*I shared this post originally over at FashionUtah.com where I love to be a beauty contributor!- click over to get great updates and all things fashion, happening in Utah.
Everyone knows a little color on your skin makes a world of difference for how you look and feel (and photograph!) But getting a great faux tan can be intimidating if you're a newbie or you've had bad experiences in the past. But you can get a gorgeous glow with a few extra precautions and by using the right products. Here are my step by step directions just in time for swim suit season- gulp!
My Recommended Tanners:
Mousse- St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
Lotion- Sun Labs Overnight Tan (medium)
Spray- Infinity Sun Glow on the Go
1- EXFOLIATE AND SHAVE
Hop in the shower and give yourself a clean slate by shaving your legs and exfoliating skin. I use a buffing cloth, but you can use a loofah or sponge if that is your preference. Focus on dry areas like elbows, knees, heels and the tops of your toes.
Use a body butter or lotion on those same dry spots. This will keep those areas from absorbing too much tanning solution. In addition apply to your hands/wrists and the bottoms of your feet and heels which don't need to be tanned. Leave everywhere else un-lotioned so your skin will absorb the solution.
3-APPLY TAN IN SMALL SECTIONS AT A TIME
I prefer to use a tanning mitt to apply my tanning solution, but you can use your hands if you feel it gives you more control. Put a few pumps in to your hand and then apply to the center of your leg (on the shin bone) first in an upward motion. Then working quickly spread the lotion outward and upward in circular motions until you've covered the whole lower portion of your leg. Products with a built-in bronzer are easier to apply without streaks because you can see where its been applied. Move on to the next section working upward and follow the same steps. Standing in front of a mirror is essential to avoid missed spots or dark spots- keep checking as you apply. Don't forget the inside of your belly button, and avoid your underarms.
4-USE A BACK BUDDY
For the center of your back where you cannot reach you are going to need assistance. A friend works great- but I prefer to tan alone :) So use an old T-shirt or towel and designate it your tanning buddy. Cut it into a long strip a few inches wide and long enough to wrap around your body easily. Apply a few dollops to the center of the strip and then place the strip behind your back hold either end at your sides. Shimmy the towel back and forth to apply the tanning solution to your back (much like when you are drying yourself off after the shower) Double check in the mirror for missed spots.
5-FINISH WITH YOUR FACE
When it comes to your face remember less is more, so be frugal with the solution and blend carefully. Use a small dollop of solution and apply a dab on the forehead, each cheek, and chin. Place the dab near the perimeter of your face and then work inward to blend. Avoid adding color on your upper lip and between your eyebrows to avoid looking too pigmented- it's a dead giveaway if your face is literally the same shade everywhere. Remember that the contours of your face naturally leave lighter areas when your out in the sun. Next add a touch to your neck in the center and blend outward, and then connect the color to your chest.
Step back in front of your mirror and give yourself a good once-over. If you catch any dark spots you can blend with additional solution or your body lotion to disperse the spots. Don't ever try and wash off spots with water this will only cause more spots and streaking.
Wash your hands thoroughly especially at wrists and knuckles, but be sure you keep your hands facing down in the sink so that water drips don't run down your arms. You can even use a little baking soda to guarantee the solution is removed. Lastly, apply another coat of your body lotion to your hands and blend at your wrists so there is a seamless transition from the color at your arms to your hands.
Wait at least six hours to shower, exercise, or get wet. And you may want to avoid wearing white clothes until after you've showered the bronzer off. Keep your skin moisturized often to help the color last longer and reapply as necessary, usually about every 4 days depending on how often you shower.
As always, thanks for reading and sharing!
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