The world of self tanning has come along way in recent years. However, one fact remains - if you don't take the time to prep or maintain, everyone will know you fake bake. Below are some tips and tricks to fool even those who know you best.
Trick #1: Shave Those Legs
When at all possible, shave your legs before applying. This serves as a form of exfoliation and gets you the best application possible. I personally use a body scrub prior to shaving for double action. If you are going to use self tanner, you should have a body scrub or luffa in your shower. The body scrub should be in a cleanser or non-oil base.
Tip #1: Buy The Good Stuff
Buy a good, reputable self tanner AND a daily moisturizer with a hint of self tanning ingredients. There are plenty of excellent products on the market but you need to find the texture, color, smell, and application method you prefer. I personally have LOVED the Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream since it was launched. I love the smell, the way it makes my skin feel, the color - everything but the price, but quality cost more.
I have runner up I use when money is tight (meaning I splurged on something else!). To make your glow last longer and keep the look even, apply a "hint of color" moisturizer in between your self tanner applications (every 3 days is a good schedule). I picked up this trick recently when I bought some Moist Hemp Bronzing Moisturizer at Sally's ($8.50 for 18oz bottle - can't go wrong) and realized that my self tanner was lasting much longer than usual. I really love the smell and feel of this for every day and am getting some added benefits on the side!
Tip #2: No Body Self Tanner on Your Face
I personally recommend not using a body self tanner on your face. Pick one that is designed for that skin because the facial epidermis is a totally different beast than your body epidermis. The best ones absorb quickly, leave little to no residue, and tend to have multiple shades to choose from. My favorite has been discontinued (but will be relaunched in the fall, or so Clarins promises) so I have settled for second best which is Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning (Face and Decollete). Again, this is my personal choice and you need to find what works best for you.
Trick #2: Take Your Time
Finally, take your time when applying. If you use one that has a tint built in and realize that you are blotchy, no worries. It's usually just the tint that didn't spread evenly, not the self tanning ingredients (if you rubbed it in good). To fix this and avoid washing the instant color off, wait 30 minutes to let the self tanner process and use the bronzing moisturizer to even out the disbursement of the tint.
HAPPY SUNLESS TANNING!