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Beauty Tutorial: Self Tanner

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It's safe to assume that most of us have had at least one bad experience using self tanner. My first one (there have been several) was in high school in an attempt to prepare for summer attire. I absentmindedly applied it - slapping it all over my face, elbows, and knees, and to top things off, I was left with bright orange palms. Since I don't lie out in the sun anymore, I have relatively pale skin pretty much year-round, but I look and feel much better with a bit of a tan. So after many years of practice, I've finally found a product that works (Tan Towels - they deposit even color, barely smell, and dry quickly) and a method that produces failproof results each time. Since we're in the middle of winter and most people aren't currently showing their bare legs, here are my steps for applying self tanner for your upper body. 


Step 1: Pull your hair away from your face in a ponytail with a headband. Not only is it important to keep stray hairs away from your face, but it's also crucial that you can access your hairline, so there's not an awkward distinction from the color of your face and scalp. 

Step 2: Exfoliate skin.


Step 3: Dry face completely. 

Step 4: Remove all jewelry. 


Step 5: Whether you're using regular self tanner lotion or a lotion-infused towel (my preference), it's important to work slowly around your face, concentrating mainly on the areas the sun hits naturally - your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, and along your cheeks. Using a light touch, work in small circles that overlap, so you don't miss any spots. Continue onto neck, shoulders, arms (don't forget the under side!), ears, and the jawline. 

Step 6: Wash hands thoroughly (in particular, the inside part of your wrist) with soap and water and dry completely. 


Step 7: Grab a tissue so you can apply self tanner to your hands. Add a tiny dollop of self tanner lotion directly onto the tissue or simply use it to pick up your tan towel and apply evenly over the top of your hands. 


Other things to keep in mind:

- Whenever possible, try to wait at least half an hour before getting dressed.

- Once the self tanner is dry, remember to moisturize with lotion often. This not only helps keep your skin looking dewy, but will also help maintain your color.

-The same tips above apply to your entire body, but just make sure that after you've exfoliated your legs, that you also shave.

You can also check out my other beauty tutorials, like how to do a fishtail braid, winged eyeliner, or beachy waves.

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.