2019-05-02 10:46:02

It’s finally that time, and every year it seems to come too fast – when we finally realize our winter pale skin wants to be shown off in cute dresses and shorts. Sometimes the solution to feeling more confident about this is to self-tan, and recently I have been fangirling over a new brand of self-tanner on myself. The important thing to remember is that self-tanning can go south rather quickly if you don’t prepare well or follow through with the correct application. You want to achieve that sun-kissed look from the comfort of your bedroom without looking like a Cheeto (unless that’s the look you like then all the power to you girl)! Self-tanning can be pretty daunting if it’s your first time, but here are some do’s and don’ts that will make you a pro in no time.

1. Exfoliating

Self-tanner will naturally cling to dryer areas on your skin more so than the rest and will appear darker in these areas. To avoid this, gently exfoliate your body, keeping it clear of moisturizer as well. Although it’s just as important to moisturize to avoid these dry areas, do not apply it right before the tanning solution, to ensure smooth overall coverage. There are many ways you can do this, all depending on what is more convenient for you. You can exfoliate using a damp washcloth, a dry brush or a scrub. Just make sure your skin is dry and clean before application!

2. Be Cautious of Ankles, Elbows, Hands, Armpits and Neck

These areas are a little more tricky when it comes to knowing where you should start and stop based on our skin’s natural folds and wrinkles. Blending is KEY and applying a small amount to these areas while blending thoroughly will prevent dark areas and random splotches. Be mindful of how much you apply between your toes and fingers. There are specific self-tanners for your face, so when applying it to your neck, be cautious of blending it into your jawline and underneath your hairline to create the smoothest line possible. It’s normal for your face to be slightly lighter than the rest of your body but that’s what makeup and tinted moisturizers can help with! (Also, if you can’t fully reach the middle of your back, grab your bestie to do it for you)! 

3. Use a mitt!

I think we have all made the mistake of applying some sort of self-tanner with our bare hands, and the aftermath, again, looks like our hands were deep in a Cheetos bag. The type of cloth of the mitts vary, as some are softer and more velvety than others – I tend to find these ones more effective and make blending a breeze. My favorite so far is from Bondi Sands, but you can also buy mitts at Ulta which are very affordable. The goal is a streak-free tan and protecting those hands from residue. 

4. The Drying + Washing Process​

This is the part that always makes me never want to self-tan again, but good things come to those who wait. When I am finished applying my self-tanner, I put on a velcro towel wrap to lounge in for the next 4-6 hours. I usually will try to get some work done during this time, so I lay a blanket down on top of my comforter to lay on to prevent any accidental stains. After this time, make sure you step into the shower before heading out the door! The surface of the tan will wash off but it will assist in developing over the next few hours into your natural, desired color. 

5.  ​The Final Product + My Go-To

Once you’re done showering, proceed to moisturize and wait for the magic to happen. I always look forward to waking up in the morning after a good self-tan, feeling a little more prepared and happy for the incoming warm weather. Your first time won’t be perfect – it’s a right of passage to go through bad self-tans before finding what works for you and your skin tone. I just recently tried Bondi Sands self-tanner, and I have never had such a great outcome of the perfect brown, bronzy tan that was also smooth and streak free – plus, compared to other self-tanners, it’s affordable for the amount of product that you receive. We all deserve a little pampering such as self-tanning to make us feel a little closer to summer, on the inside and out. 

Here’s to warmer weather and successful self-tanning!

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