Video: Get Bronzed the Healthy Way


Tips for Getting a Great Sunless Tan for Your Face

When I self-tan my face, I make sure to contour where I can. Contouring is a great way to give your face extra definition, make it seem thinner, or make something that you don’t like appear less noticeable. It also helps create a natural glow. If you apply the self tanner in one even layer, it can make your skin look flat and dull… even dirty if you over do it! Applying it with a contour looks healthier and more realistic. Remember to start light and build your bronze. It’s always easier to add more contour than to take it away.

I highly recommend that you check out this video tutorial or this quickie cheat sheet from Cara of the MaskCara blog. She explains contouring really well and gives some great step by step pointers. I’ve also pinned her contouring tips to my Pinterest page on my Beautify board, along with a few others, so follow me there to get easy access.

Make sure you start with freshly exfoliated skin. The tan will develop in the uppermost layers of the skin so you want to work on the freshest layers possible. You don’t want to use anything irritating or deeply exfoliating. A gentle peel the night before, or a glycolic wash before applying is perfect. I also sometimes like to apply a super light oil free moisturizer or Body Drench Body Quench Quick Tan airbrush tanninghydrating serum. It gives you a bit of a buffer zone.

Spray in wide circles, aiming for the outside perimeter of the face. Make sure to hit the neck. The aerosol self-tanner I love is Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self Tanner Spray. Don’t be scared. Aerosols are so easy to use.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self TanningUsing a compact but soft brush, apply small amounts of the self tanner (gels work best in this case) as you would contour your face… under the cheek bones, one the neck, under the chin, and around the sides of the forehead. The Sun Gelee I used for the contouring is from Spray di Sole and I love it. Another to try is Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning. It’s not tinted, but it’s easy to work with a gives a nice color.

Make sure to layer. Less is more. Don’t be an oompa-loompa. Keep in mind that the tan will develop after several hours. Don’t get wet in that amount of time. Check out my before and after shot to get an idea of how much my color developed after I finished filming the tutorial.

After the video and the next day
After the video and the next day


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Faux Glow Like A Pro

I admit it. I love being tan. I am naturally very fair complected, but something about a bronzed glow draws me in like a moth to a flame. So I understand completely when my clients tell me that they want a beach glow as well. But since I am adamantly against unsafe tanning, how do I balance my desire for that just-off-the-beach look and still take the best care of my skin?

Self tanning products are good alternatives to sun tans. My answer is the faux glow. I use self-tanners religiously. I know that everyone has been scared by a story of a horribly streaky, Oompa-Loompa-like self-tan. This is a time when proper application and good product make all the difference. So here are my favorite tips for getting the perfect self-tan at home.

  • Start with good product. My favorite products are aerosol sprays. Next on the list are mousse tans. I prefer to have a bronzer in the product; it makes it easier to see where you are applying it. Look for products with a brown tint to them. The tint is cosmetic and will wash off, but you’ll ensure an even application.
  • Get a total body exfoliation. Use a natural fiber loofah or an oil-free body scrub. Focus on thicker, drier areas like elbows and knees and scrub away. You want to reveal the freshest, healthiest skin to get the longest results.
  • Apply the product evenly. This step is not hard but it does take practice. If I’m using an aerosol spray, I start near my ankle (not the foot!) and work quickly in circular motions around the leg, moving progressively up. I do not spray my feet! For the arms, I begin at the wrist and, using the same circular motion, working around the arm and in towards my torso. For the back, I spray right over my shoulder. Pay special attention to the triceps, tops of the shoulders, sides, and the inner thighs, as they are easy to miss. I use the same application pattern if I’m using a lotion or a mousse. Make sure to wear gloves in this case. To apply to my feet, I just wipe what’s left on my hand down my foot towards my toes. Your feet will grab more color, so the application needs to be very light.
  • Dry thoroughly before getting dressed. Make sure that you wear loose-fitting clothing. Try not to sweat. Don’t wash dishes. Any droplet of water can cause streaking.
  • Using a loofah, gently wash off the cosmetic tint. I like to do my self-tanning before bed and let it develop while I sleep. The next morning, I gently buff off the bronzer, paying special attention to the knees and elbows, where sometimes the tan is darker than I’d like. You can’t make many corrections now, but exfoliation will lighten the tan if you need to.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. The tan develops in the very upper layer of the skin, so keeping this area well moisturized will extend the life of your tan.
  • Use a gradual tanning lotion to maintain your results. These lotions have a lower concentration of DHA, the tanning ingredient, so they are great at building or maintaining your color. I like to start this process about day 3 after my tan, depending on how dark it is.
  • Practice makes perfect. Post-tan, I take note of spots I miss, and I remind myself to hit them next time. A gradual tanner can help to camouflage areas that you may not have gotten just right on this application.

After years of trying to overcome my natural fair color, I have self-tanning down to a science. I have found that self-tanning gets me safe, golden results faster than I can ever accomplish with real sun, minus the risk of skin cancer.



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