How to Make Your Legs Look Tanned – No Sun or No Fake Tan Options

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Who doesn’t love the warm, gorgeous glow of tanned legs? They can pull your whole look together and just give off that sun-kissed, summery vibe! However, getting your legs to have that gorgeous tanned look is not always easy. We don’t all have time to sit at the beach or pool all day, and you may be looking to enjoy that tanned look during the cooler months too. Fake tan has its place, but if you’ve tried it before, you know that it isn’t always the most effective way to get your legs to look tan. If you’re looking for how to make your legs look tanned, we’ll share our top suggestions below!

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Table of Contents

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Makeup Tan Glow 4.4 oz

With Fake Tan

We can’t really discuss how to make legs look tan without first exploring the easiest way: using fake tan. If this isn’t your jam, you can scroll on down below for the non-fake tan options. But if you’re looking for the speediest way to tan legs, check this section out.

“Can I fake tan just my legs” is a question many people ask.  The answer is that yes, you can fake tan just your legs if you wish.

Before applying a self-tanner to your legs, you’ll want to make sure you properly prepare your legs.  This will ensure that the tan is applied properly and doesn’t have a blotchy look.

About 24 hours before you plan to apply the self-tanner, wax or shave your legs.  Removing hair from your skin will ensure an even application.

However, you don’t want to shave immediately before applying a self-tanner.  When you shave your legs, it leaves behind microcuts.  Applying the tanner without giving these microcuts time to heal can prevent the tanner from setting properly.

Before applying a self-tanner, you should also exfoliate your skin.  When you exfoliate the skin, you remove dead skin which will allow the self-tanner to give a more even appearance.  Finally, be sure to also make sure your legs are well hydrated.  Apply a moisturizer to the skin to get rid of dry patches that could interfere with an even application.

When applying self-tanner to your legs, we recommend using a tanning mitt, such as GAIYAH Self Tanning Mitt.  This will help ensure an even application.

GAIYAH Self Tanning Mitt Applicator - Tanning Mitten Self Tanner Mitt Applicator Tanning Mitts Self Tanner With Thumb Ultra Soft Tanning Glove For Self Tan Mitt Applicator
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You should begin applying the self-tanner at the top of the legs and move down towards the bottom.  This technique ensures better blending at the bottom of your legs for a cleaner and more sculpted look.  When applying a self-tanner, use circular motions.  Do not pull the mitt vertically or horizontally, as it can lead to streaks in your tan.

Some self-tanners we recommend include:

Without Fake Tan

How can I make my legs look brown without fake tan?

Some people don’t like using self-tanners.  It can be hard to achieve the look you want, and you may find that your legs always look streaky or splotch, no matter what you try.  If you fall into this category, you’ll be pleased to know that there are other ways to make your legs look tan without using a self-tanner.

Can I Use Face Foundation on My Legs?

Yes, you can use face foundation on your legs.

Mix the foundation with a moisturizer to apply it to your legs to get the color and coverage you desire.

However, while you can use face foundation, it is better to use body makeup.  Body and leg makeup are especially designed for use on areas other than the face and will typically last longer and look better than using a face foundation.

Leg Makeup for Pale Skin

If you have pale skin, or are just looking to even the tone or color of your legs, using leg makeup is a good approach.  Applying leg makeup can help conceal bruises and veins better than a spray tan.  Some leg makeup products are designed to be sprayed onto the skin, while others are in a cream form and can be rubbed into skin.

If you’re looking to try leg makeup, we’d recommend one of these products:

How to Shade Legs

How do I apply bronzing makeup on my legs is another common question.  Learning how to shade your legs and apply highlighter and bronzer is essential when trying to achieve that toned and sculpted look.  With freshly shaven legs, start by applying a cream primer to cover any veins, scars, or other imperfections on your legs using a latex sponge.  Next, use the latex sponge to apply cream-based leg makeup or spray on an aerosol makeup.

The next step is one of the most important when shading your legs:  apply a powder or bronzer to the legs.  This helps ensure that the makeup blends properly to match your skin tone.  You should choose a bronzer or powder to match the base foundation you applied to your legs and your natural skin tone.

Cover Up Lotion for Legs

Wondering “is there such a thing as cover up lotion for just my legs?”  Yes, there are lotions and creams that are specially designed to cover up imperfections on your legs and leave them with a gorgeous, airbrushed tanned look.  If you’d like to try one of these lotions, here are a few we recommend:

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish, 3.38 Fl Oz

Tanned Legs without Sun Damage

Achieving the gorgeous color and look of tanned legs is easier than you may think.  Hopefully, the ideas we shared can help you get the look you want any time of the year.  Which product or technique are you excited to try on your legs?

Check out these related posts on our blog:

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  1. I love using a bit of leg makeup in the offseason to even out my skintone! And definitely love a little faux tan to bronze up my legs during the summer. Great post!


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