Pasty is never a good look. But a natural tan (a la the sun’s UV rays) comes with way too many health hazards and negative drawbacks (skin cancer, wrinkles, aging). In addition to getting your fill of vitamin D through alternative sources, you can certainly fake a tan with the right products. Usually fake has negative connotations (handbags and plastic surgery being chief among them), but with updated self-tanner formulas, fake is the new fabulous.
No matter how good the formulas are, proper application is crucial. Dr. Dennis Gross, dermatologist and founder of his eponymous skincare line, filled us in on how to avoid looking like an orange, streaky mess: “For flawless application, apply self-tanner to clean, dry skin. Any excess moisture (from the shower or perspiration) or skin flakiness may cause streaking. It’s best to apply self-tanners in even, circular motions blending until dry – be sure to wash hands immediately after application. Moisturize skin daily to extend life of tan and even fading.”
Dr. Gross’ Alpha Beta Glow Pads ($35) do double duty by exfoliating while simultaneously delivering natural sunkissed color thanks to vitamin D. Even better, it’s the only facial self-tanner that hasn’t aggravated our acne-prone skin.
Jurlique Sun Specialist Sunless Tanner ($36) is actually good for your skin, since it is chock-full of sweet orange fruit extract, caramel, and plant sugars to gently create a natural looking glow.
Self-tanners frequently have a funky smell. That is far from the case with Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja Self-Tanner ($39). The brand didn’t just disguise the smell, but instead invented their proprietary PUREshield scent-control technology. The mitt that comes with every bottle assures streak-free application.
A major drawback to self-tanner is that it fades way too quickly. L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Serum ($11) is ultra-concentrated to last up to two weeks. Don’t let the stronger formula scare you, however. TIP: Mix this formula with your favorite lotion to dilute the color a bit.
Although technically not a self-tanner, Tata Harper Iridescent Revitalizing Body Oil ($95) deserves an honorable mention for the full-body radiance it provides. You will love the shimmery, not sparkly, glowy, not greasy, formula… guaranteed.
Vita Liberata Trystal Self Tanning Bronzing Minerals ($45) is a revolutionary self-tanning product, which isn’t something we say too lightly! Apply it just as you would a regular powder bronzer, but prepare for it to last up to five days instead of just one.
Did we miss your favorite formula? Let us know in the comments below!
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
It gets dark at 4pm and even those days where the sun does come out, it’s not as though the rays are letting off much heat. New York’s thermostat is pushing 30s and, in most of America (save Miami and LA), winter is officially here. Yawn. I’m already sleepy.
While the lack of sun (and vitamin D) tends to throw me into seasonal depression (PJ’s all day, anyone?), the lack of color tends to make me look placid and sickly. I grew up in Los Angeles – I LOVE the sun, hot weather and a bronzed complexion (although I haven’t tanned my face since my early 20s, thank you very much). So, what can a girl do to get some color in the midst of all of this grey?
Well, a vacation to a tropical locale is the best remedy. Combining R&R with sun, swim and sand will infuse that golden hue back into your skin in no time. However, remember to use your SPF – although the sun feels – and looks – great, skin cancer does not. Natural SPF’s that I love, here.
There’s always tanning beds, but those have been elevated to carcinogen status so I’d recommend that you stay far, far away from burning your body to a crisp in a human oven.
Spray tans can be amazing, if you have the time, money and a machine that doesn’t malfunction. I’ve heard more than a few spray-tan horror stories – like when my friend came out looking like the old lady from There’s Something About Mary. You’re going for gold, not orange, so be cautious.
In my opinion, the best way to fake a tan is with at-home self-tanners. Self-tanning is a huge business and many major brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Nowadays, self-tanners range from inexpensive to pricey with a variety of colors and application processes. They’ve come a long way since the days of streaks and orange palms.
Here are 5 self-tanners that will give you that coveted healthy glow even during these bleak winter months:
Kate Somerville 360° Face Self Tanning Pads – Pads saturated with a self-tanner formula and made especially for the face for easy application and a perfect sunkissed glow. BONUS: Made without toxic ingredients like parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals, so they are completely baby safe (for those pregnant and nursing). $45.00
St. Tropez Self Tan Perfect Legs Spray – The spray applicator allows for an airbrushed, even application (buy the applicator mitt too!),and, while intended simply for your legs, this stuff works great if sprayed ever-so-subtely on arms too. Free of GMOs and Triclosan. $18.00
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad For Body With Active Vitamin D – Exfoliating self-tanning pads that also halt the aging process while giving skin a boost of Vitamin D. Free of all toxic chemicals including parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals. $32.00
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Lotion – A gradual self-tanner that works as a moisturizer too. Use all over the body every day until you achieve the desired golden hue. I happen to love the ease and color of this lotion. Make sure to work gently around knees, elbows, feet and hands! $10.00
Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Face – A very subtle, sexy sunkissed color intended for the face. The gel-cream has a wonderful consistency and can even be used for those with oilier skin. $32.00
Have a favorite self-tanner? Let us know in the comments below!
