Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Operation: Self-Tanner

Hello Lovelies!

I have a fun Wednesday Hump-day project for you all.... hehe.

This summer I have been on a mission to find the best self-tanner and also the best method of application. I think I have somewhat figured this out, and I will share my experiences! Better for me to be streaky and splotchy than you, no? ;)

Best gradual tanner: Jergen's Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer, about $8 at Walgreen's.
-- Pros: Gives good color and doesn't streak easily since it's gradual and dries quickly.
-- Cons: Isn't incredibly moisturizing. That's about it!

Best Self-Tanner: Victoria's Secret Sunkissed Bronze Instant Self Tan Lotion with Tint, Victoria's Secret, $12 in stores.
-- Pros: Doesn't have an overwhelming smell, and the tint helps to not miss spots.
-- Cons: Haven't found any, yet..

Best Self-Tanner that delivers the greatest color change: L'Oreal Body Expertise Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee, $10.79 at Walgreens.
-- Pros: Dries quickly, makes you a few shades darker in just one application.
-- Cons: Need to be careful with blending since it dries so quickly, has the typical odor.


*First of all, most self-tanners claim to develop in 2-4 hours... this is a lie! Be prepared to have it on all day-- don't apply it the same day you want to be tan, be sure to use it the day/night before.

1. Apply a normal moisturizer to dry spots-- ankles, knees, elbows (all the way around), and wrists.
2. Work either from top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top, so you don't lose your place, and also so you can blend the sections together.
3. Work in sections to make sure you really rub and blend the product in.
4. Be sure to WASH YOUR HANDS.... with soap!!!!! Dry thoroughly between fingers and ALSO your wrists. I've found that my wrists absorb self tanner like craaaazy.

To get hands/wrists and feet I use different products than I do for my body.

- For hand and wrists, I use the Jergen's foaming gradual tanner because it's gradual and deposits just enough color for your hands to not look WHITE against your body. I have yet to have it look weird on my knuckles, so yay!
- For my feet, I use L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Mist -- just hold it about a foot away and spray generously. Since it's a spray, the dry spots on your feet don't absorb it like they would a cream/gel.
*You can also try using the spray on your hands, either has worked for me =)

Also, depending on how sensitive your skin is, you can either use the self-tanner you used for your body on your face, or purchase one made specifically for the face. Just experiment! But on your face, BE SURE to get up to the hairline (so you don't look weird) and be very light-handed near your eyebrows--- they can pick up the color and make you look weird, too. Eek! This hasn't happened to me, but I have heard horror stories.

Just like if you get a spray tan, you have to baby your skin to extend the life of your faux tan.
- Take the heat down a notch. When you shower, don't use hot-hot water... you can still be warm, but the hotter the water, the more the tan fades.
- Pat, don't rub! Out of the shower, don't scrub your skin. Avoid scrubs of ANY kind.
- Hydrate! After you gently pat down out of the shower, apply moisturizer to seal in the tan for a bit longer!

Just keep in mind-- the product essentially dyes the top layer of skin, so the longer you can keep the skin there (aka hydration!) the longer your tan will last.*

Now, what you've been waiting for: Before and after!

1. Before
2. With Victoria's Secret self-tanner with tint
3. After washing my face later in the day:

Well, hello shiny forehead! Hahaha!

Before and after body:
I used L'Oreal's Gelee

Now go-- be bronzed!!

Any other tips that I missed? Or any other thoughts?

Until Next Time~
Beauty Maven


  1. Another great post! Self-tanners still make me iffy though haha

  2. The colors look pretty nice in the pictures! I also am iffy though lol for some reason they all make me very orangey or way too brown. I think its because I have different undertones than most people from being mixed latina, apache, and white. If I ever get to the beach again, though, I will have to try some of these! Thanks for the review!

  3. Thanks Stephanie!! Self-tanners are definitely one of the top scary at-home beauty things out there lol, right up there with hair color (to me)!! I always test somewhere not exposed in daily life, like my stomach, before trying it all over.

    You know, I totally forgot, too -- My skin is VERY yellow.. I have hardly any pink.. so maybe that's why these work on me-- If I go yellow/orange, it's just normal to me, haha!!

    Emily-- the Kardashians just came out with some self-tanner that I think isn't supposed to be as yellow-based? And also I tried Banana Boat's spray tanner (which smells like lime and not icky tanner, yay! lol) and it gave a more brownish/tan instead of a yellow/orange color. It's pretty cheap, too!

    Self-tanner is definitely healthier than the beach.. but I just don't think many things compare to the joys of being in the sun. ;) But I'm also a bad influence, hahaha!!!

  4. The best self tanner I have ever used was Clinique Foam. It didn't dry to quickly, so I had plenty of time to make sure it was spread evenly. It turned an awesome color with my skin, which has a red undertone. It was the self tanner I used before every pageant, so I didn't have to spend tons of money getting spray tanned or live life in a tanning bed. I could even use it in December without a super good base tan!