Hey y’all! I have been wanting to share this (highly requested) routine with you all, so here I am finally doing it! I am naturally very pale and skin cancer is very prevalent in my family so sitting out in the sun is not very ideal for me. I would get spray tans for different events through out high school and beginning of college but they were usually pretty orange. Sophomore year of college I was introduced to self tanner and my life has been changed ever since.
Let me start by saying your skin is beautiful no matter what skin tone you have. But I am a huge advocate for self tanner to keep your self out of the tanning beds and baking in the sun. I have been using different self tanners for probably 4 years now. I have used some of the worst and the best. This is not to say I do not like other brands, and I will share other brands at times. But, today is my tried and true tanning routine. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear back from you if you try!!
Step 1: PREPARATION
Ok, so this step is a SUPER important, if not the most important part of this routine. Exfoliate first!!! Before shaving, exfoliate your entire body! This might seem different but its key. This will help get those pores open and get all the dead skin off. This helps give your skin a perfect base to apply tanner to. I personally will use this exfoliating dry brush or this one, but any will do! After exfoliating, shave. Another key tip, with exfoliating and shaving this will be opening up your pores. But, before you tan yourself you want to ensure those pores are closed or that is when you will get the darker dots in your pores. So before getting out of shower/bath run cold water all of your body, this will close your pores right up. Get out of the shower and make sure you dry off your entire body. Sometimes I will do this step the night before I tan just to make sure my pores are closed etc, but you can self tan after showering just make sure you are completely dry. Once dry, moisturize your driest areas (feet, knee caps, elbows, and hands) super well. This will help the tanner not to cling to those areas which usually happens if you do not moisturize. Ok now onto the tanner!!
STEP 2: APPLICATION
My HOLY GRAIL tanner is, Loving Tan! I used to use the ultra dark but now I use the 2 hr express dark. This gives me the deepest tan, it is long lasting, and goes on so smoothly! This is a mousse formula, which in my opinion is what helps with the longevity of my tan. This tanner also gives me a brown olive color, which is my fave. I will usually do this on Thursday night and sleep in it! Now the awesome part about the 2 hour express is you could put it on, wash it off 2 hours later but I do let mine “marinate” for about 6-8. For application, you MUST use a mitt. I like this one. This will give you a smooth application and the tan will look the most natural because it will blend the tanner. I will start on my legs and work my way up. MAJOR TIP: use the excess tanner on the mitt from for your drier areas on your body (feet, knees, elbows, and hands).
After I tan my body if I want go super cray (not all the time) but I will layer it and go back over with another application one more time. Starting back at the legs and work my way up again. The key to layering is giving it time to dry a little as you tan your other body parts before going back over it.
After I tan myself with Loving Tan, it is a little sticky so I will take my blow dryer and put it on cold air and dry my body a little bit. This will help with the “color guard” transferring onto your clothes. For clothes after tanning I have a designated robe I wear but loose clothes of any kind is best!
What is a color guard? Well the color guard helps you see where you are applying the tanner so you get a super even application. When you shower after waiting the period of at least 2 hours (for this specific tanner) the color guard is what will be rinsed off. Leaving you the most perfect bronzed tan! Aka do not freak out in the shower when you see brown water going down the drain it’s just the color guard. Also do not freak out at how dark you may be before showering the color guard will give you a darker color till washed off. But here are a few tips when showering the first time after applying.
- NO body wash nor soap all over body we are just rinsing the color guard off
- lukewarm to cold water
- A quick rinse is best!
- Pat dry your body after no rubbing
Step 3 : MOISTURIZE
Ok now you have prepped, applied, rinsed and now we want to keep the beautiful tan we have. To keep your tan the longest and smoothest without getting patchy is to moisturize every single day!!! Moisturizing is truly the most important part of self tanning. This will also keep it from getting patchy and help when you are ready to take it off.
Now I say you will get your darkest tan from Loving tan for 3 solid days, but you will be tan for at least 5-6. I usually tan myself weekly and the best way to keep getting a smooth flawless tan is to make sure ALL of your previous self tan is off so start back at step 1 🙂
Ok whew, that was A LOT. But I want to give y’all the nitty gritty of exactly what I do. Now that I have talked about my holy grail self tanner I want to share 3 other products I use as well and why!
This is also another self tanner, but this is a spray formula. This gives a more red brown tan. The best thing about this tanner is it is NOT sticky at all! I can put this on before going out for dinner and know it won’t be sticking to my clothes. I will also use this tanner to layer over my Loving tan during the week if I need a little color boost. The one thing about this tanner though is I feel like it last me 2 days max. That is why I don’t use this as my main tanner, but a supplement. I can usually find it for around $20 on Amazon and it lasts me a while. This also comes with its own mit so you don’t have to buy one separately. For the best tan I will spray it on my body and then use my mitt to rub it in from there!
A recently new product I’ve been using for the past few months. This is a lotion that you apply with a mitt that will wash off as soon as you shower. But this product is truly beautiful. It blurs your skin and makes it look like a life like filter. It gives you the most glowy, Jlo glow. And the most perfect bronze color. I truly love this product for photoshoots and layering on top of loving tan for a VS model look . Use a mitt to apply as well and give it time to dry a tad before putting clothes on. But remember this will wash off after you shower!!
I use to always just apply self tanner to my face. It personally never broke me out or had any major skin issues with it (that I thought). I have started getting facials and the aesthetician told me some parts of my face my pores were deeply clogged and it was due to tanning my face with self tanner. Well then I heard of these drops. They had some serious hype and being in this space I needed to try them to see what they were about. And the verdict is I really, really like them. I will usually add about 4-6 drops every other night in my moisturizer and apply to my neck and face. For best results use nightly to every other night. It does not give me the perfect tan to my face and I really love it!
And this wraps up my holy grail products and self tan routine!! I wanted to get in detail and give y’all the specifics. I hope y’all enjoyed this and please let me know if you try anything! Also I am always trying new things that come out, so if you have any must haves let me know! Last thing, I do use all of these and love them all for the reasons above. BUT, with that being said if I had to choose only one it would be Loving tan, everytime.