02/02/2012 04:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Spray Tan Meltdown: Where Christina Aguilera And Keira Knightley's Faux Glows Went Wrong

By now, you've probably seen the pictures of Christina Aguilera's spray tan dripping down her leg during her performance at Etta James' funeral and Keira Knightley's splotchy tanned skin at the London premiere of "A Dangerous Method." However, the one question that keeps coming to my mind is, "How in the world did their beauty teams let this happen?"

When you have really pale complexions like Aguilera and Knightley, faking a golden glow requires some serious skills. We tapped Sophie Evans, St. Tropez skin finishing expert and Sandra Lakatos, Oasis Day Spa skin care director, to share their top five tips on how to master sunless tanning.

Christina Aguilera's dripping spray tan and Keira Knightley's blotchy tanned complexion. Photos: Splash | Getty Images

Prep your skin
Exfoliate approximately eight hours prior and complete any waxing 24 hours before. "If the skin is too fresh the spray tan can sometimes run on application," says Evans. "With freshly waxed skin you will find that the product will sit in the pores, creating a pitted effect."

A good tan should last for about seven days until the skin starts shedding, according to Lakatos. "The body doesn't shed evenly, so as soon as you notice blotchiness, you should exfoliate and reapply the product again."

Spray section-by-section
Lakatos suggests dividing the body into parts (upper front, lower front, upper back, lower back, sides of the body, face and neck) to make it easier to keep track of the covered areas. Be sure to use good lighting and wear gloves while applying the product for a smooth and even application. "Usually spray tanning booths without a technician will most likely leave you with an uneven tan."

Avoid tight clothes, the gym and pools
Form-fitting attire like bras can create annoying tan lines. Play it smart and slip into something a bit more relaxed, advises Evans. It is also best to skip running a few miles on the treadmill or swimming a few laps until the next day to avoid sweating or washing away your faux glow. "If in serious fear that you may get extremely hot and sweaty, apply self-tanner the day before and let it develop overnight."

Slap on some baby powder
If you are a heavy sweater or experience hot flashes, Evans stresses telling your spray tan artist as they can apply powder afterwards where necessary. "Products do not heat up on the skin, but can move around from clothing, sweat and liquid spillage," she explains. "Baby powder is fine if it's just to prevent any dripping when a tan is in its developing stage, but it will create a lighter skin tone, which would not be good if you have to look camera-ready right away."

Extend your tan with moisturizer
The most common mistake women make when spray tanning is skipping on moisturizer and sunscreen, according to Lakatos. She adds, "Often women skip on SPF thinking that their spray tan will give them some level of sun protection. No tanning products offer sun protection, we should use SPF 30 on a daily basis to avoid sun damage and premature aging."

Meanwhile, check out our video tutorial on how to get an all-over glow with makeup.


8 Simple Makeup Tricks For Flawless Skin - Allure

3 Hair Oils That Will Give You The Softest, Shiniest Hair - BellaSugar

Stella McCartney Launches A Fragrance To Satisfy Aesthetes And Nerds Alike - Refinery29

Kelly Osbourne Rocks Purple Ombre Hair - The Gloss

The Best Brows For Your Face Shape - Daily Makeover