Everything NOT under the sun you need to know about spray tan treatments and self tanners.
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Most trend spotters point a manicured finger at Coco Chanel’s fateful French Riviera trip for the fashionably tan craze. I blame Malibu Barbie circa 1971 (yes, I know I’m showing my age!). Role playing with a deeply tanned, platinum blond bombshell made a lasting impression on my moldable mind, and I was among the early adopters to sport my orange QT tan with pride. We’ve come a long way since then (hallelujah!) and today’s faux glow treatments and self-tanners would make even Malibu Barbie slather on the SPF.
Behold, your faux-11 to everything you need not under the sun for a bona fide faux glow.
Faux Glow Treatments
Not handy with a self-tanner? Leave your tan in the hands of the bronzing masters at these beauty spots.
- Airbrush Spray Tanning Treatment at Hydrate Salon in Scottsdale is one of our favorite hidden gems for a perfectly painted spray tan. We also highly recommend Bronzeology and Arizona Airbrush Studio for top tanners with an expert touch.
- Sunless Spray Tan Booths at Bronzmopolitan in Scottsdale. Step in the high-tech tanning booth and step out a bronzed goddess. The system hydrates, bronzes and dries the skin in minutes.
Know Before You Faux
Spray tanning DOs and DON’Ts.
- DO exfoliate the day of your appointment and use only a light body lotion or skip it altogether.
- DO wear loose fitting dark colored clothing to your treatment.
- DON’T workout after a spray tan.
- DO bring a towel to sit on if you have leather car seats (trust us on this one!).
- DON’T sweat (if at all possible!).
- DON’T shower for 6 hours after the treatment or better yet, sleep on it.
- DON’T panic. The spray tan solution can rub off around waist bands, sleeves and toes depending on the type of shoes you wear. But remember that most tanning solutions have a bit of bronzer in them, which will wash off.
- DO moisturize skin liberally after your spray tan to prolong the color.
Faux Home Products
With a little practice, self-tanners can build the tan of your dreams minus the streaks and orange hues of yore. Products to ponder:
- L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Clear Self-Tanning Gel. Spray it on, massage it in and your tan starts to develop in less than an hour. New from L’Oréal, this citrus-scented clear gel is paraben free.
- St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. Infused with aloe vera and a trademarked fragrance technology, this velvety mouse gives you subtle color without a hint of self-tanner aroma.
- Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Mist. For the discriminating sunless worshiper, this light mist develops into a golden glow while leaving skin smooth and delightfully sniff-able.
- Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Sunless Tanning Serum. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this lightweight illuminating builds a gradual, natural tan for face and body.
- Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Lotion. One of our new faves, this clean formulation has organic aloe vera, shea butter and other botanical extracts to hydrate and nourish your skin. It goes on smooth so you don’t have to worry about streaks, blotches or dark spots.
Get more self tanner product recommendations on our Influencer page.
Flawless Home Faux Glow
Follow these steps for a flawless self-tanner application.
1. Polish. In the shower, prep skin with an exfoliating body scrub, paying close attention to knees, elbows and ankles. Look for a body buffer or a non-oily scrub rather than a sugar or salt scrub, which tend to dissolve before you’ve thoroughly exfoliated. The more moisturizing the scrub, the more residue is left on your skin and the less the bronzer will absorb.
2. Pat. Dry off thoroughly and unless your skin is super dry, skip your daily body lotion application so the tanning product absorbs.
3. Practice. Self-tanner application takes practice. Apply the tanner in a circular massaging motion, working it over skin as evenly as possible. For fast-drying formulas, wash hands frequently between body areas or wear latex gloves. Use a daily gradual self-tanner if you want to build a subtle, more natural tan and avoid streaks completely. If you’re a newbie or want the instant gratification tan, try a product with a touch of bronzer so you can see where you’ve applied product.
4. Buff. After application, wash the palms of your hands with soap and water. Use an old, dry towel to swipe around my feet, heels, toes, ankles and elbows where the tanner tends to accumulate.
5. Stay Dry. The worst time to apply a self-tanner is when you have any chance of sweating or getting caught in the rain before the formula dries. A safe bet is to apply your self-tanner is before bedtime. This gives the product plenty of time to dry and do its job. Slip into a loose-fitting tee or sweats and when you shower off the next morning, your tan is ready to roll.
6. Keep Calm. If you awake to streaks or blotchy spots, don’t panic. One quick trick is to mix the juice of half a lemon with 1 cup of water and dab the mixture on patchy areas with a soft cloth to lessen their appearance. Another option is to apply a second layer of self-tanner, focusing on blending around the patches or streaks.
Faux Tan Enhancers
Extend and enhance your faux glow with these product finds.
- Prep your skin with Dermadoctor’s KP Duty body scrub. The creamy formula banishes dead skin cells with a chemical and physical exfoliant and leaves skin free of any oily residue.
- Extend your tan with a daily dose of St.Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Daily Firming Body Lotion, which hydrates, smooths, firms and protects skin, while delivering a touch of daily glow.
- Enhance your summer tan glow with Deluvia Body Shimmer Wash Off Bronzing Lotion, which has a touch of color to bring out your glow.
Got your own spray tan tips or product faves? Share below and happy glowing!
Photo credit: Armin Rimoldi