Saturday, 12 February 2011

Self tanners,my tips,tricks and thoughts...

If there is one beauty product I can not live without it is a good self tanner!I live in the North East of England where the sun shines for around a week a year so understandably I am naturally rather pale.I do tan easily when I sunbathe but like I said,sunshine is a rare sight for me,especially at this time of year.Because of this I love to fake tan and have been using a variety of brands to get my glow since the age of about 16.As I`m such a fan of the stuff I thought I would do a post sharing my thoughts on various brands and how I apply them.

Products and tools I use when tanning:

  • exfoliating gloves
  • soap
  • good quality razor
  • latex gloves
  • kabuki brush
  • St Tropez
  • Xen Tan
  • Fake Bake
  • Boots soltan quick drying moose
  • Dover summer glow
  • Fan or heater

1. Skin tone and type

You should always bare in mind your skin type when choosing a self tanner,for example moose formula's can be very drying so if your skin is on the dry side you may want to use a lotion.In my experience the most moisturising self tanner is the Xen Tan dark lotion,the St.Tropez lotion is also a good one for dry skin.For oily skin you could try the Boots Soltan quick dry moose which I use alot or if you want something more high end the St Tropez moose is also a good choice.

Skin tone plays a huge part in how the actual colour of your self tan will turn out.I like to use a self tanner with a strong olive undertone such as St Tropez or Xen tan,I find that L'Oreal self tanners for example do not work on my skin tone.Now do not get me wrong I`m sure they look great on some people but for me out of the three I have tried they do not look good.I think it is all a matter of trial and error and personal preferanc

2.Skin Preperation-Skin preperation is so important and exfoliation is a must if you want an even tan.I like to exfoliate using my soap and glory exfoliating gloves and good old soap two days in row prior to tanning.I find that these gloves (and probably any brand gloves) work better than any brand of exfoliator at removing any traces of old self tan and revealing new,smooth skin.I used to use an exfoliator by Soap and Glory which was the best one I have ever tried but to be honest my gloves and soap method works better and is alot cheaper also beware that exfoliators that contain salt can create a film on your skin even after you may think you have rinsed it off.This film can create a barrier between your skin and your self tanner therefore not allowing it to absorb properly.

It is also important to consider your hair removal method prior to tanning,if you shave then I would reccomend doing it the night before and using a good quality razor,this will ensure that you get the closest shave possible therefore increasing the time between shaves.You should aim to shave the day before tanning as self tan can gather in your pores and as a result make them more visible.Also remember to remove your deodrant and any other products that could cause a barrier between your skin and your self tan such as moisturisers or perfume

3.Application methods

Personally I like to use latex gloves to apply my self tan,I have used mitts and my bare hands but I feel that gloves make for the smoothest application.I think this is down to the fact that the latex used to make the gloves enables the lotion or moose to glide on to the skin efortlessly and is easier to spread.I like to start by appling tan to my arms,chest and legs and then move on to my stomach and back.I finish by tanning my face and neck using a kabuki brush,If you have visible pores you may find that self tan will settle into them,a good tip to avoid this is to splash your face with cold water and then use a toner,this will close your pores.Its also important to apply your self tan when your body is at the right temperture,applying it as soon as you step out of the shower is only going to make it difficult for your skin to absorb and easy for it to settle into your open pores.I don`t like to use self tan on my hands and feet as it is very easy to over do it.Instead I used a gradual self tanner such as Dove summer glow.Once I have finished I like to stand infront of my heater or fan (depending on the time of the year!) for as long as I can stand to help my tan sink in and dry.I then pop on some loose pj's and go to bed.

4.Development time

I like to let my tan develop for as long as possible,although I am guilty of leaving it until the last minute it is best to apply your tan a good few hours prior before going to bed.If you leave it until right before bed you are more likely to be sloppy in your aplication and you risk cutting down the amount of development time available,I like to get 12 hours if I can but its not always possible.Between tanning applications Its important to keep moisturising!I actually find it is easier to remove old traces of self taner if my skin is moisturised.Sometimes I will apply a gradual tanner in between tanning but the maximum between applying and removing a tan for me is usually a week depending on what tan I am using.Xen tan seems to have the best lasting power for me and wears off gracefully.Once of my beauty pet peaves is when self tan begins to 'crack' and wear off and its such an effort to get it all off and start again.Therefore a week is about the maximum I can go before the whole process starts again!

So those are my tips and thoughts on self tanning,they might seem pretty basic or maybe some of them are news to you.I hope this post was helpful and if you are a fan on the fake glow then happy tanning :)

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