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What is Tantouring?

September 07, 2018

We are all about finding new beauty trends to try, and with fall right around the corner, we’ll latch onto any trick that allows us to keep our sun-kissed skin around as the weather cools down. This skin care-meets-makeup trend is the semi-permanent answer to your (and our) bronzed beauty prayers. Grab your self-tanner and let’s delve into the details of tantouring!


Tantouring, also known as semi-permanent contouring or tontouring, is a beauty trend that originated in the UK. The trend involves using a sunless tanner (one that’s safe to use on your face, of course) and applying it where you would normally contour, leaving you with a natural contour that lasts a few days instead of being wiped away at the end of the day when you use makeup remover or wash your face.


Ready to try out this semi-permanent contour method? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to tantour:

Step #1: Exfoliate your face

If you’re a regular self-tanner user, you’re surely familiar with this step. Before you can start tantouring, you want to exfoliate to create a smooth, even surface for your sunless tanner. Use a face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, to remove dirt, oil, impurities, and excess makeup from your skin. The formula of this scrub contains three pure sugars, coconut oil, finely crushed cocoa, and cocoa butter leaving your skin nourished, soft, and (almost) ready for your tantour. To use it, apply a small amount to your skin with dry fingers, before gently massaging it over your face using wet fingers. After scrubbing, rinse off with lukewarm water.

Step #2: Keep your skin hydrated

For this beauty trend, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated. Dry skin can cause your tantour to appear patchy and uneven, and the last place you want a blotchy self-tanner application is on your face. For moisturizing before you tan, try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin.

Step #3: Apply your self-tanner

Now that your skin is prepped, it’s time to contour! The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Serum is perfect for this beauty trend because its formula is quick-drying, streak-free, long-lasting, and—most importantly—safe to use on your face. When tantouring, you want to use a self-tanner that’s a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone as to not have too harsh of a contrast. Trust us, don’t go overboard! Apply a small amount of the self-tanner to a flat top makeup brush. Then, contour your face as you normally would—that means along your cheekbones, temples, and jawline. Be sure to blend well to avoid any harsh, streaky lines where your sunless tanner and skin meet.

Editor’s tip: To help soften any lingering lines, use a makeup blender to seamlessly blend out the edges of your tantour before it dries.


Tantouring doesn’t have to be reserved for your face! You can use this semi-permanent contouring method on other areas of your body. Sculpt areas like your neck, bust, and arms with some tantouring action. Hit your collarbone, cleavage, and the outside of your arms with a light swipe of self-tanner, like the L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion Medium Natural Tan. If you’re nervous, you can also use a gradual self-tanner, like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium, for your body tantour. With either sunless tanner, you’ll want to apply the same methods we described for tantouring your face, using a makeup brush and blender to avoid any harsh lines. If you aren’t sure where exactly to apply your self-tanner, check out our article, How to Contour Your Body, for inspiration.

Obsessed with all things contouring? In that case, you’ll want to read The Right Way to Contour for Every Face Shape for a contouring routine that’s customized to your face shape.

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