My Tips for the Perfect Self Tan

Hey babes! Today I’m talking about my love/hate relationship with self tanner. I’m naturally the palest person ever. Totally get that from my Irish side. It’s embarrassing to admit, but back in high school I used to fake ’n bake in tanning beds! Eeeek, what was I thinking!

Needless to say, haven’t done that in LONG time, so I’ve found other ways of getting that sun kissed glow. And guys, not going to lie, but I’m kind of a master with self tanner.  For a while I was even doing my own tans at home with a portable spray tan machine. Even trained my hubby to help me with my back! I’d just hop into the shower and go to town with spraying. The Norvell solution that came with the machine is amazing and lasted forever. It’s great doing this at home because I could really focus on certain areas like my arms and legs, doing a double coat when I felt like it.

The machine payed for itself in just a few tans since most salons charge $60+. It was a fiscally responsible purchase okurrr!

For the days when I’m feeling lazy, I’ll stick to the process below.


The Process & What You Need

  1. Exfoliate! For best results I do multiple types of exfoliation. It’s key to do this in the days leading up so your skin is at its best.

    • Dry Brush - Best to do this right before showering. Pro tip! Make sure to make sweeping motions from the outside into the center of the body. It helps with circulation back to your heart which alleviates inflammation.

    • Shave - Make sure you do this as close your actual tan, but not after it’s been applied. If you can, try to do it the day before so your pores aren’t as open or sensitive.

    • Body Scrub - I’m a big fan of super scrubby body scrubs that also leave behind some moisture. The worst is when your skin feels dry and uncomfortable after a body scrub!

  2. Moisturize - Skin that’s moisturized and hydrated will always look better. Your favorite body lotion will do, my personal fave is Kiehl’s. Absorbs quick and doesn’t leave behind any greasy feeling. It’s also a great mixing agent if you’re into that. However, I do not recommend moisturizing right before tanner, you want the tanner to stick to your skin.

  3. Body Application - Pro tip! You know how every brand pushes their own mitts to use?? Well, I’ll just go ahead and say it, I think they’re all horrible. My trick has always been to use disposable gloves instead. A pack of 100 is way cheaper than the mitts and they work SO much better. It lets you really get into all those hard to reach areas PLUS you don’t waste any product since it’s not getting absorbed by the mitt.

    • St. Tropez Self Tan Mousse in Dark - I use this one the most. It has an instant olive color and blends really nicely. It has a touch of bronzer, so be careful wearing any light colored clothes right after because it will transfer.

    • Loving Tan Self Tanning Mouse in Dark - This is one of the most intense (in a good way) tanners I’ve ever tried. It’s SO good for color payoff, instantly will get you 2-3 shades darker in the first application. Only downside is the price. St. Tropez is a bigger bottle for about the same price, so I find myself gravitating back to that one more.

    • Neutrogena Micro Mist Spray - Truly a tan in a can! I’ll use this for the areas on my back that are impossible to reach. Great for quick touch ups and maintenance!

  4. Face - Next, I’ll mix in 2 drops of this tanner to my night cream. I’ve tried many and this one if the best of the best. I get the best results AND it’s vegan and cruelty free. Win/win! I use the Dark formula (as with all tanning products) because it’s the most efficient. If my pale self can use the Deep/Dark formulas, I feel like most everyone can. It’s never streaky or blotchy and love that I can control how much I want to use.

  5. Keep moisturizing! For keeping that glow going, it’s important to moisturize daily. This helps prevent that uneven fade and splotchy look.

Name a problem being tan can’t solve…go ahead I’ll wait ;)

Sarah BagamanComment