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HOW TO APPLY A FAUX TAN

50 Is Not Old | Faux TanSpring is here, the birds are chirping, the flowers are starting to bloom, and the temperatures are rising. We are getting ready to put our winter clothing in storage, and bring out the short sleeves and shorts. But, the winter has left us with pasty white skin, and who wants to see that? There are a lot of ways to achieve a faux tan, but not all of them will give you the results you want. It has taken me a few years, but I pretty much have the routine down to a science.I have used a lot of self-tanning products, but most of them have some drawbacks. I have a slight allergy to smells, some smells give me a headache, so finding a self-tanner has been difficult. Most tanning products leave a nasty, lingering odor.

If the smell is not a factor for you, finding a non-streaking product is still a problem. No matter how adept you are at applying a self-tanner, you run the risk of having a “spot” that is either too dark or too light. Here are my steps to help you look your best.

Shower and Exfoliate

Shower. Shave. Exfoliate. In order to get a smooth and streak free tan, you need to rid yourself of any dead skin that is on your body. Showering and shaving are not enough. I purchased an exfoliating mitt, that takes off dead skin, but there is a cheaper option. Purchase a box (or bag) of raw sugar, and put it is a waterproof container in your shower. Put a small amount in your washcloth, and rub over your body. Completely rinse the sugar off, and you are set. Make sure you scrub lightly, you don’t want to irritate your skin.IMG_0266IMG_0267

Moisturize

I have extremely dry skin that flakes, cracks, and is all around yucky. I need to moisturize more often than I do, but when I finally get around to using lotion, I use Lubriderm Advance Therapy.  I moisturize in two different ways. I keep the lotion in the shower so that I can apply the lotion while I am still wet. After I shower, I turn off the water, and use my hands to rake the remaining water off my skin. I will thin apply the lotion all over my body. It is slippery, but it doesn’t drop off onto the bottom of the shower. Joe hates it when I put on something, and then he gets in the shower and almost falls because the floor is slick. Haha  After I am covered in the lotion, I get out of the shower and just dab off the remaining water with a towel. It may take a few minutes to completely dry. OR, I shower, then dry off, and apply the moisturizer. Why put on the lotion, then put on the self tanner? Why not do this process in one step? I put a small amount of each in my palm, and then let them mix on my body. The lotion helps the tanner to flow smoothly, and helps to reduce streaking.IMG_0269IMG_0270This would be the amount I start with for each leg. I just squirt some lotion and then add the approximate same amount of self-tanner. No need to mix it together, just start rubbing the concoction on your body.IMG_0271Let’s be honest, I REALLY must like you gurls to show an up close pic of my leg. I know you can’t un-see this, but I have to see it daily. Haha  Here is the glob before I start to rub it in. IMG_0272Doesn’t this look wonderful? It reminds me of walnut stain. You know, the color your hands turn when you have been picking up walnuts off the ground.

Self-Tanner

Which self-tanner do you pick? I like a couple different tanners,  here are a couple of my favorites. L’OREAL Sublime Bronze is a good self tanner. I use the medium natural tan. The only drawback I have is the smell, remember I am sensitive. If the smell doesn’t bother you, then this is a decent product at a reasonable price. LORAC TANtalizer is a good tanner that I bought at Ulta. I went to Ulta, asked the sales clerk for their best tanner, and this is what they recommended. It has a beautiful color, but it washes off in the shower more than some of the other products I have used. The first time I used it, I was shocked at how brown the shower water turned. Of course, there is product still left on your body, but I don’t like having to apply tanner more often. I am currently using SUN Laboratories by Gissee. The color is great, the smell is relatively light, and the wash off residue is small. I bought a small bottle the first time, but I went for the big daddy this last time. With any self-tanning product, you need to try the product on a small area, on a hidden part of your body, to make sure you will not have an allergic reaction.IMG_0279IMG_0268IMG_0274This is after I rubbed in the lotion on my one leg. You can see the difference immediately. It will actually darken a little more in the next couple of hours. If you want more color, just add another layer. I usually just add one layer to begin with. I want the tan to look natural, so if you all of a sudden show up really dark, that might not look too natural. After three of four days, put on another layer. Do this till you get to your desired color. IMG_0276This is what your hand will look like after you apply the tanner. I have a tanner mitt, but I honestly don’t like those things. I just prefer to use my hands, and wash them afterwards. Wash your hands with soap, then use a washcloth to dry your hands. The washcloth will be damp, so take it and go in between your fingers. You don’t want extra tanning lotion to “pool” in crevices. Go between the fingers, very lightly wipe off your wrist, elbows, knees, and ankles. These are your problem areas.IMG_0277This is how much extra tanning product came off onto my washcloth. Let the tanning lotion dry completely before you put clothes on. I will put on a housecoat while it dries. Don’t wear white. haha Even though the lotion is dry, it may still rub off a little.

