layer it up once the previous layer is dried.

Removal of the Tan
I had to go to work straight after, so I went to scrub it off in the sink using just warm water and a rough face towel, it came off quite easily in clumps, a bit like dead skin lol. Not going to lie, it did make a few marks in the sink but it did come off without a fuss with a bit of soap and an old toothbrush.
When it was all off, my arm was back to my normal skin colour but it had flecks of highlighter all over, my arm was glistening like Edward Cullen when he sees the light of day. I jumped straight into the shower once I was home from work, and all the remaining highlighter came off, so I'm going to assume it'll take 1-2 washes at most to fully get it off.

I plan to use this DIY tan on my legs, arms, and shoulders, since those are the areas my outfit will expose. To get it off my body, I'll most likely use an exfoliating body scrub and a mitt looking thing I have, where one side is a rough woven material and the other a smooth spongey cloth material.

Lasting Power & Does it Transfer?

Truth be told, I really don't know just yet, as I haven't been able to give it a full day of testing If I choose to use it on the day of the wedding, that'll be when I can put it through it's paces of tests. UK recently has had a month long heatwave, and if it carries on like it has on the day, then I can guarantee ya girl will be sweating, so by the end of the night if there's any marks on the inside of my outfit or it's gone patchy on my skin I'll know it's not sweatproof at least haha..

As mentioned earlier, the foundation I used is from Estée Lauder*, I've heard that many people like the Double Wear foundation* because it's very long lasting, and sweatproof. On the website it claims to give 24 hour wear, so time will tell how long lasting it will be and if being mixed in with moisturiser will compromise it's staying power.

If I do use this DIY instant tan on the day, I will be sure to report back with another post, reviewing my own DIY, so keep an eye out for it on the first week of August!

Thank you for reading this post, and I'll see you in my next one,

Melody xo.

Disclaimer: I only earn a small % of commission upon purchases.
*Estée Lauder’s New Double Wear Light

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