Beauty DIY – the Perfect Faux Bronze Glow

My friend Ashley, who runs the popular health & fitness blog, Healthy, Happier Bear, recently asked me to do a self-tanning tutorial.  I agreed but instantly felt just the tiniest big shameful. 

The thing is, once-upon-a-time, I had the whole self-glow thing down to a science.  Still do, if you ask me, but lately I’ve just been too busy to get a hair cut, let alone self-tan!

So, without further adieu, let’s get down to today’s “Beauty DIY.”   Your inspiration?  Jen Aniston.  Say what you want about her love life, but the woman is simply radiant!

Start off in the shower.  I can’t say it enough:  Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!  My body scrub obsession is Clarins’ Eau Dynamisante Foaming Body Cleanser.  I’ve been using it for over five years (cheating on it intermittently, of course,) and it’s seriously good.  The thinner consistency makes it really easy to get a good scrub, and the foaming sensation is a total treat.

Next, dry yourself off completely – from your toes to your forehead, and pull hair up into a high bun.  A hair band won’t hurt.

Before you tan, apply a thin layer of a lighter body lotion.  Not body cream, just a lotion.  I like Dermalogica’s Body Hydrating Cream.  It  preps the skin and smoothes things out – getting rid of dryness, without being too thick or sticky.  It also absorbs very quickly, which is critical for today’s project.  But any body lotion will do.  Let it soak in a few minutes, and then we’ll begin!

In terms of self-tanning formulas, there’s a zillion versions out there.  The best advice I can give is not to get carried away.  Buy the light-medium version!  (Besides, it’s winter – no need to get snookified.)  You can always apply another layer the next day to amp up your results, but it’s hard to go back.  I’ve been using L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Gelee for over ten years, off and on.  It’s still my favorite.  I’ve also tried and love Kate Somerville’s Towelletes, but the gelee is totally the way to go.  It’s semi hard to find (New Yorkers, you can get it at Ricky’s,) but totally worth it.

Apply a thin layer, and rub it in well.  Go easy on dry spots (feet, elbows,) as well as your hairline and the backs of your arms, which don’t get that tan naturally.  When you are totally done, carefully wash the palms of your hand, and use a damp cosmetic sponge between your fingers and toes.  Give your eyebrows a swipe, too – just in case.

Now, hang out au natural and let it dry for 10-20 minutes.  Once you are dry, wear loose (dark colored) clothing – and don’t wash your face/hair/hands or shower for the next 6 hours.

P.S.  Be sure to check out today’s guest post for Birchbox!  Today I tackle matching – not in that early nineties kind of way, but the best ways to pair your makeup and accessories!

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