Fashion Blogger 50 Is Not Old showing off her tan in a neutral colored sweaterSpring 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

Exfoliating Mitt
Baiden Exfoliating Mitt

Shower. Shave. Exfoliate. 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. Thoroughly rinse the sugar off, and you are set. Make sure you scrub lightly, you don’t want to irritate your skin. Or, you can use an exfoliating bar of soap like the one that I use now. It is called Marlowe No. 102, and don’t let the fact that it is called a man’s soap scare you away.


I have extremely dry skin that flakes, cracks, and is all around yucky. Moisturizing is something that I have to do often to keep it under control. I used to use Lubriderm Advanced Therapy, but now I use the Active Hydration Body Replenish from R+F. After I shower, I turn off the water and use my hands to rake the remaining water off my skin. I will then apply the moisturizer all over my body. Applying a moisturizer is a crucial step; it helps the tanner to flow smoothly and helps to reduce streaking.

Body Replenish
Active Hydration Body Replenish
Lubriderm lotion
Lubriderm Advanced Therapy


Which self-tanner do you pick? I like a couple of different tanners,  here are a couple of my favorites. You have to ask yourself what type of tanner do you want to use and how much of an expert you are at applying self-tanners. Do you want a tanner that has a bronzer in it, or are you comfortable with the type that goes on clear?

If you are a novice at tanning, then you want something that is natural-looking and won’t show when you miss an area. The Foaming Sunless Tanner by R+F is perfect for you. I have customers who LOVE this product and order several at a time. However, I like a dark tan, and I can get a darker enough tan with this product to suit me.

So, I am currently using Loving Tan 2Hr Express Tan in Dark. This gives me a rich dark tan that I can see immediately, and it doesn’t all go down the drain once you take a shower. I also don’t notice the smell, so that is a good thing. However, this is not for those who haven’t used tanners before. It dries fast, and if you are not quick, you will leave streaks.

I was using SUN Laboratories by Gissee, which is also a dark tanner, but it doesn’t dry as quickly. 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.

SUN self-tanner
SUN Self Tanning in Medium

How To Apply

Self Tanning Mitt
2-n-1 Self-Tanning Mitt

After I have applied the moisturizer, I use a 2-n-1 Self-Tanning Mitt to apply the self-tanner. I used to apply with my hands, but the stain would get in the lines and wrinkles, and it was hard to wash off. I have used other mitts before, but they bled through, and my hands still got dirty. This one is great, and it has a strap for applying to your back also. Applying sunless tanner Apply the tanner to the largest portion of the part of the body you are working on. When I start on the leg, I do the shins, going around from top to back, and then when I am sure that all of that area is covered, I’ll use what is left on the mitt to do the ankles, knees, and the tops of my feet. Those are the areas that you have to be the most careful because they will look “rusty” if you have too much product. Then I move on to my thighs, each arm, chest, stomach, etc.
one leg tan, and one leg notThis is after I rubbed in the lotion on my one leg. You can see the difference immediately. It will darken a little more in the next couple of hours. If I want more color,  then I’ll add another layer. I usually begin by applying one layer. I want the tan to look as natural as possible, and I don’t want someone to say, “wow, I just saw you yesterday, and you sure look different today.” After three of four days, put on another layer. Do this till you get to your desired color.

Finishing Touch

If you didn’t use a mitt, then wash your hands with soap, then use a washcloth to dry your hands. If you did use the mitt, then you will want to dampen a washcloth. Then, you start the process of making sure you don’t have too much product in specific places. Take the cloth and go in between your fingers, also very lightly wipe off your wrist, elbows, knees, and ankles. These are your problem areas. You don’t want extra tanning lotion to “pool” in crevices. dirty washcloth This is how much excess 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. Lol! Even though the tanner is dry, it may still rub off a little. It might take you a couple of tries to achieve the perfect faux tan, but with practice, you’ll soon be looking like you just got back from the beach.

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  1. I never use self tanner. To much hustle for me. Happy weekend and I hope to see you on my Fancy Friday linkup party!

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I have to use them, it drives me crazy to be so white.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  2. Sue B wrote:

    Self tanner looks great but where is the top from? Love it!

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Lol! That is an old photo, and that top was bought back in the fall from Loft.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  3. MIchele wrote:

    I’ve decided over the years to embrace the theory “white is the new tan”. Self tanners are too much trouble. I can almost always spy a self tanner on people because of the excess on hands, wrists and ankles. I have gone to someone for a spray tan when I wanted a healthy glow for a special occasion. This was also more trouble than it was worth. Pasty white I am and pasty white I shall remain. ?

