I’ve all heard – or seen – self-tanner horror stories; the colour coming out horrible, stripes and streaks everywhere, or even reactions to the formula. Still, the best and quickest way to achieve a beautiful golden or bronze glow in the early days of spring, without resorting to sun-bed treatments, is self-tanner.
To help you sport “the glow” this season, we’ve put together a few simple tips to make sure you look more like coffee and cream than a tangerine.
Choose the right self-tanner
We’ve gone into detail before about how to choose the best self tanner, but here’s a quick recap: Firstly, take care when selecting the tone, so that it enhances your natural tones, rather than fighting them. Olive or green base tones will help you avoid the dreaded orange! Next, when choosing the formula, take into consideration your skin type (dry or oily), how quickly or slowly the formula develops, and how easy it is to apply evenly. Don’t forget to choose a formula that includes a stain, so that you can see where you have already applied it and where you have missed, you can find self tanners reviews at atbeauty.net.
Exfoliate, wax, shave and scrub
If you need to wax away your winter leg hairs, shave your underarms or otherwise depilate, do it first. Waxing, shaving and hair-removal creams will remove the surface layer of your skin and all your carefully applied self-tanner with it. For the same reason, give yourself a full-body, thorough exfoliation and scrub, to remove all the dead and dry skin cells. There are numerous products on the market that you can use to do this, but, in a pinch, a proper rub-down with soap and a wet washcloth will do the trick.
In fact, applying the self-tanner should be the final step in your ready-for-summer beauty splurge: get any facials, manicures, pedicures, hot-stone treatments, threading, hair coloring and eyebrow tinting done first, as any of these can affect the evenness and tone of your self-tan. Not only will you ensure a longer-lasting self-tan, but it will also help you to apply the lotion, gel or mousse more smoothly and evenly.
Take it slow
Firstly, apply in sections. That way, you will know what you’ve done and what still needs to be done. You can also achieve better blending this way – but more on that in a bit. Start with the legs and feet, so that you have covered the major part of your body – plus you can check the development of the color and, if clementine disaster strikes, you can wear long pants for a few weeks until the self-tan has faded!
Do any blending that needs to be done at your joints, especially the wrists, ankles and hips. This will help you avoid stripes in obvious areas where sections overlap. Also, dilute the lotion over the joints. This skin, especially at the knees and elbows, is not only thinner, but drier as well, so the color will be deeper. Dilution helps you avoid dark-brown knees on an otherwise perfectly bronzed leg.
Wash your hands between each section, to avoid having dark-brown palms and muddy-looking fingers. If you can work with latex gloves easily, use them – but if you are not used to them, rather avoid them.
Allow each section to dry thoroughly before moving on. This way, you won’t accidentally transfer lotion to the bathroom walls as you bend, turn and twist to reach everywhere. Again, you will also have a good idea if the color is developing evenly all over.
Rope in a friend, if need be. You can help each other apply in those hard-to-reach spots, like the back. It also helps to have someone spot-check you for color overlaps and tone.
Maintain the glow
To keep your golden glow beautiful for as long as possible, remember to apply sunscreen daily. It will help maintain the even tone. Also, when showering or bathing, make sure you wash evenly to ensure even fading, and don’t exfoliate excessively, as this will strip the gorgeous glow.
Good luck with your adventures in self-tanning. We’re looking forward to seeing you out on the town, sporting your beautiful bronze!