If you don’t have time to hit the beach, or are just too worried about exposure to all those UV rays, you can fake or expedite that sun-kissed glow from a bottle. Self-tanners come in a variety of shades and formulas. But how do you get a realistic and beautiful ‘bronzed’ effect?
In this article you’ll find beauty tips from experts on how to fake a tan that, well, doesn’t look fake. You’ll learn about the best way to apply these products, and prep your skin so the effect looks better and lasts longer.
Picking the bets product
You can choose from cream, gel, lotion or spray formulas. As
a general rule the cream and gel formulas are much easier to control, so get these if it’s your first time to try self-tanners. Experts also observe that cream formulas tend to work better on those with light and fair skin, gel formulas work best on medium skin tones, and oil-free sprays work best on dark skin tones.
Then, pick a shade. Pick the one that matches your current skin tone, not the skin tone that you want to achieve.
Prime the skin for self-tanner
Start by exfoliating the skin to remove dead skin cells, which can make self tanner look streaky and uneven. Then moisturize. The active ingredients in self tanner bind quickly to dry skin, so lotion can provide a protective barrier so your skin doesn’t absorb too much color. Pay close attention to your elbows, knees, heels and toes.
Control the amount of self-tanner
It’s best to use a self tanner that lets you see how much or where you apply. A tinted shade lets you see spots that need more blending before it disappears into the skin. Oh, and here’s a simple rule: use less self tanner than you would lotion, and then apply in a quarter-sized dollop at a time. Don’t forget to put on your back and behind!
Tips for applying self-tanner on the face
You need to apply the most color on the areas of your face where the light would hit first: cheekbones, forehead and the tip of your chin. Then, dilute the product with equal parts moisturizer for the other areas of your face.
Important tip: apply petroleum jelly around the hairline and eyebrows to prevent stains and protect lips with waxy lip balm. Pull back stray strands of hair with a headband.
Let it dry
Products will recommend a drying tan but add 15 minutes just to be sure.