Another burst of snow may have hit the east coast, but that’s no excuse to walk around pale and placid. While the sun may be a long way coming (sigh), there’s always faking it! And hair-crazed Jenny (you all remember her, right? If not, you must click here for a refresher) swears she’s found the holy grail of faux tanning products!
“Rodial Brazilian Tan Airbrush is the sickest thing ever,” gushes Jenny, also known to close friends (and the twitter community) as #thebrow (because she actually flies from NY to LA once a month to secure the brow services of none other than Anastasia herself). “I’m so tan and it’s not orange or red. It looks completely real.” Now, I’ve heard these words uttered from the mouth of #thebrow before so I chalked them up as yet another faux tanning experience. But when I saw her in person, everything changed.
Her face was glowing in that I just stepped out of the sun sort of way. She wasn’t orange, or red, or any hue of fake. She looked golden, but not too golden, not deep brown like she’d been laying out for days. It was the perfect color tan, like the perfect amount of time spent in the sun, with just the perfect SPF on. Yes, I am a stickler for SPF – wrinkles and skin cancer are never cute!
While I don’t necessarily condone fake tans, there are a time and a place for them. And mid-February is just about the time – and the place – to take action. That pasty white winter skin has left us sickened and washed out. We’re feeling ugly. Winter has gone on way too long.
A little vitamin D never hurt anyone (especially the kind that comes out of a bottle! – and doesn’t smear, streak or turn orange). So, yes, I’m all for the fakeness. It’s time. Spray up (it comes in a spray can – groovy!). And walk with a little extra, golden spring in your step!
PRICE TAG: $49.00
When hair-crazed Jenny likes a product, you can’t get her to stop gabbing about it. So, naturally, I did a little research on her latest and greatest discovery: Xen Sunless Tan products. She’s not the only one in lust with the award winning formulas. Everyone from Lucky to Elle have raved about the amazing tan these products give off.
Here’s what hair-crazed Jenny has to say:
“I use the foam on my face. It’s one color for all skin tones. It seamlessly belnds into my skin and gives me the most amazing olive complexion. Nothing orange about it at all. I look like I’ve spent the entire day in the sun – that’s bhow natural the color is.”
Apparently — as I’ve never actually used the products — Xen has Natural Olive Undertone, like a real suntan; Superior Moisturizers, high level of DHA (Active Ingredient); and No Streaking.
They have a myriad of products to choose from like Dark Lotion Absolute and, Jenny’s favorite, the Mousse Intense (pictured) which is oil and paraben-free and can be used on both face and body. They also have a Face Tanner and a Mist Intense which is an oil-free, paraben-free, quick-drying spray for those of you who enjoy an automizer applicator. Products range between $19.00 to $56.00.
Watch out St. Tropez!
While Sarah spends some time on the Atlantic, I’m planning a staycation this summer in LA. June totally snuck up on me (wasn’t it just February?) and though I’m ready to pull out the skirts and dresses that get me through triple digit weather, my skin isn’t so sure.
Most of the year I live by the mantra that “pale is the new tan.” While I wear SPF daily, my skin has a yellow undertone and given the chance will turn freckly and tan. I like a bit of color when the temperatures rise but I prefer mine in a bottle. I love, love, love Lancome’s Flash Bronzer Instant Colour Self-Tanning Leg Gel, which is a favorite amongst many, including Lucky Mag beauty editor Jean Godfrey-June who often raves about it. Why so great? First off, it’s tinted with a subtle shimmer, making it possible for me to actually get a faux tan without streaks or missed spots (is it possible, you ask? it is.). Second, it dries fast and develops a golden color that looks sunkissed not Sunkist. Even on the fairest of skin.
I always prep by exfoliating, then add a dab of Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly on knees, elbows, heels and cuticles. To maintain the color, I moisturize daily with Korres Yoghurt Body Butter. The result is a week of great summer color without the sun damage. Then it’s back to the bottle. The icing on the cake? Unlike many tanners this one is paraben free and scored pretty well for its eco-responsibility at The Good Guide (if you don’t know this site already, I suggest bookmarking it now). What’s not to love? xoalex.
In fact, don’t try this product anywhere, ever. L’Oreal’s New Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Self-Tanning Lotion is all shades of wrong. Literally, look at what it did to my skin:
“A beautifully radiant sun-kissed look, streak-free, sun-free.” NOT TRUE (save for the sun-free part)! Just glance at my arm – does that look streak-free to you?
“All with a new deliciously fresh summer scent.” If summer smells like a tanning bed, then yes, this is summer’s very own scent. Delicious and fresh? Not quite.
