By Christina Shanahan
Jun 26, 2014 @ 7:16 am
Courtesy of the Wall Group; Eugene Gologursky/WireImage

Getting your faux summer glow on can be tricky, and not all tanning artists or self-tanning products are created equal. To ease your quest for the perfect bronze, we caught up with gurus Jimmy Coco and Linda Hay for the best tips on getting the perfect color sans sunshine.

Whether you want to look like you're just back from the Bahamas or like you perform a hundred crunches a day, Coco is the tan man for the job. He reveals the clever contouring tricks he's used on golden goddesses like the Kardashians:

"I contour every person I tan, even if they don't realize they need it. Defining certain areas of the body with color can enhance your abs, sculpt your upper arms, and even make your breasts look a whole cup size larger. I often have to talk my clients out of going too dark. If you're getting sprayed at a salon, please do a little homework to avoid an orange disaster. Go in and ask them for a patch test on your arm with four different shades. Wait eight hours, then see which one is closest to your normal skin tone—that one will look the most natural. Of course, there are clients who want the opposite of natural, like a woman who asked me to spray faux goggle tan lines onto her face so that it looked as if she'd just returned from a ski trip. I have clients who haven't seen their natural skin tone in years, and I see them in the buff more than their significant others do!"

Instant Tanning Tip

If you're getting sprayed at a salon, ask them for a patch test on your arm to avoid an orange disaster. —@JimmyCoco

Aside from coltish legs, are Victoria's Secret models also born with that oh-so-sun-kissed luminance? Not quite. The makeup artist behind their cat-walk-ready glow, Hay, shares her foolproof formula for brilliant skin:

1. Exfoliate"Slough off dead skin cells with a scrub the afternoon before a big event to prep your body for color." Chanel Exfoliating Gel, $45;

Instant Tanning Tip

Always prep your body for color by exfoliating first. —@LindayHayMakeup

2. Prime"Before going to bed, apply an oil-based self-tanner to develop a base color overnight." Clarins Golden Glow Booster, $30;

3. Brighten"Self-tanner can dull your skin, so smooth this tinted lotion on in the morning to create a dewy glow." Benefit Big Easy, $38; Conceal"Mist on your arms and legs before getting dressed to cover imperfections and make cellulite appear less noticeable." Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $14;

For more pros’ tips, tricks, and best-kept secrets, pick up a copy of InStyle’s July issue, on sale and available for digital download now.

Want more? Get the best self-tanning tips for every skin tone in our gallery!