As much as we love that bronzed goddess look, we’re doing our very best to be good this year and staying out of the sun so we don’t damage our skin. The downside of that good behavior is that on occasion we, err, struggle with self-tanning (splotchiness and streaks are the bane of our almost perfectly faux-tanned existence).
Enter Alexzndra Louras, our Associate Manager of Merchandising and Planning and office self-tanning expert. We asked her to share her best, and most unexpected, tips. Here’s how to score your perfect sunless tan:
1. Prep properly: “If you don’t exfoliate, the tan will look okay at first but then dead skin will gradually come off.”
2. Contour your cheekbones: To avoid a flat-looking face, Alexz recommends using a tanning towel like TanTowel’s Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes Half Body to ”contour your face by rubbing the towel on a bit more in a “3” shape (temples, hollows of your cheeks, chin). This gives the face more dimension. It’s like natural bronzer!”
3. Never tan under your eyes: ”The skin there is sensitive. Plus covering that area may make you look like you have dark circles.”
4. Take the time to apply evenly: “Make sure to get into all the sections of your face like your nose, jaw, and even the ears. I always have my hair up, so I have to get the back of my neck.”
And what about those really difficult areas? “Just do the best you can. Ankles and feet will be the most challenging. Go ahead and apply tanner straight to the soles so your feet will be even. Don’t just stop at the ankle.”
5. Be careful when washing your hands: Don’t let all that hard work and time go to waste, “when you wash your hands afterward, don’t do it too thoroughly or else you’ll wash off the tanner and get lines on your wrists. Rinse your palms with soap, but avoid the back of your hands. Immediately dry your wrists to prevent weird drip marks.”
6. Apply an extra layer to the back of your legs: "Since you sit a lot, like at the office or on the train, the self-tanner is more likely to rub off and fade faster.”
7. Mousse mixed with deodorant permanently stains: On its own, self-tan will wash off, but Alexz cautions that “even though you have to apply mousse tanner to the armpits for an even look, you need to be careful. When it’s mixed with deodorant, it’ll stain clothes permanently. So don’t wear nice or light colored clothes.”
8. Let your skin absorb it: “The longer you go without washing, the longer it’ll stay on.” Leave the tanner on over night and then take a light shower in the morning.
(Photo: © Bettmann/CORBIS)
Can’t wait to get that effortless glow? Check out TanTowel’s collection here.