Friday, November 12, 2010

Fabulous Friday: The trick to sunless tanner

If the title of this post makes you want to run away screaming, than chances are you had a bad experience with sunless tanner. For me, it was the first time I ever used sunless tanner. I was in high school and a friend and I decided to try it, only we didn't read all the directions carefully and I ended up with orange hands for a whole week.

Most likely I never would had tried it again after that, but a couple years after Josh and I got married we lived in a little apartment in Wyoming and I became friends with the girl who lived directly above us. She was, in my opinion, an expert on everything relating to beauty. Sometimes, when I was feeling completely overwhelmed in my role as a mom, she would come down and just hang out with me and sometimes she would come fix my hair and teach me new ways to style it. It was from her that I learned everything I know about sunless tanner. And ever since that time it has been one of my beauty staples.

I use it the most during the winter, but for women with extremely fair skin, it can be great year round.

Before I tell you how to apply it, I guess we better quickly run over the different types. I've used several different brands, but the one I'm currently using is this one from L'oreal. I like it because it has instant bronzer in it and on Sunday mornings when I put on a skirt and realize my legs are pasty white, I can rub it on quickly and have some instant color.

There are types without the instant bronzer, which just means it takes a couple hours to see any color. And then there are some that are combined with lotion that take several days of repeated use for the full color to develope. The lotion kind is really popular because it replicates how a real tan would develope gradually over several days of sun exposure. The reason I don't buy that kind, is because if I do want a more subtle look, I can mix a little tanner with a little bit of lotion and it's the same thing.

OK, on to the how to. First, you'll want to exfoliate your skin to ensure even coverage. You can buy expensive exfoliating products or simply make your own. I make my own because it is much cheaper. I posted this recipe last year for a peppermint scrub, but you can also add a few drops of orange oil and a few drops of lemon oil (lemon extract works too) and it's a citrus scrub. Make sure your skin is completely dry and then your ready to start.

If your applying it to your legs, simply rub it all over your legs like you would lotion, just avoid rubbing it on your knees and ankles until most of the tanner has been rubbed in. Continue to smooth it in until dry. Then, take a dry cloth and gently buff your knees and around your ankles. Otherwise they will be darker than the rest of your legs. Let it dry for about five minutes before putting on any clothes

When it comes to your face, if your still a little timid about this whole thing, it might be wise to start out with a diluted solution (lotion/tanner mix) just to ease into it. Which ever you decide to use, simply smooth it over your face and neck (you don't want a tan face and white neck) and rub, rub, rub, it in. Don't forget the back of your neck too. Then, blend it down onto your chest.

Once its all rubbed in take a clean dry cloth and run through your eyebrows.

Next, wipe through your hairline.

I don't usually apply it to my arms, just because I don't care if they have that sun kissed glow, but if you do, just make sure and wipe your elbows with your dry cloth.
OK, just to reassure you that you won't be looking like an oompa loompa. Here is my face before.
And now with a little tan.

You would probably be safe to put on your makeup after about five minutes, but I usually wait about ten. Why, I don't know, I just do. And that's it. It really is easy. Just DON'T FORGET to wash your hands as soon as your done!

I'm hoping that if any of you have had a bad experience, you'll be brave enough to try it again. I am really curious though, did any one else have orange hands in high school?


Jenn said...

I'm excited to give it a try. Thanks for the tips!

Tiffany said...

I just started using a sunless tanner on my face instead of bronzer or foundation, and I LOVE the way it works!! It doesn't rub off on clothes or children,and gives me the same 'glow'

Thanks for the great information!

Telisha said...

I didn't have orange hands, but the first time I used it in high school, the top of my feet were very orange, and I had streaks down my legs.

Now that I've gotten better, and learned a few tricks of the trade...I LOVE it, and try to discourage people from faking baking. "Just dye your skin instead" I say =0). Thanks.

Robin Shutze said...

Ha! I used QT in high school because that's all they had. I was a cheerleader and my legs were so white in the winter in that short skirt.. QT turned them bright orange! How I wish they had great self tanners back then like they do now.I love this article! Cant wait to try out your tips! Fyi, I have found that using baby oil thirty minutes before you apply self tanner will give you a completely streak free finish. I still have trouble with darker knees, so thanks for this advice!

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