It's been a while since my last blog, but here I am and I hope to keep up with my blogging throughout the summer. And speaking of SUMMER-it's time to be TAN! Now, we all know how bad the real sun is. It. Is. Bad. However, the GOOD thing is that our wonderful beauty industry created self-tanners for all of us who want to avoid damaging UVA and UVB rays. (Don't know what UVA or UVB rays are? A long time ago I learned a clever way to remember: UVA=the rays that contribute to the AGING (A) of the skin and UVB=the rays that contribute to the BURNING (B) of the skin. See? Really smart!) ANYWAY! A lot of people don't know how to apply self-tanner that will look natural. (A la Lindsay Lohan! UGH! GROSS!) I could show a million pics of her with her gross self-tanning mistakes, but I won't because I think the world has had enough of Lindsay!
So we know we don't want to look like that photo on the left! Yikes! But we do want to look like we have a "healthy" glow and just look rested and summery. So here are my steps to apply a believable looking tan, minus streaks and brown hands! (Eeeeewwww the image in my head of brown hands...again....gross!)
(I use a tinted self-tanner so I can see where I am applying. I highly recommend you do that as well!)
1. Wear gloves!!!!
I use medical-type gloves that you can buy at any drugstore, Target, CVS, or Walmart. This will prevent any self-tanner from absorbing onto your palms. (You will tan the tops of your hands at the very end.)
2. Shave and exfoliate!
Be sure you shave those legs and exfoliate your whole body prior to tanning. You want to have a very smooth surface to apply the tanner. No stubble or flaky skin!
3. Moisturize. (or not)
I lotion up after every single shower because I have the driest skin on earth. A lot of times you'll read about self-tanning or spray tanning and they say not to moisturize. If you have normal skin then skip the moisturizer. But for me, slathering on lotion hasn't affected the end-result at all. In fact, sometimes I add moisturizer to the self-tanner in my gloved hand and mix them together to create a lighter shade so I don't look like that photo of LL above!
Now we're ready to apply!
1. Start at your feet!
I can't stress this enough. Starting at your feet avoids any rubbing of other body parts against areas that have not been tanned yet. So for example, If you start by rubbing self-tanner all over your belly or chest you risk transferring what you just applied onto your thighs as you bend over to get to your feet. And then the tanner dries in blotches on your legs before you even get to apply an even coat. (Done that.) Or if you apply to your back first, you're reaching your arm up to your shoulder blades and the tanner rubs onto the inside of your arms from your back. In the real sun, we don't get tan on the insides of our arms. (Done that more times than I care to mention.) And careful around your ankles. Mix lotion with your tanner for around ankles to avoid a darker shade.
2. Work your way up.
So keep applying your tanner upwards, adding some lotion to the tanner when you reach your knees. Knees typically have thicker skin, so excess tanner settles into the thicker skin and creates a darker shade than the rest of your body. The same goes for your elbows.
3. Bum/lower back/upper back.
Apply to these areas in this order.
4. Chest/stomach .
Apply here next.
Apply to arms the way the sun would normally tan your arms. Like I said before, we don't get tan on the insides of our arms, so you shouldn't apply self-tanner there either.
Apply a very light coating of tanner to your face. I mix lotion into the tanner here-more lotion than tanner so that I don't get fake-looking results. Careful of your hairline and eyebrows! Put some Vaseline around your hairline and over your brows to avoid getting any tanner on those areas.
7. Hands. (Finally!)
Take off your gloves and squeeze a dime size amount of lotion on the back of one hand. Add a bit of self-tanner to that lotion...a bit less than the lotion. Rub the backs of your hands together, working the tanner over the length of your fingers, but avoiding your nails.
And you are DONE! YAY! And you're "tan"! Wait about 15 minutes before dressing. And it's best to self-tan before bed. It gives the tanner time to sink into your skin and develop.
Below I've listed some self-tanners that I really love.
L'Oreal Sublime Bronze
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
Enjoy! And happy bronzing!