May 24, 2013

Self Tanning Survival Guide

If it's your first time jumping into self tanning, you might want to jump into this post first. I'll share with you my tips, tricks and favorite self tanning products.

Keep reading to find out more.
Top Tips:

1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.
You've probably heard this one a hundred times, but it really is the most important. In order to get an even, natural and long lasting tan, you'll need to remove the dry, dead skin. I like to double exfoliate, I'll take a sugar scrub or some type of body wash with small to medium sized beads on a loofa sponge or an exfoliating towel (which is amazing, I got mine from target for $3) The loofa is less harsh, good for those who have oiler, softer skin. The towel is perfect for someone like me who has dry skin. They also have exfoliating gloves as well. Mostly anything will work, just make sure you really scrub your arms, legs, feet and wrists.

2. Shave.
Make sure you shave before. If you want your legs to stay nice and golden for a week, take your time, use a shave gel and exfoliate again afterwards. The more you shave with your tan, the faster it fades.

3. Don't moisturize, yet.
If you moisturize the self tanner won't properly absorb into your skin, causing a streaky tan. If you're going into a booth (which I prefer for multiple reasons), they provide a special barrier cream to put on your ankles, palms, wrists, toes, knees and elbows. If you're doing an at home tan, take a light moisturizer and lightly apply on the same areas as the barrier cream would go. Blot off with a towel to make sure you'll still get color in the areas.

4. Have a friend help.
If you don't plan on going into a booth, have a sister, mom or whoever help you apply to your back and shoulders. Trust me, I've tried doing it all by myself, and I started to resemble a zebra. 

5. Don't shower, or sweat.
Wait at least 6-8 hours to shower so the tan can fully develop. I like to go around 6 or 7 on a night that I won't be doing anything. Don't do it the same night you'll be at a club, sweating will cause streaks and blotchiness.

6. Wear loose, dark clothing.
Once your finished tanning, put on some old sweats and a baggy t-shirt, lay on the couch and watch a movie. You'll probably smell like that nasty wet-dog-fake-tanning-smell that we all know of, another reason I do this on a chill night. Sometimes I even throw a hair mask on and paint my nails, makeshift spa night, anyone?

7. Now you can shower.
After at least 6 hours, jump in the shower, but don't use a loofa or washcloth. Use your hands to lather up your bod to help save the tan from being washed away. Instead of wiping your body with a towel afterwards, gently blot it. Otherwise you'll notice your towel got tanner than you did.

8. And moisturize, a lot.
After I shower I always throw on a rich body butter. Usually from Bath & Body Works, because they have delicious scents and awesome buy 3 get 3 deals.

Top Products:
1. Versa Spa.
I go to Tommy's Tanning here in Connecticut. It's $50 a month for unlimited spray tan, or $26 for one time. It's clean, quick and I always get an even, glowing tan if I follow the tips above. They have multiple levels: light, light with bronzer, medium, medium with bronzer, clear max, max with bronzer. I'm super light, like NC 15/20 light and I use the max with bronzer and come out looking golden (not orange) in 5 minutes. It has a certain ingredient that gradually gets darker (which is why you should wait to shower for 6-8 hours). Or you can get the level with the bronzer which has an instant cosmetic color as well as the graduating color. After I wake up in the morning, I'll look super dark (and slightly orange) but once I shower everything is even, glowing and an amazing natural looking olive complexion. 

2. Jergens.
If you're not into the spray booths and want a little pick me up, Jergens natural glow lotions are awesome gradual tanners. They take about a week to start seeing a difference, but it's natural with no orange undertones.

3. St. Tropez.
I'm sure you've all heard of this one. It's expensive, and probably the best instant self tanner you'll find in a bottle. You just need someone to help apply it to your back and shoulders, otherwise you might have the same zebra mistake I had. You'll also want to use the glove so you don't get super dark palms. They also have a whole line of prep and post tan products. Personally I'm more of a fan of the Versa Spa spray booth because it does all the work for you.

Those are my top tips for keeping your fake tan looking real. I hope this helped and if you have any of your own, leave them in the comments, I'd love to hear!



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