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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

G.T.L.... an intro to self-tanning

Get Tan Ladies! (sometimes i think I'm clever) 

My god, I am pasty white!  I really hate the color of my skin in winter.  It is kind of a white-green.  Just awful.  I know we are all in the same boat here.  Let's face it.  We all look & feel better with a tan.  So I have a few tips for you to get that gorgeous summertime glow all year long.

Self-tanners have come a long way.  But which ones do I choose? How do I apply it?  Will I look like an Oompa Loompa?  All valid questions.. There is a method to achieving a fab "faux" glow.  All of us have seen or experienced self-tanning mishaps.  They are not pretty.  But you can avoid these pitfalls by following a few easy steps.

This is the most important step! You need a nice smooth surface to work with, right?  Skipping this step will cause the tanner to go on unevenly & you will end up a streaky mess.  Use a body scrub all over, paying attention to joint areas like your knees, ankles & elbows. Don't forget about your face too! 


Lots of choices here, kids!  This process is going to be a trial & error type thing.  Every skin reacts differently.  By this, I mean the actual shade that your skin will turn.  Don't be fooled by the magazine ads.  You will not be a bronzed goddess with your first application.  It might take a little practice, but that is a good thing.  Don't pile it on or you will be sorry! (<-- please look, this poor girl)

You can start your trip to tan-town with a number of creams, foams & sprays.  I have experience with a number of these so, let me break them down for you.

Jergen's Natural Glow has been rated by Allure magazine as one of the best for home use.  The color develops gradually & lightly, so it pretty hard to mess up.  They have perfected the product since it was first launched & now comes in all different mediums for face & body broken down from light skin to dark.  If you are a newbie, this might be a nice first product for you.

You apply it like moisturizer.  The color is very faint, but with repeated use, does bronze up.  It turned a little too yellow on my skin. I also hated the smell.

TanTowel revolutionized the application process.  These are individual, product-soaked towelettes.  No drips, no mess & streak-free (so they say.) You apply to dry skin and the color develops in about 2-4 hours.  They have ones for the face & larger ones for the body.

I love these things.  They are easy to use, smell fruity & the color is pretty realistic.  They are great for maintaining a real tan as well; say after vacation or during the summertime.

Fake Bake (love the name) has a ton of tanning products. This is called the "air brush" tan.  It is an aerosol that you spray on to dry skin.  It immediately produces a tan color on your skin that you can use as a guide.  This eventually washes off & a stunning, brown tan is revealed underneath.  

This is not comparable to an actual "air brush" application.  This is a spray can.  It is tricky to get the hang of it at first, as it comes out fast & it is easy to over spray.  It also makes a complete mess. My bathroom was coated in pinkish-brown film.  Make sure you apply this in the shower or tub.  The tan, however, is really nice & brown.

Mystic Tan was one of the first to coin the phrase "automated airbrush" tanning.  You can find these booths at most traditional tanning salons.  Promoted as "UV Free" tanning, this procedure has you in a booth where the product is sprayed on by a machine on a 15 second timer.  You then must let it dry for a bit & you are good to go & will see results with in 4-6 hours.

I have had nothing but awful results with this.  You get into the booth & need to set yourself, hold your breath, get doused by tanner & then turn & get doused again.  I did this years ago a few days before a trip to Vegas.  By the time I was at the pool, my shins looked like I had multiple skin grafts. It was impossible for me to see how this can produce an even tan.

I have to say that my best advice for self tanning is to GO AIRBRUSH!  The REAL airbrush. The kind that is applied by hand & by a professional.  This produces the most even & realistic tan of all, in my opinion.  Again, you must come with completely exfoliated skin & loose clothing for afterward. Not for the modest, however, as you will get the best results if you are naked.  But no tan lines is a great thing!  I have had luck with both of these lines:

DISCLAIMER... I know we all have very good intentions, but sometimes, things don't always work out the way we would like.  
<----If you wake up looking like this

Immediately go here for help-->     How to Remove Self Tanner

So, no matter which route you choose, any of these options will have you bronzed in no time.  The "self" tan usually lasts from 5-7 days from the initial application.  You can always reapply help the color last & freshen it up as well. Good luck & have fun.  

Let me know how it glows.....

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