Hello, I’m a tanoholic. Of course, NOT the UV type (cuz any true beauty junkie knows how bad overexposure to UV rays is)…but more the self tanner type.
As a pasty white girl, my life circumstances have forced me to try it all: from tanning gloves to sprays to creams to wipes. After many disasters, streaks, orange eye brows and palms, I finally look respectable and can tell you everything you need to know on faking it yourself.
Before I begin, I have to start by giving you the UV lecture. As a beauty industry insider for over a decade now, I’ve seen so much evidence against sun exposure that as pasty as I am I’m very cautious about over exposing myself to the sun. UV rays are beneficial because they help with cell regeneration…but in MODERATION! You should be wearing SPF every day, not just when going to the beach or snow. 80% of the signs of aging come from…drum roll…UV RAYs! Pigmentation spots, wrinkles, do I need to scare you more? I once saw a study of two identical twins, one was exposed to excessive sun throughout her life and the other wasn’t. There was a HUGE difference in their perceived age.
And now another lecture on a topic that's so disgusting I don’t even want to mention it in my blog. The T-WORD. Tanning beds…EW! Please don’t do tanning beds, doing that to your skin is just so ghetto. Unless u dance around topless for a living and it can be considered your professional hazard, stay away from tanning beds. There are a lot of new claims like ‘uv free, blah blah blah BLAH’. Don’t do it, it’s really not worth it!
So, how to have that beautiful healthy glow of JLO and Kim without your private traveling spray tanning booth or damaging the health of your skin? Self tanners, of course!!! People often associate these with orange skin, nasty smells, streaks and other such disasters. It’s true; it can be that way if you don’t know what you are doing. But if you do (which you are about to find out) get ready for lots of compliments on your glowing complexion.
PREPARING YOUR SKIN:
Preparing your skin is key which most people don’t know. Prior to applying a self tanner you must exfoliate. Why? The outermost layer of you skin is composed of dead skin cells, the ones that have been dead the longest outside and the newly dead ones more on the inside. Self tanners work by coloring these dead skin cells. You want to shed off all the skin cells that have been dead for a while and let the tanner develop the color on the newest layer of dead skin cells. This ensures your tan lasts longer, and is uniform! Even when you have a developed tan already and want to maintain, it’s important to keep exfoliating and re applying, not just re applying. You will end up looking quite patchy…One MIRACLE secret that I discovered a few years ago is the Renaissance exfoliating glove. It’s sold exclusively at salons, or you can buy it from their web site: YOU MUSSST GET IT!!!
I pretty much can’t live without it…it does such an insane job at exfoliating! It leaves the skin so smooth and soft and always gives me the most beautiful self tans after. Even if you are not self tanning, exfoliation is very important for clear skin as it ensures that all dead skin cells and dirt are removed instead of clogging your pores.
Keeping your skin moisturized is also important-it will prevent cracks in the tan. I've recently gotten into Argan oil (more on that later) due to all the magic it does for your skin hair and nails. I like to go to small organic stores and shop organic Argan oil moisturizers.
And now for the scariest part. Applying the self tanner. First, the products. Like I said, I tried almost everything and I’ve been testing for the past 10 years or so. By far by far by far the best self tanning products hands down are from a brand made in Monaco called LANCASTER. Wow. I’ve gotten nothing but compliments since I started using them. They actually specialize in tanning (real and fake)
I use two products. For body the Gradual Hydrating Bronze Lotion SPF6, and for my face the Ultra Natural Bronze Care SPF6. I prefer to go with ‘gradual’ tanners rather than the ones that promise a deep glow in 2 hrs…it’s much safer this way! A gradual tan will show almost invisible streaks or areas you missed which you can correct the next time you apply. Also because they are not as powerful, you won’t have orange palms, etc. And finally, you won’t STINK! In Canada, Lancaster retails in special Shoppers Drug Mart stores…but very exclusive distribution. I load up on it each time I travel to Europe and almost always risk missing my flights as I’m clearing the Lancaster shelves at the Duty Free. I’m a true Lancaster junkie.
I get a pretty nice glow after just several applications, and if I keep exfoliating, moisturizing and re applying I maintain a really nice bronze glow.
I apply after each shower, morning and night, but once you get your tan u can just do once a day.
Here are some application tips to help you avoid disasteres:
1. Always wash hands immediately after with soap and warm water. Especially in between our fingers! Also be careful not to leave any deposited on your cuticles, if you have dry cuticles like me it will color them orange!
2. Make sure product doesn’t build up around your eye brows or hair line it will make these areas orange! Either avoid or blend very well.
3. Be careful around elbows, knees and ankles, apply product sparingly and blend (don’t leave them out!) and blend especially well. These areas tend to turn yellow.
4. Be careful with getting splashed with water immediately after application. I once washed my hands and water trickled down my wrist to my elbow…and soon enough I had a white line (water will take the newly applied product away).
5. Lots of people ask me if using self tanners causes me to break out. It doesn’t cause me to break out, but it can be hard for those that have oily skin, it causes you to oil up more than usual. It’s very important that you use the appropriate cleanser and mattifying day cream to avoid breaking out.
6. Waxing, along with hair, removes the outermost layer of your dead skin cells. Make sure you dont self tan right after waxing or wax right after tanning!
So there u have it! Why bake when u can fake!!!