The dress that I wore on Sunday is a beautiful blue and white maxi dress from Cato’s. I bought this at least two years ago to wear to Sandy’s son’s wedding. Here is a similar dress (misses) and here is a similar one, (plus). The navy cardigan is from Old Navy, and is one that I have worn often. Here is a similar one (misses) and here is the plus version.

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  1. Angie wrote:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve also been a lurker on your blog but decided to break the silence with my experience with self tanners. Just started using Fake Bake from Amazon after my daughter told me she uses it. I didn’t know how natural it could look. No one suspected when my husband and I went to Florida last month, only this time he was the recipient of many a pale jokes instead of me.

    Posted 6.7.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Too funny. My husband plays a lot of golf, so he is always nicely tanned. My self-tanner helps me not look like Casper. Haha

      Posted 6.7.16 Reply
  2. Kathy King wrote:

    I read that when putting on self tanned use gloves like nurses sand dr wear. Pull off on stain on hands

    Posted 3.20.16 Reply
  3. Mary Treadway wrote:

    I too use Sun Laboratories self tanner and so far it is my favorite. I may have to try the Tan Towel, though, or Cyndi Spivey recommended an all natural one that I am also considering. I little trick I use to get the self tanner off my hands is to sprinkle a little baking soda on my hands along with the soap when washing. It takes it right off and actually helps my hands feel so much softer. I was just thinking the other day that it was time to start my “tanning”. My legs are currently so white they glow in the dark! LOL I love reading your blog every morning. You and coffee are the best part of my morning!

    Posted 3.17.16 Reply
  4. Kim Andreasen wrote:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful tips. I had skin cancer a few years back and I need to be very careful in the sun. My tanning days are behind me! It’s so refreshing to read your blog, it’s like having coffee with a friend!?

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  5. Oh, my goodness, I am so relieved to see that those little spots on my legs are normal! I swear, looking at your photos was just like looking down at my own legs and it made me feel so much better. Thank you for sharing that! I have dallied about with sunless tanners here and there the last few year and just not gotten the results I wanted. I’ve always been afraid to mix my regular moisturizer directly with the tanning lotion, opting to put the tanner on after my daily lotion has dried. Hence, I was working on “drier” skin. But no more. I am going to give this a shot!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  6. Lori wrote:

    I’m a Tan Towel fan too! They are by far the quickest, easiest, mess free tanning method I’ve found.
    That dress looks great on you Tania!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  7. Thanks for the tips. Though self-tanners have come a long way in my lifetime, they still can be challenging. Love how you keep things real. You seem so genuine. Enjoy reading your blog every day.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  8. Rebecca wrote:

    I appreciate your instructions and tips. I need to use a tanner, but have been afraid. Now I am going to try one.
    And I too, love the dress! Thank you!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  9. Shannon wrote:

    I’m so glad you posted this. I was just thinking I need to do a self-tanner the other day. Thanks for the tips! Never thought to mix it with lotion-great idea! xx-S

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  10. Cynthia Brown wrote:

    I also love the tan towels and highly recommend them. They go on very easily and dry very quickly, with minimal smell. I’ve tried several self-tanners and tan towels are by far my favorite.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  11. Debbie Ashburn wrote:

    I have never done well with self tanners, but really want to! With your direction I think I’ll try again. I don’t need to be in the tanning bed. Also, the older I get (just turned 55) my legs are more and more spotty, yuck. I’m naturally pale but have sunned way too much in my lifetime. This is a good and quick option! Thanks so much! PS Have you tried the Sally Hanson spray tan? It’s not permanent just a one day thing but had a lovely smooth look to it. I use it in a pinch. ?

