The Secrets To A Red Carpet–Ready Tan At Home Are Easier Than You Think

The Secrets To A Red Carpet–Ready Tan At Home Are Easier Than You Think(Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Fiona Locke)You might not be headed to the Academy Awards this Sunday, but that doesn't mean you can't get the same bronzed glow every celeb walking the red carpet is sure to have. To help us bust some at-home tanning myths and guarantee a great Oscar-worthy glow, we called in reinforcement from St. Tropez's Skin Finishing Expert Fiona Locke (whose past clients have included Anna Gunn, Kaley Cuoco, and Laura Dern) to get the lowdown on mastering that perfect tan.

StyleBistro: OK, first thing's first: What's the step-by-step secret to getting an even, non-stripey, at-home tan?
Fiona Locke: First, make sure to prep your skin by exfoliating with St. Tropez Body Polish ($20). Apply a light layer of lotion to excessively dry body parts like hands, feet, knees and elbows. Make sure to use my all-time favorite tool, the Applicator Mitt ($6.50), and apply St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse ($42) starting at your feet and working your way up. It also helps to have a full-length mirror, so you can make sure you don't miss a spot.

SB: What if you have scars or blemishes?
FL: The best trick for blending scars or blemishes is to apply lotion to them before applying [self-tanning] product. You don't want to darken them but rather help to conceal. Then use Bronzing Spray ($35) to complete your self tan.

The Secrets To A Red Carpet–Ready Tan At Home Are Easier Than You ThinkA roster of some of Locke's past clients include Kaley Cuoco, Anna Gunn, and Laura Dern. (Sources: Frederick M. Brown Ethan Miller, and Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America)SB: What are the parts of the body most women forget to apply tanner to...back of knees, under arms, etc?
Most people are so afraid of stained palms—with good reason—they use gloves or a mitt and forget to apply a light, sweeping layer over the top of their hands, so their arms are tan and their hands are [left] white!

 So once you get a tan or do one at home, how should you adjust your makeup to match your newly bronzed body?
FL: It is not necessary to run out and buy new foundation, but you should definitely buy a good bronzing powder, so you can match your body. Most people feel having a self tan on their face allows them to wear much less make up.

SB: How often does one need to keep applying self tanner or get a spray tan to maintain that golden glow?
FL: If you love the look and want to keep it consistent, then I suggest every seven to ten days.

SB: Alright, help us bust this myth: Is it true you should avoid a spray tan if you get laser hair removal?
FL: Almost all of my clients have had laser hair removal, and I have never come across an issue. It is suggested you do not tan in-between sessions, as the laser may be less effective.

SB: Last and most important question: How do you feel about contouring the body with a tan? We've seen Victoria's Secret models, actresses, performers, etc. look slimmer thanks to a good tan. Is this something women can attempt at home, or is this a no-go, leave-it-to-the pros thing?
FL: Once you have mastered the at-home tan, I say go for it. Contouring can really enhance muscle and cleavage. Look for the shadow beneath your muscle by flexing and add one more layer of Bronzing Mousse or Self Tan Lotion with a makeup sponge.

The Secrets To A Red Carpet–Ready Tan At Home Are Easier Than You Think(Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America)
Former Senior Associate Beauty Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @CaitlinSMiller Follow me: Google