Best Self Tanner + Application Tips March 30, 2020 | With warm weather upon us and shorts season approaching fast, I thought that it would be the perfect time to share the absolutely best self tanner and my self tanning routine and tips with you. I absolutely have a favorite self tanner and it’s probably my most purchased item from Amazon over the course of the year, in fact, I finally just put it on auto-delivery. It’s got the most beautiful mocha brown color and really does achieve the most natural looking tan, regardless of your natural skin tone. I should also preface this by saying— I’ve tried them all. I’ve tried alllllll the self tanners and can say with confidence that this is my long term favorite. I know that self tanner isn’t for everyone, but it definitely gives me a confidence boost and healthy glow daily, and for that I’m thankful! Here’s my routine: Hot Pink Cable Sweater (Amazon find)| Denim Shorts | Camo Sneakers | Self Tanner (also in stock at ULTA HERE) | Tanning Mitt My absolute, hands down favorite self tanners is Loving Tan mousse! I alternate between the 2 Hour Express and the Deluxe Bronzing Mousse. I’ve been using it for a year and a half now and honestly will never go back. I also cancelled my spray tan membership, because truly this does the job. Deluxe Bronzing Mousse | In stock at ULTA HERE | 2 Hour Express Here’s the deal, the self tanner itself is amazing, but if you want it to go on nicely and last—there’s a bit of prep work involved. You need to really work on sloughing off any old or dead skin so that the mousse goes on smooth and lasts as long as possible. Exfoliating is probably a part of your skincare routine anyway, but here’s what I use. About 2-3x a week (typically after I shave) I use this grapefruit body scrub with a mitt and exfoliate my legs and arms. It gives a great all over polish and sloughs off any dead skin. Once a week or every 10 days or so, I go over my arms and legs with this deep exfoliating mitt. It’s definitely more aggressive than a body scrub and has more of the texture of sandpaper (sounds intense, but it’s not bad). I use this to really get off any excess tan, so that I can start over. I focus a lot on knees, ankles, elbows, etc as this is really the best method to get it all off. Your skin will feel a bit sensitive after, but I moisturize and sleep on it and it feels amazing in the morning. After my morning shower, I’ll typically apply a new round of self tanner and start all over. Grapefruit Ginger Scrub (Trader Joes) | Colleen Rothschild Honey Body Scrub | Deep Exfoliating Mitt | Body Scrub To set yourself up for self tanning success, I would recommend buying this set of mitts. It includes one for face and one for body and really works the mousse over the body nicely. I always get asked if I use the self tanner on my face and the answer is YES, but the key for me is to use very little, blend well and ensure that I’m washing the application mitt ofter (it’s machine washable). Tanning Mit | 2 Hour Express | (also in stock at ULTA HERE) | Deluxe Bronzing Mousse Ok now you have two options the 2 Hour Express or the Deluxe Bronzing Mousse When I need immediate color that will last all day, but know that about 70% will wash off during my nightly shower, I opt for the 2 Hour Express. It gives an immediate and beautiful glow and lasts all day long. The color doesn’t really build or develop during the day and when you put it on, that’s pretty much the color that you’ll get all day long. I’d say I use this one 70% of the time for everyday color. When I want some color that I can build upon and that will last for a few days, I opt for the Deluxe Bronzing Mousse. Not nearly as much washes off immediately and the color tends to develop more throughout the day, making it buildable over multiple applications. Overall, the colors are essentially the same, it just depends on what you’re looking for. Tanning Mit | Deluxe Bronzing Mousse | 2 Hour Express I’m no expert, but here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way: -Choose the color. I always opt for the darkest shade, but if that makes you nervous, start with something lighter and learn what works for you! -EXFOLIATE first (see above) and apply on freshly washed, dry skin -Very very very lightly moisturize tricky areas like knees, ankles, elbows, wrists). This will ensure that tanner doesn’t get stuck in all of the creases around these areas. -SHAKE up the mouse. Like really really good. -For face, start with only 1/2 pump! A little goes a long way and you’ll have to work kind of fast, really blending into all of the areas. You can also blend with a blunt makeup brush. I find that when I have self tanner on my face, I can’t go bare faced. To me, it serves as a good base of color, but looks better with foundation over it to even out the skin tone. 99% of the time you see me on the camera, I have self tanner on my face. -For the body, I do arms first and try to really blend in as I apply. Then legs, same thing. -This particular mousse dries pretty fast, but you can also lightly dust your skin with talc free baby powder to set it for the day. -To preserve your color, make sure to stay hydrated and moisturize your skin. Coconut and hemp based lotions are best. Any face products with retinol or acids will likely strip the color. -Wash your mitts. I just throw mine in with a few drops of tide free and clear and hot water. Hot Pink Cable Sweater | Denim Shorts | Camo Sneakers | Self Tanner | Tanning Mitt | Deluxe Bronzing Mousse | 2 Hour Express Ok, there it is! My favorite self tanner and all of the tips and tricks that I use to get a year around bronzed color. Trust me, it adds the best, healthy glow and really does a number for boosting confidence. I always opt for the darkest color available, but start lighter and really learn what works for you from there. Happy Tanning!