Self Tanner Guide: Fight The fear

Mimic Emmeline’s (played by young Brooke
Shields) tan in “The Blue Lagoon”–safely. 

By BBJ Intern Julia Casella

We all know that there are three ways to get that perfect summer glow. The good old just-go-outside way, the get-inside-a- coffin-with-bulbs way or the modern rub/spray-stuff-all over-your-body way. Although I have had many poolside summers, and I (shamefully) admit that I used to be on a first-name basis with the owner of the local tanning salon, I now prefer lotions to laying.

My favorite self tanner list goes from scary (instant) to less scary (gradual)–but first, a word on fear! I think that one of the many reasons people opt for the dangerous way of getting tan is because they are afraid of looking like they self tan. I’ll never forget the tabloid picture where they zoomed in on Lindsay Lohan’s orange palms the way they would zoom in on her nose when she was doing coke. It’s almost as if having Cheeto hands is more terrifying than developing cancer. Not rational, and not the only driving factor behind tanning beds/frying outside, but I think it’s valid. Instead of inspiring fear by writing about what you should actually be afraid of (like melanoma), I’m going to show you why self tanning is not scary and health reasons aside, it is actually better:

1) Um hello, you can sleep all day and stay out all night still while looking like a sexy sun goddess.
2) You won’t get burnt.
3) No tan lines–sorry but they look bad and limit your sartorial options: a halter-top tan line with a strapless dress isn’t cute.
4) Once you’ve perfected your technique, or met your favorite spray tanner, you can actually create fake abs/ definition/ overall appearance of being slim just by shading the correct areas. Also, on a less technical note, it decreases the appearance of cellulite.
5) Like all makeup–and this is probably my favorite thing about makeup- if you mess up, you can take it off! Just like when you wipe away smudged mascara, you can get rid of an (unlikely) telltale streak by exfoliating in the shower or using a correcting wipe/liquid like the ones by St Tropez.

So fight the fear with these products. I recommended shaving and using a scrub beforehand on elbows and knees.

Sue Devitt Microquatic Tinted Body Moisturizer ($36)/ Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer ($32)

These two are perfect if you want to be tan right this minute. You can put on as little (just mix a quarter sized amount with whatever lotion you have lying around) or as much as you want (apply it as you would regular lotion) and BAM–you’re tan. It will rinse off in the shower but wait a few minutes before dressing if you are wearing white.

 I suggest saving the Lorac  one for nighttime as it has shimmer and smells divine.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad ($32 for 20 pads)
Ideal for traveling/ no mess application, these individually wrapped wipes couldn’t be easier. Just rub the towelette around your whole body in circular motions until it’s dry. I normally use them at night and wake up sun kissed but you will notice a difference within a few hours. They also come in a smaller just-for- your-face form that I used all winter.

Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer with SPF ($9)
The one that started it all. When this first came out, it smelled kinda weird but both the product concept and price point were perfect, making it an instant hit. It’s gradual, so you use it a few times before you notice a difference, making it fool proof. Now it smells good and comes with SPF which basically means it couldn’t get any better.

And if none of this appeals to you then go see Snow White and the Huntsman for palespiration and Charlize Theron’s super evil/sexy eye makeup!

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