How to Apply Self Tanner Like a Pro | 5 Tips Every Fair Girl Needs to Know

It's officially summertime.

Which means beautiful, bronzy skin is everyone's favorite accessory!

But if you're like me, you don't have time to spend hours laying out, and you might not even want to... The skin damaging effects of the sun are reason enough to avoid it!

I'm naturally pretty fair skinned, so I've been trying to find a solution to this dilemma for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have learned to embrace my lighter skin tone - and I encourage you guys to do the same! - but sometimes I just want a little more color.

Enter: Sunless tanning.

This stuff is a God-send; an easy, safe way for fair girls like you and me to get a beautiful tan for the summer!

Here are a few options
 - Airbrush or Traditional spray tan: great results, but can be expensive and inconvenient
 - Tanning lotions: gradual tan, too subtle for my taste
 - Self tanning mist: cost effective, convenient, can be messy
 - Self tanning mousse: cost effective, convenient, easy to control (my pick!)

I personally think a self tanning mousse is the way to go. It's cheap (one bottle lasts several applications), easy to DIY, and you have so many options!

My favorite mousse tanners of all time include:
Loving Tan 2 Hour Express Self Tanning Mousse $39.95
St. Moriz Instant Self-Tanning Mousse $12.99

Hair Scarf | Tank | Similar Tank | Shorts | Sandals

Five Tips for the Perfect At-Home Self Tan Application

1. Prep the Skin
 - Exfoliate everywhere!
 - Shave any body part that you normally would, no longer than 24 hours before tanning. (Ideally right before so it's a good, fresh shave.)
 - Moisturize only specific areas: any part of your body that is naturally more dry, so the tanner won't cling to dry patches. This normally includes face/neck, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles

2. Use a Color That's Right for Your Skin Tone
 - If you're very fair, avoid tanners with warm, orange undertones - those undertones will be exaggerated once applied! Best to opt for neutral or olive-based tanners.
 - Stick to the medium/dark shades instead the darkest shade available. I find the color looks a lot more natural (read: believable) and won't streak easily because the contrast isn't so drastic!

3. Apply Light Layers
The worst thing you can do it apply too much tanner at one time! (Streak city, believe me.) Apply light layers and build it up so that you can get exactly the color that you want.

4. Use Both a Mitt and a Brush 
 - Go ahead and use a regular tanning mitt (like this one) for the majority of your body. However, use a brush on places like your face and neck. You'll have more control over the amount you apply and will be able to blend more easily into small places like around the nose, jawline, etc.
 - Keep using that brush for areas like the feet, ankles, hands and wrists. Joints are tricky with all the fine lines in the skin, so a brush is better (again) for blending properly and controlling the amount  you apply. (This brush by Morphe is the best for self tanning.)

5. Start at the Bottom & Work Your Way Up
Start with your legs! This helps avoid weird streaks on your legs or torso when you bend over to get the calves and ankles. Do your arms and shoulders last so they have time to dry before moving or touching anything (usually dry time is just 60 secs).

Bonus: Make your tan last longer by keeping your skin moisturized every day! Be sure to thoroughly apply lotion after a shower and use a moisturizing body wash.

Any tips I missed? Leave them in the comments below so we can all help each other out!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and fun content every day; and check out my "SHOP" page for some of my favorite, go-to items right now!

xx, Mal


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