My guide to a flawless self-tan application
Including all of those annoying, awkward to tan areas such as your feet, face and hands
If you’re new to the DIY faux glow, summer is coming- so it's the perfect time to give it a try.
I like to use my fav tanning product:
Brown Suga Extreme Mousse because it
gives a rich, bronzed tan in an easy-to-apply foam. The Extreme Mousse gives you instant color, making it a breeze to apply, knowing where you have and have not applied it. The super-light formula is quick to dry and the golden glow lasts a good five to six days.
My Essential Self-Tan Prep
First things first. You need to remove your body/leg hair. Do this the day before, as waxing or shaving after you've tanned is counterproductive. (Duh!) My routine is usually waxing my legs, underarms, and if I'm feeling really fancy my arms and knuckles. I know, I'm weird...but that's a topic for another day. But believe me, this Cajun girl needs the WAXING!
If you choose the shaving route, you'll need to further exfoliate. I often feel that waxing my entire body is usually enough exfoliation- but hey, your call. You'll want to use a non-abrasive exfoliant (just after shaving, or 24 hours post waxing). I recommend exfoliating with a homemade concoction of brown sugar and a TINY bit of coconut or olive oil. It removes the build-up of old tans and moisturizes to leave a squeaky-clean base for your tan to cling evenly to and helps to avoid streaks or blotchiness. Just make sure that you remove all oils from this scrub in the bath or shower.
On the day of your tan application, don’t moisturize your entire body as it will act as a barrier for your self-tan absorption. You do however want to moisturize the drier areas of your skin directly before mousse application. (Like, literally, right before) These areas include your hands, elbows, knees, and feet (especially your heels) as well as any other dry patches. The moisturizer is doing double duty for you here because it acts as a barrier, and is a blender so it will keep you from looking like you have a "fake tan".
My Step-by-step self-tan application
Use a tanning mitt!! I can't stress this enough- tanning mitts are the greatest invention of all time. well, they may be second to White Claw, but you get the idea. So, put that handy dandy mitt on your hand and squirt a few pumps of the tanning foam into the middle of your hand. I like to apply the foam starting with my arms in long lengthy motions each with equal pressure to ensure an even application. Making sure that I get my elbows and the backs of my arms, too. Next, I apply to my chest and décolleté area in circular motions following the curves of my body.
When applying the tanning foam to your bum, sides and tummy area, work with the natural contours of your body. Side note: Just make sure that the product has covered every area of your body that you want to be tan.
Once your legs are perfectly tanned take a little more moisturizer and rub it all over the tops and sides of your feet, blending with the residual mousse from your mitt. This will give you a much more natural, blended look.
For the hard to reach areas of your back I recommend investing in an inexpensive lotion applicator, it'll save you A LOT of frustration. View one here.
For your hands, alternate the hand not wearing the tanning mitt, start by making a claw, use the residual product on your mitt, and lightly buff it over each.
I am inclined to believe that MORE IS MORE at least in regards to my sunless tan, which is why I typically apply two coats on my body, but I stick to just one for my face. Pro Tip: Remember that a faux glow should mimic what it looks like when you have a real tan & think about where the sun would naturally bronze your skin and even more importantly where it wouldn’t.
Accidents Happen! If you need to fix a faux pas add micellar water to a baby wipe to remove any excess product. When you're ready to wash the guide color off, avoid too hot of a shower or bath. When you get out and dry-off, gently pat. Don't Rub your skin dry to avoid messing up the flawless finish you worked so hard to get!
Remember to hydrate your tan with a non-oil based lotion to keep it healthy & nourished. Also, this may sound strange- but hydration is the key to a great tan, so keep up that 10 glasses of water a day habit! Repeat daily to ensure an even fade too.
Towards the end of your tan's life If any part of your body gets streaky, don't panic. Run yourself a nice hot bath and add oil, which will help soften your tan and make it easier to buff those streaks away.
Ready to completely take your tan off?
I have two tried & true methods to fade your tan away.
First one: mix approximately five tablespoons each of baking soda and water & mix to create a paste. Leave the paste anywhere your tan is splotchy for a few minutes and then rinse off.
Second one: mix your favorite body scrub with a small amount of baby oil and repeat this a couple of times for an even all-over fade.