I am the Queen Bee of sunless tanning. NOT a fake and bake from a tanning bed. From a bottle. A bout with malignant melanoma will make you into a convert real fast. But aside from all that cancer stuff, who can resist a beautiful bronzed goddess….in an instant? Or three hours. Your choice.
I have done everything from Mystic Tanning to sunless tanning lotion and everything in between. And sometimes a combo. The combo works best. You must be VERY careful when first putting self-tan lotion on virgin white skin from the winter. Otherwise you could end up looking streaked or weird around the ankles and feet etc. Nothing screams cheap tan like an orange ankle! And don’t forget to wash your hands after applying! Once your hands are completely dry, squeeze a drop on the TOP of your hand, and then rub it in together with the other hand, only on the top. Be careful of getting any in-between your fingers.
My perfect technique is to get a Mystic tan first, because it is quick and all over and doesn’t miss spots. You MUST loofah yourself, moisturize and shave before you go, because nothing is worse than a flaky fake tan! One caveat: they say it will not stain your bathing suit or underwear, but they lie. Go naked. All-over tan, is better anyway, no tan lines. Now, be prepared, because you WILL stink, and you CANNOT wash it off for hours and hours. DO NOT DO THIS RIGHT BEFORE A BIG EVENT. DO IT AT LEAST 3 OR 4 DAYS BEFORE.
Then the next day after the Mystic, start with the sunless tanning lotion to fill in the gaps that daily loofahing and/or shaving makes. Repeat the sunless tanning lotion every day or as needed to keep that bronze glow. Now, usually there are 2 choices, fair and medium/dark. Don’t bother with the fair color unless you are truly, truly fair.
I prefer the sunless tanning lotion that is included with your daily lotion. Jergens, Dove, Nivea etc. all make them. It does a gradual tan because it is mixed with moisturizer. They can be pricey though, so sometimes I buy a bottle of the real self tanner and mix it with my own moisturizer.
Now keep in mind that your shed skin every day, and that is why it is important to loofah and keep applying a bit every day. If you stop, your tan will be gone within a few days and what’s left will look horrible. If you are going on vacation, self-tanning is a good way to not look stark white stepping off the plan in a tropical paradise and scream tourist, lol. But be sure to bring your bottle with you, in a strong ziplock bag. A bottle that explodes at high altitude inside your picture does not make a pretty picture. All your clothes will be ruined, it does not wash out. I don’t care what they tell you. They lie.
I recommend starting this whole process at least a week before your big event or vacation. This gives you time to correct any mistakes and get good coverage. If you do make a huge mistake, they do sell self tan remover, but it doesn’t work very well. Only time will help. Hence the week head start. I also like to use a shimmer lotion or powder before going out.
Finally, I will have to give credit to my Florida cousin Gigi for turning me on to self-tanners 20 years ago, where you actually had to go to a department store and buy name brand stuff that cost like $30 a bottle. Nowadays you can buy the stuff at any drug or grocery store. Even a gas station, lol.
Now, go out there and be a bronzed goddess! You may thank me later.