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I understand, Michele. Everyone has to decide what is the best choice for themselves.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  4. Mary wrote:

    doing this was on my agenda for today so thank you for the tips! I am sure to get better results.

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      That was perfect timing for you, Mary.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  5. Cindy Roth wrote:

    Thank you for the product recommendations. I think those that don’t want to hear about it can just skip that day. You are sharing your knowledge on something that makes a lot of people have more self confidence or just self care they enjoy. Nothing wrong with that! But THAT NECKLACE in the first photo! Details please!!

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      The photo is an older one. The necklace is from Plunder, but it is retired.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  6. Thank you Tanya for this. I needed tips!

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Susan wrote:

      Hey Tania! I’ve been using Lovely Tan and it’s a great product. Not only am I pasty white but it covers a multitude of sins and gives me confidence for spring/summer clothes. Thanks for sharing❤️

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
      • Tania wrote:

        I agree with you, Susan. It gives me confidence when I am showing my legs and arms.

        Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I am glad that I could help, Marianne.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  7. Marilyn Soto wrote:

    After 2 procedures to remove skin cancer -I started on a long journey to find the perfect self Tanner -or as I call it “Tan in a Can “. From super expensive to drugstore cheap I gave them a shot. Nothing compared to the $9 can of Tanwise from Sallys. I apply it like you do with a mitt and it is just a beautiful natural looking tan. I get tons of compliments and questions about my tan and have referred so many ladies to Sallys ( they should be sending me a commission check). Around this time of year I start out lightly and progressively go darker ( not too dark though) so it looks as though it happened naturally .
    I highly recommend this – it comes in aerosol and foam , I use the aerosol .

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Cynthia wrote:

      Thanks for all these tips. I use St. Tropez foam with the tanning mitt, as I find it is a good color for me. I appreciate the tip abput using a damp washcloth to remover excess — great idea!

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Marilyn. I’ve not tried that brand yet. I prefer foam because I don’t like the overspray from an aerosol and I don’t want to inhale any of the product.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  8. Elizabeth wrote:

    I am just not patient enough to do it right. I end up with orange streaks. You look great.

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Elizabeth, it doesn’t take very long. Plus, with this product, the streaks wouldn’t be orange. Lol!

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  9. Sue B wrote:

    Looks great! Do you have a link to your top?

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Christine Irvine wrote:

      Out of concern I have to say that it’s just not a healthy thing to do for your skin. Your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs whatever you put on it. It’s like poisoning yourself to use those products.
      I understand the desire to look your best, but not at the risk of your health.
      I love your clothing posts, but I don’t think we should put our health at risk for the sake of our appearance or style. Embrace who God made you to be: a fair skinned person..

      Take care,
      New Hampshire

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Sorry, that is an old one that I bought from Loft.

      Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  10. Deanna wrote:

    So wish I could use self tanners. I am allergic to everyone I have tried. I want some color though. Don’t shoot me! I go to the tanning bed for a few weeks before I can get in the pool. I just think you look healthier with a tan.

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  11. Donna wrote:

    Tania this was fascinating I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a tanning mitt. Thank you excellent information!

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  12. Patricia Patterson wrote:

    Tania, thank you for the info. I use a daily glow product now, but will switch to self tanner soon. I too hate being pasty white.

    Posted 3.14.20 Reply
  13. Teresa wrote:

    Thanks for the tips. It is always a pain to get it right! I am completely white without a tan. I cannot wear shorts without a little tan, it boosts my confidence. I always say brown fat looks better than white fat!! LOL!!

    Posted 3.15.20 Reply
  14. Mary T. wrote:

    I find it easier to use my bare hands when I apply self tanner. My trick to getting it off my hands is baking soda. I keep an old parmesean cheese shaker full of baking soda and add it to my soap when washing my hands after self tanning. No tan palms!!

    Posted 3.20.20 Reply
  15. Annette wrote:

    Hi Tania, I read that you moisturize before applying the tan, but Loving Tan recommends that you not moisturize before. I have extremely dry skin too and have been wondering if you’ve tried it both ways?

    Posted 3.25.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I have tried it both ways, but I like to moisturize because I have extremely dry skin and I find that it goes on much easier.

      Posted 3.25.20 Reply
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