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How To Contour With Self Tan: Introducing Tantouring

Rina Teslica
Writer and expert2 months ago
View Rina Teslica's profile
a dark haired model facing to the right with her hair scraped back shot against a blue background

We know how to tan and we’ve mastered the art of contouring, but what if we could meld the two together and achieve a sculpted sun-kissed complexion... that doesn’t wash off at the end of the day? 

 Well, you can now rejoice as the latest TikTok trend – tantouring – has garnered over 986K views (and counting). Taking the humble self tanner and applying it strategically, tantouring is the simple yet effective way to achieve Bella Hadid’s iconic cheekbones for more than a day.  

Not sure how to achieve this trending technique, without looking like a Oompa Loompa? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Read our ultimate guide to self tan contouring and learn how to sculpt and snatch for an effortless, natural looking complexion...  

What is Tantouring

Delivering a long-lasting chiselled finish, tantouring is essentially self tan contouring. Utilising your preferred self tanner and applying it on the high point of your forehead, cheekbones, nose, jawline and hairline, TikTok’s latest trend allows you to create definition that lasts longer than your contour sticks, creams and powders. 

Why Has Tantouring Turned into a Trend

While we’ve been inundated with contour and baking techniques for the last decade (thank you Kim Kardashian and Mario Dedivanociv ) the rise of the clean aesthetic has meant there’s been a step away from ultra ‘glam’ make up looks – we’re talking about those ultra-harsh bronzer lines and megawatts of highlighter. But by using fake tan as a way to contour, this hack converts the  minimalist and maximalists alike. But that’s not all, with more  beauty enthusiasts looking for permanent solutions to their routines, (hello microblading and tattooed liners), the tantouring trend is ideal for looking sculpted for longer – without spending an extensive amount of time in getting ready... Alexa, play Beyonce’s Flawless. 

How to Tantour

1. Preperation is key

Like most things in life, your starting point is your most important step. So, begin with washing your face with your favourite cleanser – we love ELEMIS’S Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. With its super nourishing formula that starts off as a balm, transforms to an oil before becoming a hydrating milk, it swiftly and gently removes dirt, grime and make up, leaving skin feeling supple and soft. Then, to prevent the tan from sticking to flakes, buildup and ruining your no-make up, make up base, use a gentle exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells. Paula’s Choices’ Skin Perfecting 6% Mandelic Acid and 2% Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant effectively removes build up without compromising your complexion. 



2. Pick your preferred product

When picking your self tanner, it’s important look at your skin tone and think about what want to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to enhance your bone structure with a sun-kissed glow, choose a tanner with neutral undertones.  Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is ideal for this, thanks to its lightweight and customisable formula. Enriched with aloe vera and infused with coconut milk, it sinks into skin quickly and develops between one and six hours. If you prefer a more bronzed finish, use a tanner with warmer undertones. St. Tropez’s Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse delivers a streak free finish that boosts hydration with its infusion of niacinamide and echinacea. And, finally if you want to rival the 90s supermodels, pick a product with a green or cool undertone. Bondi Sands Technocolor 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam in ‘emerald’ counteracts unwanted orange hues with its innovative green undertones. Powered by high-tech electrolytes, it seamlessly glides on skin, acting like a hue personal to you. 



3. Apply where the sun would hit

Tantouring is all about precise application, so using a complexion brush is a must. Featuring ultra-soft bristles, in two distinct shapes, Saie’s The Double Brush allows you to expertly pick up product and apply seamlessly onto your face. For bigger areas such as your forehead and cheeks the bigger brush side is perfect, while the smaller end allows you to create a defined nose, jawline and cheekbones quickly and effectively. 

Once you’ve applied your tan where you want, diffuse the pigment using a make up sponge . This eliminates any harsh lines come morning, boasting a more natural finish. 

If you’re tanning all over your body, we suggest applying a light layer all over your face, and then going in with a couple of layers of tantouring where you want your contour to sit. 



4. Finally, practice the virtue of patience

Most tanners develop overnight, with that in mind it’s best practice to layer up your contour in the evening, let it dry down completely and then head to bed (we’re not fans of stained pillows!). Be aware of the self tanner you’ve used though and how quickly it develops — some tanners achieve their colouration in as little as two hours so make sure you wash it off at the correct time!  

Now all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and let your self tan contouring develop...  

Rina Teslica
Writer and expert
View Rina Teslica's profile
Rina is Cult Beauty’s Junior SEO Copywriter and has always had a passion for beauty and skin care (rich moisturisers are her obsession). What started as a love for The Body Shop and their famed Born Lippy lip balms (in ‘Watermelon’ of course!), she is now more interested in finding products with proven effectiveness instead of broken promises. A loud and proud VIEVE fan, Rina owns nearly every item of the range and recommends the brand to anyone who will listen... When she’s not intently reading ingredient lists, you can find her either immersed in multiple true crime podcasts or co-hosting her own parenting one, with an *extra* hot cappuccino in hand.