It is that time of the year again. Winter has left us with pasty white skin, and who wants to see that? I have plenty of sun damage from my younger years of tanning with baby oil and iodine, so getting a suntan from the sun is not on my agenda. Instead, I get my suntan like I do my hair color…from a bottle. Lol!

There are many 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. To get a smooth and streak-free tan, you need to rid yourself of any dead skin on your body. Showering and shaving are not enough. You can use several options for exfoliating; just be sure to give your skin a good scrubbing to get all of the dead skin off.

I’ve used an exfoliating mitt before, which takes off dead skin, but there is a cheaper option. Purchase a box (or bag) of raw sugar, and put it in a waterproof container in your shower. Put a small amount in your washcloth, and rub it 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. You should regularly exfoliate your skin, even if you were not applying a faux tan. I like the Buf-Puf Body Sponge, and I keep it in the shower all year round. You have to replace them quite often, but they make your skin feel so smooth.


I have extremely dry skin that flakes, cracks, and is all around yucky. Moisturizing is something that I have to do all of the time, not just when applying faux tanners. I switch around and use a lot of different products; the Lubriderm Advanced Therapy works great. After I shower, I apply the moisturizer all over my body. Applying a moisturizer is a crucial step, and it helps the tanner to spread smoothly and helps to reduce streaking.


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 you want to use and how much of an expert you are at applying self-tanners. Do you want a tanner with a bronzer in it, or are you comfortable with the type that goes on clear?

If you are a novice at tanning, you want something natural-looking and won’t show when you miss an area. Jergens Natural Glow is a great product that is forgiving. It will take several applications to get the color you want, but it also moisturizes your skin. I am not a fan of the scent, and I like a darker tan, so I use something different.

So, I am currently using Loving Tan 2Hr Express Tan in Medium. 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, 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



How To Apply


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. You have to be the most careful of those areas 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 not


This 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 or four days, put on another layer. Do this till you get to your desired color.

Finishing Touch

If you didn’t use a mitt, 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 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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To God Goes The Glory!

Matthew 6:25

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

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I would love to hear from YOU!

  1. Lauren wrote:

    I am a bit late here so hoping that this gets read…..don’t want any oops. The St Torpez self tanning products are fabulous but don’t really have instructions on the bottles (have no idea why) and you need to go to the website to see what to do with each type. The gradual tan product that is in a pink tube and smells like watermelon goes on the way you would expect….after a shower, etc. The product in the blue can that goes on with a mitt is different. This one goes on with a mitt the way Tania described…..THEN you sit for as long as you choose for the depth of tan you want (1hr, 2hr, up to 3hrs) and THEN you have your shower. Hope this saves you disappointment because it really does give a good fake tan.

    Posted 6.18.21 Reply
  2. Terri Davis wrote:

    I laugh so often at your posts-your transparency makes me feel like I know you. I too cannot stand the smell of self tanners! Something about my chemistry makes them smell sour-gag! And, I too use the same Lubriderm lotion. Can’t wait to try one of these tanners! Love ya Tania💜.

    Posted 6.17.21 Reply
  3. Doris wrote:

    Great tips! It’s nice to get ideas from others.
    Have a blessed day!

    Posted 6.17.21 Reply
  4. Marilyn hallgren wrote:

    If you have too much color on a spot like heel or other rougher skin areas the next morning, fingernail polish remover can take some away, then wipe with water?

    Posted 6.17.21 Reply
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