The color is so obviously from a bottle (a very dark brown that is anything but natural), the formula is sticky and, sadly, it even smells fake. I’m usually a huge fan of L’Oreal bronzers – their Sublime Glow was one of my picks for best bronzers of 2007. Not this product.
Seems to me that someone at the L’Oreal chemist’s lab needs a refresher course on self-bronzers.
You’ve been warned, ladies, you’ve been warned.
Now excuse me while I spend the rest of the day scrubbing my arm with cleaning detergent. No, seriously.
What did YOU do?
Here it is! The big, fun filled tanning 2007 guide to beautiful, sun-kissed skin sans UVA and UVB rays (basically, tanned skin without the sun!)
I have tried a plethora of products in my quest for the best! Here, in no particular order, are a couple of tanning products that I just can’t live without…
GlowFusion Micro-Nutrient Face & Body Natural Protein Tan: The absolute best spray tan that you can do yourself! Like a mystic tan, just at home. It applies evenly and leaves skin bronzed within seconds. I have very sensitive skin and I use this product on my face without fear of break-outs!!! It rocks!!! PRICE: $58.00 (and well worth every last cent!)
It also comes in light, but I use medium because I want a quick, rich tan asap. This is a lotion that you use EVERY day after the shower… it works by gradually enhancing your NATURAL skin color, thus the more you use it, the darker you become. It smells fresh, not like a self-tanner, it doesn’t stain clothes AND it actually moisturizes. I tried many tanning moisturizers and what I found is that most don’t actually moisturize. This one does it all! PRICE: $7.99
NARS Blush & Bronzer Duo – Orgasm & Laguna: The perfect Summer compact: Two of my favorite colors side by side. Laguna is a rich, golden bronzer, while Orgasm is a subtle pinky-peach shimmer blush. Used together, it makes you look like you just left the beach! All sun-kissed and fresh-faced! PRICE: $36.00
Like the Dove moisturizing lotion, this too enhances your natural skin tone, but it also adds a hint of sparkle every time you use it! I like to wear this lotion when I’m going out at night because the shimmer accentuates the tan and also makes my skin look dewy. Available in medium too! PRICE: ON SALE for $8.99
This oil-free, non-comedogenic face lotion with SPF 20 is ideal for sensitive, acne prone skin types. Not only does it enhance your skin’s natural color (building a “tan” the more times you use it), but it is perfect for evening out blothcy, or scarred skin. I love this product and have actually started using it as my primary facial moisturizer! PRICE: ON SALE for $5.78
Tarte Celebutante Dry Oil Shimmer Spray: Most people love the Nars body shimmer but I’ve gotta say, it’s so greasy and always gets all over my clothes. That’s when I found this dry oil product. Essentially, it does the same thing: spray on your body and you have a dewy, bronzed glow. But this one is not greasy AND it dries much faster then Nars (it also smells like coconut… yummy!). It’s not as deep of a tan as Nars, more of a champagne color, but I’ll sacrifice so long as my clothes stay fake-tan free! PRICE: $28.00
Physicians Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzing & Shimmery Face Powder: This bi-colored bronzer provides both a light tan and a golden shimmer! Physicians Formula rules the market in bronzing products – they sent me 23 different bronzers to test! Although I haven’t had a chance to use all of them, this specific bronzer worked really well for my skin because it gave a natural glow and provided that dewy look that I love. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, oil free, non-comedogenic AND dermatologist approved! WOW! PRICE: $11.95
I just can’t write this post without once again discussing my all-time favorite face product, Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Sand with SPF 20: I use this product EVER day and it completely evens out my blothcy skin-tone PLUS it adds color to my face! The sun is so bad for your skin, not to mention what it does to scars and brown spots, so by using this product, I look tan, I’m saving my face AND I producing a “perfect palette;” even skin tone! I kid you not, when I wear this product, people tell me that I have fabulous skin! Can oyu imagine?! PRICE: $40.00
Have a favorite faux-tan product?! Let us know by emailing the beauty whore at email@example.com!!!
Tan away, fellow beauty whores!!!
I am an LA resident and love to be tan year round, but I am at the age where
I am really thinking about aging and protectin my skin. I want a deep tan
from a bottle and was wondering if you could recommend a sunless tanner that
really works, price is no issue, just quality.
The Beauty Whore says:
From Sephora, it’s called glow fusion… it is the most fabulous self
tanner that I have ever used… I’m gonna be writing about it soon… Keep in mind, it’s
very expensive… but not as expensive as curing skin cancer or fixing a withered face!
I am wondering if you have any suggestions for a really good nail hardener or strengthener? My nails are just peeling like crazy. Any brand is fine………..anything from Covergirl to Channel……………..price not important………but dependability.
I thank you so much in advance!!!!
Susan J. Hedrick
The Beauty Whore says:
i like nailtique….(CLICK HERE for product)
it’s awesome… $15.00 and well worth every cent!
you must use daily for optimum results!
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