How to self tan!! And the best self tanners!!


Lots of ladies love tanning.  There’s just something about that sun kissed glow, that most people don’t have.  But there are some people who have taken it too far (aka tanning booths) that are just breeding grounds for skin cancer.  I used to live in Italy and LOTS of Europeans are obsessed with tanning in a similar way Americans are.  If not more!  In Italy, Italians start going to the beach as early as March or April!

(I recently read this article about how a girl who was obsessed with tanning ended up getting skin cancer at 27.  Click here to read the article & see the pictures: 27 year old graphic selfie serves as warning against skin cancer.)

Also these days if I travel, it’s usually within the US, or to Asia (to visit family).  On the other side of the coin: I noticed a popular trend that started several years ago among Asian girls: they LOVE pale complexions.  If you do a lot of research particular in Japanese & Korean cosmetics, there are LOTS of products aimed at skin whitening.  The idea is that if you are super white, you are super cool. 

In all honesty I forgo both ends of the spectrum.  I naturally pick up color from the sun; if it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  And I always put on sunblock when I’m out.  And I hardly get sunburnt.  Honestly I pick up color so naturally that I have tan lines on my feet from my sandals!

I mentioned this once before, but I think pale complexions are beautiful.  (American girls want to look darker, but Asian girls want to look lighter!)  Sometimes you are beautiful just the way you are; and there’s no need to look orange.


I’ve always been an advocate of sunscreen, but I’ve mentioned before that the safest tan, is a fake one.  And sunscreen is the best anti-aging product you will ever use.  However, if you would like that golden tan, I will recommend the most affordable products the safe way. 

How to put on self tanner properly:

1) Prep your skin properly.  If you have some stray hairs, give yourself a good shave / wax.

2) Exfoliate: both your face & your body.  Avoid any exfoliants with added oils, for that can affect the tan.

3) Take a shower: towel off & wait 10 min after drying.

4) Moisturize: only in the dry parts of your face / body.

5) Pick the right self tanner: Pick the shade that’s closest to your skin tone.  Usually it takes a couple of applications to get to the desired color.

6) Put on the self tanner, start on the bottom of your body & work your way up: Save your arms & hands for last.

Recommended: Use latex gloves to put them on, or even get a tanning mitt.  (Some tanning kits come with one.)  The last thing you want is brown gucky hands.

7) Go light on the face: Put on maybe a dime sized drop on your forehead, cheeks, nose & chin) & blend outward with your fingertips.  Make sure you wash your hands afterwards.

8) Give yourself extra time to dry.  Tip: brush talc-free baby powder on your body; this prevents the tanner from transferring to your clothes.

9) Avoid showering or sweating (i.e. exercising) for the next 8 hours.

10) If splotches / streaks appear: Use half a lemon & rub on the area for 2 min before wiping off with a towel.

11) To preserve your color: use a gentle cleanser & moisturize.  We can’t control how long the color lasts (could be 7-10 days)

12) When the color starts to fade; you can exfoliate & start again.

Tip: Use a face protector if you’re using a spray on tan.  Inhaling the fumes will be toxic for you.


Here listed below are the best self tanners on a budget: 


Jergen’s Natural Glow, $7

Too good to be true?  This was named one of the Best of Beauty Winners by Allure Magazine!  You can work it up in a streak free color, & moisturizes your skin at the same time!


Australian Gold Faces Sheer Coverage, $8

A self tanner, moisturizer, & sunscreen all in one!  Not sticky, & you can get that natural glow after a few applications!


L’Oreal’s Sublime Bronze, $11

Give yourself that airbrushed tan at home!  The dead giveaway of self tanners?  Orange palms.  Not a problem with this one!  This spray on tan has a 360 degree applicator, and is streak free!


Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion, $14


Origin’s The Great Shimmery Pretender, $22


Clinique’s Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion, $22

For the girls who love a gradual tan!


Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess, $25


Shiseido Self Tanning Gel, $33

Screen Shot

St Tropez Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse, $32


Xen Tan Luminous Gold, $35

This is great for fair complexions who would like a medium shade tan


Van-T Mist, $37

All the way from Australia, it’s organic & starts deepening your skin color in one hour!  Even Kylie Minogue claims this is her favorite!

Remember when you go out you will still need sunscreen!  Tan safely & look your best!

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