Exclusive: Australian Model Lara Bingle on Faux Glowing the Right Way

Lara Bingle is famous for a lot of things—her beauty (the model has fronted campaigns for ROC eyewear, Cotton On, and luxury watch brand Breitling), her entrepreneurial drive (she’s currently working on a lingerie line and just launched a bronzing line called The Base), and her enviable tan. Which is why when we got the chance to chat with the model and business owner about faking a glow the Australian way, we seized it with the eagerness of a thousand sun-starved, pasty-skinned Americans. Keep reading for her best glow-giving tips!

The Process 

“Do everything else first,” instructs Bingle. “If you need to get a wax or a manicure, touch up your hair color, or shave your legs, do it before applying any self-tanner, because all of those treatments can remove it.” Noted.

When it comes to exfoliating before tanning (a given, as you probably know), she recommends using an exfoliating brush or a dry brush, and scrubbing inwards, towards your heart. And applying tanner? “Moisturize daily. It’ll make your tan last longer!” she says. In fact, Bingle says keeping your skin hydrated all year-round will help your cause when hitting the (fake tan) bottle. “Try to follow the mantra and moisturize every day when you step out the shower or before bed,” she says. “Patchy, dry skin just won’t respond well to a faux glow.”

3 Sneaky Tricks

“If streaks or splotches appear, rub half a lemon on the area for two minutes before lightly buffing it with a damp towel,” says Bingle. “Put Vaseline on your eyebrows before you apply any self-tanner to your face. And finally, use a cold compress on your face before tanning to minimize the look of your pores for a smoother finish!” Done, done, and done.

The Golden Rule

Considering Bingle’s ideal level of tan is “olive,” perhaps it comes as no surprise that her golden rule applies to the application. “Even an all-over, tangerine fake bake is better than a natural-looking color that’s rendered ridiculous by white streaks or spots,” she says. Even for your face? We couldn’t help but wonder. “My number one rule with tanning the face is to go easy,” she explains. “You can always build color over time by applying a thin layer each day, or adding more color using makeup or bronzer.”

And if all else fails, Bingle says to leave it to the pros. “Do you remember that episode of Friends where Ross gets the awful spray tan? Yup, that was me once,” she says, referring to the sunless tanning booths. “It was all too real, and it highlights exactly why application by a spray-tan technician—by hand—is definitely the way to go if you're wanting a flawless result.”

Curious what a spray tan is like? Click here to read our editor’s account of losing her spray tan virginity, plus shop Bingle’s The Base products along with some of our favorite self-tanners below!