50 IS NOT OLD | FAUX TAN CORRECTI am going to do something I never do. I am going to re-cycle a post. I am recycling for a couple of reasons, so I hope you will bear with me. I have been getting asked a lot here lately about my tan. I have NO tan. If I raised my shirt and showed you my belly, (you do not want me to do that,) you would see how white I am. I have a faux (fancy name for fake) tan. I am thrilled that you think it looks natural, I have looked a long time for a product that looks this good. Plus, this product does not have a heavy odor like some of the other products I have used. Reason number two is, refer to reason one. Lol! 

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


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.

*Update: I am no longer using Lubriderm lotion, I have been using Philosophy Firming Body Emulsion.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.


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.


I hope this answers a lot of your questions about applying a self-tanner and how to look natural. The outfit at the first of the post will be upcoming soon. See you gurls tomorrow. Until then, check out the blogs who are linking-up with me on Wednesday’s Wardrobe.

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I would love to hear from YOU!

  1. Ali Kapolas wrote:

    I think you are so cute the way you show step by step for us . Thank you for taking the time ❤️

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  2. Misty wrote:

    I have been using coconut oil instead of lotion for several years and love how soft my skin is. I use it before getting in the warm shower to make having smooth and exfoliate the dead skin easily. You might want to try it, very inexpensive.

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  3. Debbie wrote:

    I love the color of your lipstick. Can you share with us the color and brand? Love your style!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  4. Lori wrote:

    Hi Tania -thanks for explaining! Your tan sure looks natural. I recently bought that Jergens Natural lotion and tanner, and I went outside & saw streaks of orange on my leg! I was like WHaaa?! It just didn’t work for me. So I will try one of the products you suggested and your procedure. I hope it works! I think a tan makes you look healthy. Plus it brings out the color in clothes with bright colors. One does not want to wear coral on a white body. Well at least I don’t! LOL

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  5. Shelly wrote:

    I have definitely seen better results when exfoliating first. I have loved using Rodan and Fields sunless tanner as it goes on colorless and I haven’t stained anything yet. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Shelly||The Queen in Between

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  6. Melesa Garrison wrote:

    I’ve tried all different types, some expensive, some not so much. I’ve been using Jergens Natural Glow Foam. I really love it and I don’t think there is any smell, no nasty brown water going down the drain. I apply it and it dries immediately and then put my lotion on. I actually mixed other lotions like you do until I started using the foam. The foam is on $8.00 at Walmart and I’m very pleased with the tan and it seems to last several days. I apply every other day, but don’t have to probably. Thanks for sharing. I think you have great legs btw 🙂

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  7. Rebecca wrote:

    Thanks for the instructions! Appreciate it.

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  8. Carol wrote:

    Are you able to do your back somehow? I have been wearing dresses with Straps and while I can do my chest I am concerned about my back. Any ways to do that without enlisting help?

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I try to do it myself, and will enlist help if I know it is a spot that will show.

      Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  9. Gail wrote:

    I’ve been using the Sun brand self-tanner for the last couple of summers, and love it! My sis decided to try it this year. Can you tell me where you purchase yours? I buy it online since I haven’t seen it in our local Ulta this year. : ( Good tutorial on application. I have a small-handled brush that I use to apply the self tanner. It came with a BareMinerals self tanner purchase I made a few years ago, and I find it works great!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  10. I’m glad you recycled this post, because I’ve been wanted to get a “faux tan”! But I was too nervous to start trying products. The only one I’ve ever use smelled SO weird!
    So, thanks! This was really helpful

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  11. Jennie wrote:

    I haven’t tried a self-tanner since I was in my twenties, after not so fabulous results. I may have to give them a try again with your methods. Thanks for the step by step demo!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  12. Gina D from McKinney wrote:

    This may be a dumb question but do you just apply tanner to your legs and arms? Or all over? Face?

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  13. robjodiefilogomo wrote:

    As a girl of the 80’s I used to tan (well—I tried to tan, my skin really doesn’t have any melanin in it, so i was always a tad red)….then i tried the tanners. They did look great, but I must becoming a low maintenance girl because it was just too much work!!
    So now I’m embracing my whiteness. Too bad I wasn’t born in the 1800’s—everyone liked white skin then!
    Thanks for sharing

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  14. Elaine McCollum wrote:

    This exactly why I love you, Tanya! This was so helpful to me! I have never used self tanned because I’ve been scared of the “orange man effect”, but your tutorial made it look do-able. The lotion added to the tanner is a brilliant idea! Thank you so much! By the way, the experiment with red hair didn’t work out so good, but hey, I’ve got a nice combination now and I’ve got a funny tale to tell at cocktail parties! Ha! Love ya!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  15. shelbeeontheedge1 wrote:

    You certainly do look fabulously and naturally tan! Honestly, I just stay pale! Ha! But that’s just my preference…


    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  16. Shaton wrote:

    Love the WELCOME sign on the wall behind you. Very pretty. You have a gorgeous tan. So natural looking. I was wondering if you have to reapply self tanner every time you shave your legs or does it stay on? Just got some tantalizer but haven’t tried it yet.

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I usually reapply every three days or so. If I am wearing shorts or a dress, I will reapply. But if I am wearing pants, I get lazy and don’t put on any.

      Posted 7.27.16 Reply
      • Les wrote:

        When you reapply, do you exfoliate every time?

        Posted 7.27.16 Reply
        • Tania wrote:

          No, not every time.

          Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  17. Tash Peddle wrote:

    Hi Tania,

    Read this blog with great interest. I live in drought stricken, sunny, sunny South Africa and I always use faux tanning products! Your tan looks really natural.

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  18. Your tan looks really natural! Thanks for your tips! Exfoliating makes all the difference, and I always regret it when I don’t do it before applying self tanner…

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  19. Mary Lu wrote:

    Thank you, Tania, for letting us in on your secret. I would never have guessed it was faux! I really thought you sat by the pool a lot. ? I also am glad to hear you are staying safe.
    I hope you know how much your blog means to many of us. You are entertaining, honest, lovely (obviously inside and out) and you have many “gurl” friends out in cyber space. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks Mary Lu! It is a lot of fun knowing I have so many “gurl” friends. When something happens, I often think, “I need to tell everyone on the blog.” I guess it is like a form of group texting. Haha?

      Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  20. Rena wrote:

    Thank you, Tania, for sharing your self-tanning tips and product recommendations. I’m glad to hear that you safe tan rather than risk the harms of sun exposure. I, too, am very sensitive to the smell that most self tanning products leave behind so, like you, I’ve tried many most of which did not pass the sniff test. Finding no success with those in the drug store price range, I recently ventured into a pricier category and found a winner with St. Tropez gradual tan classic. It has none of the nasty after smell and develops into a realistic color after two or three days of use. It does not have instant bronzer but that just means less staining and no wash off residue.


    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  21. vanityandmeblog wrote:

    I enjoyed reading how you tan. It’s so important nowadays to not sunbath. I use oil and salt to exfoliate. Thank you for hosting x
    http://www.vanityandme style.com

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  22. Nancy wrote:

    Thank you for hosting! Have a great day!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
  23. Thank you for this instructional blog! I never could get this right!

    Posted 7.27.16 Reply
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