LET’S TALK FAUX TANS…. one subject I am a certified expert at. My obsession with being tan AF started when I was 13, just starting 7th great, & I noticed all the cool girls had a pale playboy sticker peeking out of their low rise jeans. Pretty much that day I spent my entire paycheck from the donut shop on a monthly tanning membership, got my own pale heart tattoo (my Mom would have NEVER allowed a playboy sticker!!), & was the mf queen of the double dip (tanning bed + spray tan combo).
During this time of my life I was consistently a nice shade of orange. Looking back, WTF WAS I THINKING? This was not a good look.
Over the years, sunless tanning has evolved & *praise be* my tanning methods have evolved as well. I spend VERY minimal time in the actual sun & beds are obviously a hard NO… sunless tanning really is the only way & with all my years of perfecting the craft of the perfect faux tan- I’ve got some tips to share!!!
When it comes to a faux tan, I’ve got 3 go-to’s: a custom airbrush tan, the booth, & of course- my go-to DIY at home self tanning routine. LET’S BREAK IT DOWN…
1. Custom Airbrush
I LOVE A CUSTOM TAN. If I have an important event (i.e. if I am a bridesmaid in a wedding or for my future wedding), I get a custom tan. I go to a place called Blush Tan in San Diego as they offer organic custom airbrush tans that are actually FLAWLESS. This type of tan is a tad more pricey, but it is the best of the best. With a custom airbrush tan they really spray you based on how the sun would actually hit AND they can even give you a contour to make it look like you have abs which is AMAZING. When it comes to spray tanning, custom airbrush is the most natural looking option.
2. The Spray Tan Booth
The good old SPRAY TAN BOOTH. This one has evolved a lot over the years- back in the day I was 100% tanorexic & as orange as a carrot with all the spray tanning I was doing. This is NO LONGER a problem I have with booths! A booth spray tan is my go-to option when I am leaving on a trip or have an event & I am a pinch to get some good color. They are quick, easy, & get you DARK quick with little error.
I go to a place called iTan (they are all over the place) & I get a mystic tan (also at any spray tan salon). They have an option to get a clear tan that develops within hours or to get color which is instant & continues to developer overtime- for me I like instant gratification so I go with the instant tan. I make sure to tell them I want to be dark, ZERO orange, & I want it to last. They then customize from there with different boosters & color choices. I have never once been disappointed. I got a spray tan before Miami & as you can see from the pictures above, it turned out GREAT.
3. DIY Self Tanning at home
This is my weekly go-to & how I maintain my tan on the reg. If I have a blog shoot the next day or a party, I always do it myself. People seem so scared of DIY tanning, but I find it to be pretty fool proof & straight forward. I will share some tips below- but for the main part, it’s all about the product you use. Right now my product of choice is St. Moriz self tanning mousse in DARK (always dark for me!). I feel like this one gets me the level of dark I desire, has zero orange, & the mousse is just easiest to apply. Make sure you have a tanning mitt for this stuff as well- you don’t want tan palms!!!
If I need something REALLY quickly (i.e. a quick leg tan or face bronze) I use the Glow Skincare instant airbrush self tanner. It’s paraben free, vegan, & give me a quick streak free glow when I am on the go. If I am walking out the door & notice my legs are looking pasty, a few sprays & I am good to go.
HOW LONG BEFORE AN EVENT SHOULD YOU TAN
If I have an event, I always spray tan the night before & shower in the morning. At most two nights before… but anymore than that & you could get to that weird place where you start to fade in some spots & then it just looks weird. That being said, don’t get tanned the morning before an event or you might not be as dark as you want. Give it atleast a nights sleep to get to it’s full color potential.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU TAN
Before you tan, whether you do it yourself or go somewhere to get it done- exfoliate to get off any dead skin with a really good body scrub (this is my favorite) AND moisturize to hydrate any dry spots to ensure your tan goes on smoothly! If you need a mani/pedi- make sure you get this done BEFORE you tan & ALWAYS shave before you tan, doing any of these three things after you tan will remove it!!!
IF YOU’RE TANNING YOURSELF
Always start from the bottom up!!! Tan your legs first & work your way up- bending over will cause weird creases in your tan. When it comes to your backside either have a friend help (Zack does my butt & back every time LOL) or you can get one of a tanning wand to reach those hard to get to areas.