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Tanning Tips and Tricks with Nuala

Tips and Tricks to a Flawless tan…Every time!

With Nuala Hanley from Cara Galway


Although the Irish ‘summer’ weather isn’t very reliable for our tan needs at the minute, the Cara gals are to the rescue and we’ve managed to get this faux-tanning craic down to a T!

Applying false tan isn’t rocket science (most of the time), But successfully choosing and applying false tan so that it appears you’ve soaked up that little bit of sun that reaches our emerald isle or been abroad and returned with that flawless envious tan – the real deal— now that’s a tough one.

Well at Cara we like to consider ourselves the experts in achieving that glowing, goddess like tan every time and advising which products you need to purchase to achieve this (You can trust us- we’ve basically tried them all! )


Choosing what’s right for you can seem a little overwhelming- we know.

So we want to share our how to (and how-not-to’s ) along with all the tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way with you gorgeous ladies!



This is the first step - from lotions to spray tans, and all the different skin types there’s a lot on the market so we’ve narrowed down our favourites to suit everyone!

This process can be trial and error but hopefully this information will guide you to your chosen tan!

Tans & Lotions are the most hydrating to the skin, so if you find your skin is particularly dry then we advise Bellamianta self-tanning lotion. The natural ingredients work with the skins natural melanin to provide a perfectly natural, golden tone every time which becomes water resistant and will last up to 7 days.

Tan Mousse – these dry very quickly and application is usually a breeze.

We recommend Bbold Smart mousse because its also an Express tan meaning if you have last minute plans- but need a colour these beauties develop in as little as 1 hour and a max of 3 hours (depending on the brand)  



Available at Cara Pharmacy €24.95                 Available at Cara Pharmacy €14.95


Gradual tans – These build in colour with ever use, so perfect for those newbies to the tan world – you can go super natural or add more layers for that dark glow! Our new favourite is Bondi Sands Everyday Liquid Gold Gradual Tanning Dry-Oil

Available at Cara Pharmacy €16.95


Instant tans - Perfect for last minute & quick fix situations, or for those who don’t want to commit to wearing tan all week our top choice is Vita Liberata Body Blur instant because it is a wash off tan with a HD Finish. This tan achieves an immediate colour with light reflecting filters so you’re always photo ready! This water resistant formula is available different shades.

Available at Cara Pharmacy €25.95

So with that in mind - The application.  You know that proud moment – you’re sure you’ve mastered the tanning process and thennnnn… the misfortune of streaks, patches and oops you missed a spot (or two!) becoming clearer as your tan develops, Well it’s time to stand together and share the great secrets – stay with us to ensure that those terrible tan days can well and truly be left in the past.. Where they belong.



We can’t stress enough how vital a part exfoliating plays in achieving this perfect tan. Make exfoliating a weekly habit and this avoids an uneven build up of tan in certain areas.

Our top pick for exfoliating is Cocoa Browns ‘Tough Stuff’ only €3.95 @ Cara - this guy is a god send when it comes to prepping and also removing unwanted tan – now pair this with our fave exfoliating glove the Bellamianta exfoliating mitt for €9.95. For maximum results work the scrub in circular and vertical motions -again spending that little bit of extra time getting your elbows,knees and ankles super smooth and your halfway there

Available @ Cara Pharmacy €4.95                  Available @ Cara Pharmacy €9.95



Another top tip to ensure your golden goddess transformation goes gracefully is to moisturise generously the previous night – allowing your skin to be as silky as possible before the tan reaches it – Using water or Aloe Vera based moisturisers, because moisturisers containing oils will act as a barrier – resulting in that word we hate – STREAKS!!

Make sure the moisturiser is fully absorbed before you apply tan and continue to apply over time to ensure your tan fades slowly and evenly


Cara’s Fave - bBold Body Beautiful Moisturiser!

Available at Cara Pharmacy €7.95



A good quality glove is essential for an even tan – be gentle and avoid rubbing the product in to your skin – the more aggressive you are the more likely you are to endure uneven tan. Long, even strokes starting from the bottom up is our top tip.

For hands and feet, less is more – only use what’s leftover on the mitt and just run over your hands and feet once. Really, Once is enough!

Cara’s Fave - Bellamianta Luxury tanning mitt

Available at Cara Pharmacy €9.95

If you wish to tan your face as well, we advise mixing a small amount of your moisturiser with the tan on your glove and apply gently to soften the tan formula because the skin on your face is thinner and more delicate so this reduces your chance of breakouts. For the non-risk takers, we recommend purchasing St. Tropez self-tan luxe facial oil – This really is worth the investment enriched with ultra-conditioning Brazil Nut Oil, this bad boy is rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins A & E which hydrate the skin. Meaning it can be used as a regular face moisturizer and has anti-aging benefits all whilst maintaining a sun-kissed glow for 5 days.


Available @ Cara Pharmacy €24



So, there you have it! And I have every faith that if you follow these guidelines you will be a pro in no time.

If you have any further questions or issues, please don’t hesitate to email us or just pop in to one of our stores nation wide.. We’re here to help always!


Thanks for reading & Happy Tanning Ladies!

Nuala xx

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