Let me start out by saying this is a process; a commitment to being bronzed (not that paleness is bad!) that cannot be half-assed. If you are someone who is committed to staying sun-safe, but has a hard time living life in the pale-lane, than follow these steps to the perfect sunless tan. This method is tried and true by yours truly and friends and family can confirm that that tan looks real and in no way freakishly orange.
Ingredients For The Perfect Tan:
Rubber/Nitrile Gloves (in a size that fits your hand snugly!)
Exfoliating (Hammam) Mitt
A Cool, Dry Room To Apply Your Tan
Long Live The Mousse:
I can honestly say that the only way to fake-tan is with a sunless tanning mousse. I have tried the gradual lotions, I have tried the funky brown lotions with a color-guide, I've done the sprays. The Mousse is top-dog for two reasons: 1.) It dries very quickly which keeps you from getting hot which can lead to tan-ruining sweat, and 2.) It allows you to use the ultimate tanning applicator: THE MITT (which I'll get to later). There are many mousses that I like, but I'll give you my absolute favorites:
|St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse $42|
|Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse $54|
|St. Moritz Instant Self Tanning Mousse $5|
I used to think the tanning mitt was a waste of money. What better applicator than my gloved hands, right? WRONG. I pray at the alter of the tanning mitt and I will never turn back. It makes your applications totally flawless; it totally gets rid of any streakiness that can be cause by using your hands. Now, that doesn't mean you don't wear gloves because the tanner can soak through the mitt and deposit unwanted color on your fingers. Another mitt I recommend the committed tanner purchase is an exfoliating mitt or hammam glove. These gloves are used in Turkish spas by big burly dudes to scrub all you dead (and living) skin off your body leaving you dead-skin free! These are a little more economical than body scrubs which literally get washed down the drain when you're done with them. With the hammam glove, you get the same exfoliation or better without buying more body scrubs!
|St. Moritz Tanning Mitt $5|
|Hammam Glove $20|
Exfoliate and Shave:
Always exfoliate before you shave. It bristles up any hairs that may be a tad ingrown and makes for a smoother shave. Focus on feet, knees, and elbows which are notorious for being dry, but scrub the rest of your body too! After you exfoliate, shave any bits you want to shave and then give yourself a wash with some body wash in-case you use an oily shaving cream. You want your body devoid of excess moisture which can cause an uneven tan.
Dry Off and Moisturize:
Make sure you are completely dry before you moisturize and tan. If you need to leave your humid bathroom environment, DO IT. Once you are dry, put a thick, creamy moisturizer on the driest parts of your body that could possibly hold more tanner than necessary: toes/feet, ankles, knees, elbows, knuckles, the big five!
Always wear gloves when applying tanner or else your hands will look like you've colored them in with a brown Sharpie. I wear nitrile (non latex) disposable gloves from work in the appropriate size (small). Big, floppy gloves will only result in a very frustrating experience. Put your tanning mitt over your gloved hand and start with two pumps of your tanning mousse of choice.
Start at the feet and blend your tanner everywhere it needs to go. Work your way up the leg and so-forth. Once you get to the point where you need to tan your back, flip the applicator side of your mitt so that it sits on the top of your hand and swipe it across your back like you're trying to get at an itch. Switch the mitt to the other hand and do the same thing to get the places you couldn't get with the other hand. If you have a shoulder injury or can't move your arm that way, get someone to help you!
No physical activity! Any sweat or excess water will jack up all your had work. Your best bet is to tan the night before you want to be bronze and let the tan develop overnight. Tanners will stain light-colored sheets so sleep on a towel or switch to some darker sheets ( I told you it's a process)! When you wake up, you'll be a bronze goddess! Many tanners recommend you shower off any color guides (brown residue) after your tan develops or else you'll get brown stains on your clothes.
END RESULT: Enjoy Your Tan!
If you want a darker tan, apply more tanner the next morning and avoid any moisure-filled activites. I wasn't kidding when I said it was a process, but this is what I do. If you don't have this much time on your hands, go get a professional spray tan. If you don't have enough time for that, I'm out of ideas. When I explain my process to people, it's almost always overwhelming, but I want to be transparent as to how I achieve the best sunless tan I can get. Once you get the process down, it's not really a big deal and the benefits outweigh the hassle!
If there are any other questions you may have about my process, leave a question in the comments section and I'll get right on it! I don't think fake tanning is a hassle; if I can still look tan without risking my health, I'm all for it! Forget the hours of sunbathing or money spent at a tanning salon and tan the safe way!