‘Tis the season of tanning — faux, of course! I’m (now) a big advocate of safe suncare — after unfortunately being the generation of tanning beds, so I now fake it as much as possible. I’m rounding up some of my favorite current products that are in rotation year-round, and sharing some tips and tricks and the best self-tanning secrets that will give you the most natural looking glow!
St. Tropez Classic Mousse. I’ve been using this for over a decade and it’s still my absolute FAVORITE self-tanning product. I have olive undertones, so this color is great for year-round and I love to use it throughout the year to give me a very natural looking glow. The classic version works best if you sleep in it (not my favorite part) and shower the next AM, so I’m actually excited to try the St. Tropez Self Tan Express, which lets you rinse off between 1-4 hours later. What I love about this product is that it’s buildable, so it’s sort of fool proof, and I never feel overdone.
Fake Bake 5 Minute Mousse. When I’m really looking for color (or to even out color from tan lines on vacation or in the summer), this is my go-to. This mousse has more of a bronzed undertone, so it gives me a tan that almost looks like I have a slight burn — like I was out in the sun THAT day. I really only break this product out in the summertime (it’s a little intense otherwise). I also love that it dries in minutes — and there’s zero sticky feeling after application (it actually feels like I moisturized my skin after applying it.
Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40. Yes, you read that right. This product pulls double duty. You guys probably know my obsession with Supergoop — they’ve been a favorite brand on Oh So Glam for the last two years. I was introduced to their sunscreen and have incorporated their daily face sunscreen and setting powder into my makeup routine over the last few months, so I was excited to try their self tanning product. If you hate everything about traditional self tanner — this is your jam. This product gives the most natural looking (albeit, lightest) results and doesn’t smell AT ALL. I can apply a few minutes before bed and it won’t leave any marks on my clothes or my sheets — and if you’re a self tanning junkie like myself, you know how rare that is. This is more of a daily use type of product, and you’ll notice after a couple of days that you start to build a very natural looking glow. Plus, there’s SPF, so it’s a great product to put on before going in the sun, and your color will start to develop throughout the day, as your skin is being protected!
TIPS & TRICKS
Understand your undertones. Every product will vary on every person — it’s important to know your undertone color and either work with it, or combat it — so you can achieve the look you’re going for. As I mentioned, I have olive undertones — I’m slightly green/yellow with a warm tone. When looking for a natural looking result (natural to me means no one would notice or even ask), I stick to a formula that has a green-ish tint (like the St. Tropez mousse), since the green will cancel out the orange-y hue that most self tanners include. When I do want a more pink/orange look, I’ll look for a formula that has a bronzing agent, which will combat my green/yellow undertone and give me a very dark tan.
If you need help identifying your undertone, this is a great article to help you do so! This also works for foundation matching, knowing what precious metal looks best on you, and knowing what colors compliment your skintone!
Always exfoliate before applying. I feel like this is the least new information you’ve ever heard, but it’s SO important to do before applying. Look for an exfoliating product with salicylic acid (this is my favorite), which will help remove any dead skin prior to application. Also, make sure to shave your legs after you exfoliate the rest of your body!
Start at the top and work your way down. When applying, I always use a mitt or gloves (there’s nothing worse than splotchy hands and feet, which is a dead giveaway). I’ll pump the product into the mitt and start with my arms, going sparingly over my elbows and hands. I’ll also take whatever is left on the mitt after and apply to my cheeks and forehead (I typically don’t use a separate face product). I’ll then work my way down making sure to use very little product on the tops of my feet and knees.
Let it dry. Even if a product says it will dry in a few minutes, don’t believe it. I try to stand and let the product dry for as long as possible — the longer you wait to get dressed, the better chance you’ll have of any color disruption and avoiding streaks. If I’m impatient, I’ll pull out my hairdryer and use the cool setting for a few minutes to really get it dry.
Do not exfoliate afterwards. I’ve actually eliminated the cleansing poof I used to use in the shower — I was definitely overdoing the exfoliating. Don’t scrub away your color and only exfoliate when you want to remove the product.
Do you use any of these products?! If so, which is your favorite — and if not, which one would you love to try?!
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