Ah, summer. We meet again. Anyone who knows me knows that summer is my least favorite season. Not because I’m self-conscious in a swimsuit or because my thighs chafe when I walk more than a short distance (although MegaBabe has fixed this problem – THANK YOU, KATIE STURINO). But because I hate heat. If I have to choose between shivering or sweating, give me Antarctica every time! But I digress.
Despite my lack of summer love, I try to embrace the warm-weather fashion because, well, it’s cute! I love sun dresses and straw hats as much as the next person. And like most of the girls/women I know, I always feel more confident when I’m tan! I don’t know what it is about a nice golden glow that boosts my confidence, but I’ll take it!
The world has come to their senses in the past few years, though, and realized that tanning beds and/or spending hours in the sun while lathered in tanning oil is NOT the way to go. Skin cancer is all too real and I’m just not willing to risk it! Enter: our hero – self tanners!
What I’ve figured out, however, is that not all self tanners are made equal. For years, they’ve gotten a bad rap for making you “look like a Dorito” or have horrible, obvious streaks/lines. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are some truly incredible products out there that, in my opinion, often look even better than a real tan. And I’m here to be your guide! These are some of my self-tanning tips to keep you glowing all summer long.
I’ve tried several self-tanners over the years, from drug store to high end, and I’ve found a couple that I love! I think St. Tropez gives the most bang for your buck, but Loving Tan is another one of my favorites. If you need something cheap and quick and don’t mind a stronger smell, St. Moriz is a good budget option! I’ve tried lotions, but mousse really seems to give the best, most natural glow. For face upkeep (hello, taking off makeup every night does not keep a tan very well), I love this face mist! The mist is so fine that there’s no splotchiness – LOVE!
In order for your tan to go on well and last long, you’ve gotta prepare your skin first! Make sure to moisturize plenty for at least a day or two before you’re going to be applying the tanner. I recommend exfoliating thoroughly and shaving that morning, then applying an hour or so before bed. Then your tan will set overnight! Lots of exfoliating scrubs and body washes leave residue on your skin that will prevent the tan from setting as well as it can. I use this exfoliating mitt to prevent that from happening!
I would highly, highly recommend using a mitt when applying your tanner! It goes on so smoothly and streak free, plus keeps your hands from turning a not-so-appealing shade of brown. 😉 This is my favorite one – I’ve been using it for a couple of years now! While applying, I start with my legs first. I squirt a couple of dollops of mousse onto the mitt, then apply in circular motions, constantly blending and making sure there are no harsh lines.
You want to be careful around your ankles and feet; go lighter in these areas, or they’ll look wayyy too splotchy/dark once the tanner has had time to set. If you don’t have anyone to help you with the hard to reach places (aka between your shoulder blades/your mid back), you might want to invest in one of these!
I always save my arms for last, because I don’t want to bend my elbows a lot and crease my arm while the tanner is still drying! I’ll do each arm, then go over the bend of my elbow again just for good measure. While you can tan your hands, I’ve found that it takes a lot of practice to get it right. In my opinion, it’s easier just to do the back of your hands lightly and not even mess with your fingers/knuckles. But be as adventurous as you like! A lot of self-tanning is just trial and error anyway, let’s be real.
In order to make your tan last the longest and fade evenly, I have one word for you: MOISTURIZE. I cannot stress this enough. It seriously makes all the difference! This stuff is the holy grail of tan-enhancing moisturizers. However, the price is a little hard for me to swallow. I stumbled upon some at TJ Maxx by the checkout for only $4.99, so I figured, “Why not?” But then I FELL IN LOVE and could never find it again for that price!! So I did some digging and found my second favorite, for a much better price.
I also exfoliate once a week or so, to help my tan stay even/fade more evenly.
I hope you found some helpful information in here to aid in your quest for perfect glowing skin! As always, feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them! Now, go put on your favorite summer playlist and get to tannin’!! 😉