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  12. Kathy wrote:

    Love your dress! I agree blue is your color. My daughter gave me a wonderful tip a few years back and that is to dust some bronzer on those pasty white feet, works wonderfully …lol…..been doing it since!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  13. Kathy wrote:

    I agree with Connie – blue is a great color on you. Being a southern girl, you probably know what the belly of a catfish looks like. That’s my legs. Thanks for being brave and showing yours – they look perfectly fine.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Hahaha! Belly of a catfish!

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  14. Grace wrote:

    Love your blog! I have been a silent stalker for a few months, but felt the need to share my tanning tips since I have gotten so many great ideas from you! I have very very dry skin like you. Every time I shower I rake off water, rub on a small amount of baby gel, towel dry, then add lotion.
    Skin stays soft a as baby’s bottom all year! I empty half of my lotion into an old empty bottle, fill it back up with self tanner, shake the lotion/tanner mix well then apply using latex gloves. Use a damp cotton ball with lotion/tanner on back of hand after removing gloves. As summer turns to the other seasons, I adjust the amount of tanner to lotion so I have a lighter color but still tan all year.
    Thanks for all the tips, advice, and laughs you have shared. I look forward to “seeing” you every morning.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I like the idea of using the half empty lotion bottle. Thanks for the tip. You are silent no more! Haha

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  15. Michele wrote:

    Thanks for those tips. Even in Florida we use self tanners. Have you ever tried a mixture of coconut oil and sugar. It makes a great exfoliate. You look adorable in that dress; So fresh.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I have Michele, and I like the results. But, since you need to rinse off the product it makes the shower floor slippery, and Joe is not a happy camper when that happens. Lol!

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  16. Patsy Holland wrote:

    Have you tried Tan Towel? I get them from Ulta and love them! Very easy to use with no mess, very mild scent and gives a soft color with NO ORANGE. Almost instant dry. I use the fair to medium. Closest to natural tan I’ve found and I think I’ve used everything on the market. Oh yeah, love your dress!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      No, I have meant to try the Tan Towel. I thought that looked like a good product to have when I was traveling. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  17. Renee wrote:

    Love the dress, went to Catos the other day they have some really cute dresses for Spring. Got to get the self tanner out and try your trick.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  18. Deb wrote:

    Thank you so much Tania for these great tips! I have been using self tanners for years and I can see now how following your steps will give a much better result with no streaks. This is my first time commenting and I’d like you to know I really enjoy your blog, fashion tips and humor! Thank you, Deb

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks Deb, I am so glad you are following along.

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  19. CONNIE wrote:

    Did I miss where you bought the product you like? I too hate the smell of all tanning products but would love to try this one. Blue is your color. I don’t have to tell you that. You look so pretty in this dress. Perfect for that springtime wedding! One last question about your tanning. How often do you have to reapply? Is this a daily process or one you can do once a week? You must have known I was wondering what to do with my pasty skin! Wore black shoes with pixie pants and my feet showed. They just about blinded me! LOL

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Connie, just click on the “blue” words and that should take you to the link. I order mine through Amazon, but it might be sold elsewhere. When I first start, I will apply every three days. Once I get the result I want then it more like once a week. When summer hits, I do less often.

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  20. Sandy wrote:

    Thanks for the tips on the self tanners! Love the dress! I hope long dresses stay in fashion. I just love them! They are so easy and make you look put together, and of course hide your legs!

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  21. Isabel wrote:

    Thank you so much for your tips . I always find a little streak which is just so darn irritating. I’m going to try this other brand ( Sun ) and see if that helps.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
  22. Michelle wrote:

    Have you ever tried Rodan and Fields Self Tanner? It is awesome!! You can check out my website mcresap.myrandf.com you would absolutely love their lotion and all their anti aging products. If you would like to try it I would be happy to send you a bottle for all of your wonderful advice! Actually I would love to have you on my team, we could get rich doing something we love. I am really glad a friend led me to your blog. We both work at a high school and the students have even noticed the change in our attire. She actually won the purse the other day and was thrilled! Thanks for helping me feel better about how I dress! I am already on your email list.

    Posted 3.16.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I haven’t tried R & F tanners. I have only recently (Monday) started using a product called REVERSE. I am going to take pictures and do a post about my results. I hear great things about R & F, so I am crossing my fingers.

      Posted 3.16.16 Reply
      • Michelle wrote:

        It is awesome! You can even apply it to your face for a beautiful even tan. I use soothe and it has cleared my roscia. I love all the products!

        Posted 3.16.16 Reply
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