Living in California you’re expected to be tanned year-round. When you have a full-time job, spending multiple days a week at the beach or pool lathered in oil and sporting you best Celine sunglasses just isn’t practical, or even possible. I’ve used more self-tanners than I can remember. From a strange smell that permeates the entire room, to brown knees, elbows and even a dark handprint across my thigh I’ve experienced the worst of the worst. After many years of perfecting the technique I think I have it down, and the right products to go with it.
1) Kiehls Sun Free Self-Tanning Formula- this has been my go to face tanner for years. It’s perfect for the sensitive skin on your face and is extremely thin- no thick or heavy cream. My trick is I mix it half and half with my daily face moisturizer and then after rubbing it completely in I wipe off (with warm water) my eyebrows, around my hairline and the area around my lips. You only use so little of this product that I barely notice any smell.
2) Kate Somerville Somerville 160 Tan Towel- This is my current favourite fake tanning product. They are little towelettes that you wipe over your whole body when you get out of the shower. They say to do it on dry skin, but I always put lotion on my knees, elbows and feet before applying because those are the areas of thicker skin where it’s really easy for tanner to get streaky. After using the tan towel, I apply lotion over my whole body to really help blend it all in. You might not get as dark using the lotion, but you won’t get streaky- which to me is much more important.
3) Toma’s Total Tan Lotion- This is one of those weird products in strange packaging that I found at a random beauty supply in East Hollywood. I tried it out of desperation (and a really low budget) and have been using in for about 5 years now. I mix it 1/3 tanner with 2/3 lotion and make sure to blend it extremely well. The cream is dark brown, almost black, so it’s easy to see where you’ve put too much. The best thing about this product- it’s to date the self-tanner with the least amount of after smell I’ve found.
4) Lorac Tantalizer Body Bronzer- This isn’t a fake tanner like the rest, it’s just a bronzing cream that comes off after one rinse. It makes your skin look not only multiple shades darker, but sparkling and perfect like photoshop. It’s really an amazing product besides the fact that it easily can rub off on your clothes. If you’re wearing white forget it… but my trick is if I’m wearing a dress I put it on my legs and arms very carefully after I have the dress on so that the dress doesn’t rub across my skin when I’m putting it on. I’ll sit on the bathroom floor, lift the dress up to my waste and slowly put in on each leg. Give it about 3 or 4 minutes to dry and then put my dress back down. Don’t do this one in a rush- you’ll regret it.
5) Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – It’s not in the picture because I just ran out of it and haven’t had a chance to run to the store to get a new one, but I use this product every day. It’s an extremely subtle fake tanner (it’s more so a moisturizer) but if you use it every day you will begin to notice darker skin over the course of a week or so. It just helps keep a mild faux base tan.
Good luck and go get your tan on (the safe and damage-free way of course!)