Every girl has their go-to products, especially when it comes to the warmer months. More skin showing, more heat, more attention to what we look like. I know as a red head myself, my skin is naturally pale. Back in high school, I remember stretching before cheer practice where the other girls on my team were already visiting tanning beds and getting that coveted tan skin for their short shorts, bikinis, and yes, our butt grazing cheer uniforms. They would make comments like “Oh, I desperately need to get a tan, I hate being pale.” But my personal favorite was them quickly looking over and seeing me, immediately proceed to say, “Oh, but your skin is so pretty white.” Yeah. Thanks.
I think I had a twinge (ok, fine, perhaps more than a twinge) of hurt and yes, jealousy, because for me, a pale skinned redhead, my freckles would be endless, tanning beds are so not my friend, and I’m still to this day, extremely susceptible to getting sunburned. It’s literally red or white for me. No in between.
But thankfully, that’s where spray tans and self tanners come into play.
I used to get spray tans quite often, and though I don’t go home to Texas as much as I’d like, my mom has her own spray tanning machine (with all organic and natural products I might add) that she’s become quite amazing at getting everything even and natural looking. But I don’t get the spray tans as much anymore, because
1.) They can get pretty pricey and only last maybe a week (and that’s 5 days, not 7)
2.) I’ve turned out pretty orange and spotty even with a light formula.
If you have luck with spray machines, WOOHOO, I congratulate you, because I’ve had trouble and now am strictly more into self tanning lotions I can do in my own home. Which is the whole point of this blog post! I hope these tricks will work for you as they have been on me so far and in the past. ( I hope to also bring you some pictures soon to give evidence of my process, but as I’m just starting my warmer months routine, I’ll have to get back to you on that. But I PROMISE this works! )
First, the products…
1.) Neutrogena Micro-Mist: It’s an airbrush self tanner that I get in Medium. (It doesn’t even come in a Fair.) It’s super light and dries in less than five minutes.
2.) Jergen’s Natural Glow: I’m a big fan of Jergen’s just in general, but for self tanner, I use the Jergen’s Natural Glow. And though I’m fair skinned, I sometimes use the one for medium skin tones if I need an extra boost in color. For example, if I’m going to the beach the next day and don’t have the full week to do the tanning process.
3.) Estēe Lauder New Dimension Shape & Fill Serum: You might have seen awhile back on my Instagram that I was chosen by Estēe Lauder and GLAMOUR magazine to help preview Estēe’s new product all about creating those contour angles on your face without makeup. They sent me a tube before the shoot, and I definitely used it. Get this, it works! Personally, I saw a definite definition to my skin around my cheekbones, nose, and my temples. It feels firm, but moisturized and supple. I’m not one to put a lot of makeup on and therefore not exactly a contouring fan most of the time, so this product quickly became a go-to.
4.) Jergen’s BB Body: Ok, this might actually be the coolest thing, and I think something I’m going to start using all year long. It is said to hydrate and smooth, brighten, even your skin tone, minimize the appearance of scars or imperfections, and firm your skin. I haven’t been using it too long, but I do see a more even tone, and I use everywhere but my face. You can still see the freckles on my arms, but it has “blended” quite a bit on my chest. Not so sure about the “firming skin” part yet, but I do feel brighter and more “glowy.” ( I know that’s not a word, but I think you understand what I’m getting at.)
Now for the “Oh-I-CAN-Look-Tan-In-A-Bikini” Process:
1.) Use the Jergen’s BB Body for awhile first. I’ve been using it for about a month now after I get out of the shower, and especially because I love hot showers. Mmmm. Moisturization is importante! Use all over and allow to dry a bit before putting on clothes.
2.) Now for the tanning…Shower and exfoliate! No point on putting on a self tanner lotion if it’s just going to come off the next day.
3.) After the shower, I completely dry off and then get back in the shower. Sounds funny I know, but if you don’t want to spray and color your bathroom cabinets or your pretty white towels, spraying the Neutrogena Micro-Mist is best when you can easily wipe down your shower walls. Just be careful to air out the shower and keep the bathroom ventilated. Probably not the best to inhale that stuff.
4.) Hold the bottle of Micro-Mist 6″ away and do a continuous spray all over. It says not to double back over the skin, but I haven’t had too much trouble with over application or looking streaky. But best to follow the directions on the bottle first and then customize it to you. Let it dry for about 5 minutes.
5.) The next morning or at least 12 hrs after I have used the spray, I’ll use the Jergen’s Natural Glow. If I do have any streaks, (which seriously, I usually don’t see any) or if I’m wanting to darken the color a bit more, using the lotion after increases my color. Then I’ll use the Natural Glow after a shower to maintain and gradually darken my color. If I feel like I’m getting too much, then I’ll stop the tanner and use the BB Body.
6.) Since I don’t use the self tanners on my face, as I normally wear makeup and the color isn’t drastically different between my face and my body, I’ll just use the New Dimension Serum after washing my face and before sunscreen and then apply my makeup. If I do want a little more color to my face, I’ll just use a light bronzer like this one from Clinique and some blush.
Yay! I don’t look like a ghost!
I really do hope that you might try this little process for yourself and see what you think. Yes, it is easier to lay outside in the sun, but please, please, PLEASE, whoever you are and whatever your skin tone, please wear sunscreen! The sun and those dang UV rays age your skin like no other! Well that, smoking, and stress, but that is a whole other post! Please do you and your future self a favor and wear sunscreen, and everyday I might add.
Here are a few of my favorites:
*John Masters Suncare SPF 30 (For your face!)
And if you are in a pinch (this one does have toxins though!):
Have fun this Spring/Summer y’all and let me know if this process or something like it works for you!
*All opinions are totally my own!