This updated self tanner post has been a couple YEARS in the making! My original post is my second most read post of all time on this blog, so it was time to update you with a fresher perspective, new techniques, and different products! Let’s start with the before and after, and then I’ll go over my step by step self tanning routine, as well as my favorite self tanners. Are you ready?!
Okay, so the pictures above are unedited and in natural light, so you can see the difference a little more clearly. I would say that in person I am a little darker than the after picture shows and a little paler than the before picture shows (go figure), but it is pretty close! On this day I applied my favorite self tanner around 10am, and then rinsed off the bronzer around 5pm. I use the express version that can give you color in 2-4 hours, but I leave mine on for awhile because I am not in a rush. BUT, it can develop a great tan if your are in a hurry!
Step 1: Before I do any self tanning, I hop in the shower and exfoliate really good, especially around my ankles, elbows, knees, etc. I currently have this exfoliate in my shower, and use a reguar puff as I don’t have a loofah right now! I also shave at this time.
Step 2: When I get out of the shower I dry off really well (I’ll often air dry for a minute or two as well.) If I washed my hair I’ll comb it out and then put it up in a turbie twist type towel. I then make sure my hands are completely dry and clean, I apply this face tanner to my face and neck first. Immediately after that I wash my hands.
Step 3: Now that I have my face tanner on, I use a little bit of lotion to coat the very bottoms of my feet and heels, and my toes, and also my fingers (not my hands.) I only apply lotion on the parts I don’t want tanned, so I go lightly here. I then wash my hands again. By now my body is completely dry and I can apply tanner to my body.
Step 4: Using this mitt (this is the KEY to a streak free application!), I put two pumps of foam on the mit and rub it in from ankles to knees on one leg, then knees to hips. I repeat this on the other leg. With what is leftover on the mitt, I rub tanner onto my feet and ankles, making really sure I buff it in and get in all the weird areas (behind ankle bones, etc.) I do my toes last. I then put a pump or two more of tanner on my entire leg each time and just concentrate on rubbing it in really thoroughly. This tanner goes on with a bronzer, so you can see where you are applying it, and it dries fast!
Step 5: I then apply a pump or two and do my backside, my stomach, and my lower back. Really rub it into your belly button or it will look dirty;) The another pump of tanner for my breast area, and as far up as I can reach on my back.
Step 5: I use two pumps of tanner and apply it to half of my chest, then my shoulder and top of arm. I lift my arm up and do the underside and into my armpit/side area. I repear the process on my other side of chest and arm. I reach as far back as I can on my back from the neck down.
Step 6: At this point I just have my arms from the elbow down to do. I take the time to wash my hands again, then apply lotion to my fingers from the top knuckle down to my hand. I then use 1 pump of tanner and do my arms from the elbow down, and repeat on the other arm. I make sure I use the mitt to keep buffing the tanner in all along my arms and into my wrist area. Finally, with what is left on the mitt, I apply tanner to the tops of my hands and my fingers to my second knuckles. Be careful to smooth that on with the mitt and be stingy on the tanner around knuckles. The lotion you applied should safeguard you against having dark spots.
Step 7: That’s it! I’ll throw my mitt into the shower for me to clean later, and then air dry nude for about 5 minutes. When getting dressed make sure you choose darker, loose clothing. Anthing tight could leave a weird tan mark (this happened to me once with a pair of joggers!) I typically just wear a pair of sleepshorts and tank/sweatshirt. I also do this in the morning if I am home for the day, and then rinse of before dinner.
The whole process from getting out of the shower to getting dressed is maybe 20 minutes, and that’s with drying off, applying the tanner, and airdrying/getting dressed. The longer you do it the faster you will get. Occasiionally I will miss a spot or get a weird dark ankle from time to time, but this tanner is pretty fool proof in my opinion!
You can also apply this tanner at night before bed, then sleep on it and rinse off in the morning! That doesn’t always work out for my schedule, but it takes away the downtime of waiting for it to develop during the day.
This tanner does have that tanner smell as it develops, which really can’t be avoided. This tanner has a really nice initial smell as you apply it, and the color payoff is gorgeous, but it comes in a cream and doesn’t have a bronzer built it, so it isn’t as foolproff as St. Tropez. It also doesn’t last as long. I would recomend it, though, if you are an experienced self tanner! The color is gorgeous and it smells yummy.
I apply my body self tanner 1x/ week and my face tanner 2x/week. I love the way I look and feel with a little bit of color. Just make sure you exfoliate really well between applications! Every once in awhile I go two weeks to allow one color to completely fade and so I can exfoliate really well. If you self tan a lot you can get a “build up” of color in strange places, so it is worth doing.
That’s it! I hope this was helpful! Happy (self) tanning, friends!