There is almost nothing in this world beauty-wise that makes me feel more put together and beautiful than a tan.
For those of us partial to a year-round vacation glow (you know, minus the sun and skin cancer that sometimes follows) self-tanner is the next best option.
But as anyone who has unintentionally been transformed into a streaky or orange version of themselves knows, getting a perfect application is an art form.
Luckily, self-tanners have come a long way since their inception and many of today’s options impart “tans” that are indistinguishable from the real deal. And I wanted to see if I could get my favorite glow without my usual setup and instead, partnered with Walmart and picked up some of the brands that you guys recommended!
One thing I love about Walmart is that they have pretty much something for everyone – it made my shopping super easy!
So here are my top tips for getting the perfect glow every single time and the products I found that are the perfect choice for your vacation glow!
Getting the perfect glow
ok, before I break it down for you, I want you to know I tried a ton of brands. I put them in a slider below but the one I absolutely fell in love with is this one from Jergens. Of the few I tried, this one went on smooth, had a buildable formula (key if you are a habitual user like me!), and dried in an hour!
And it also smells AMAZING! I went to a party at Rachel Parcell’s home and everyone there was asking me what I was wearing that smelled so good!
These aren’t necessary but they sure make tanning DIY a lot more manageable! And this formula had almost 1,000 5-star reviews! This isn’t rocket science but it does require a series of steps. I’ve outlined mine below:
1) DO EVERYTHING ELSE FIRST
Exfoliate, shave, shower, do your nails, touch up your hair color all before applying your self-tanner.
Self-tanner sinks into dry skin – that’s why you end up with dark patches or dark lines that literally mimic your wrinkles – yuck! I like to dry brush and then do an all-over body scrub just to make sure I’m getting rid of all flakey patches! For my face I use a really gentle exfoliator (I love this one by Dr. Brandt) and my little Foreo mini to help get off any dry skin or flakes! Years of trial and error has taught me to steer clear of oil-based products – they cause streaking!
3) Make Sure You’re All The Way Dry
I know this seems super obvious. But after showering, towel off and wait ten minutes until you’re 100 percent dry. I promise this extra step will save you extra work in the end!
SHOP ALL SELF TANNERS
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4) Soften Your Skin
The dryest parts on your body tend to turn the darkest and go splotchy. Once you’re completely dry, use a lightweight lotion around your nostrils, knees, elbows, and ankles (as well as any other dry spots) to keep them from turning dark or orange. This will help you steer clear of skin that looks dirty.
5) Choose the Right Product For You
From experience, I think foam or mousse is the easiest to rub in. I only use a spray when I have my spray gun handy. If you’re worried about what color to choose, I would choose a self-tanner for your skin tone, not your desired result. Go with a light to medium formula if you have fair skin and a dark formula for olive tones. If you opt for a gradual formula, remember that it can take two to four applications to reach the right shade. And I don’t normally use the same stuff on my face – I either use tanning drops (I just mix these with my moisturizer) or just a daily powder bronzer.
You really can go any direction you want…technically…but I go from top to bottom. In my experience, this is what separates a gorgeous tan from a spotty disaster. With a glove (or clean hands) apply the recommended amount onto your glove and let it soak in so there isn’t any weird residue. Then start on your feet and rub the product in a circular motion into the skin. Work your way up to your shoulders to prevent any weird marks when you bend over, and save your arms and hands for last.
7) Go easy on the face
You’ve done all this work up until this point – you don’t want to spoil it now! You can use this on your face and if you do go that route, just be careful around your upper lip and nostril area as these tend to pick up more color. You also want to make sure you blend well into your hairline. I used this on my face and have loved how it turned out! But if you’re nervous, there are so many great face-tanning drops out there. I’m a huge fan.
8) Powder is your friend
If it says you need to wait 20 minutes for it to dry, give it 40. Make sure you’re application is dry! and I just learned this, but you can brush a light layer of talc-free baby powder over your body to stop the tanner from transferring to your clothes. Then, stay cool. Don’t sweat or shower for 6-8 hours. Make yourself some lemonade, put on your favorite movie, and sit in the air-conditioned heaven that is your home!
I like to put on a romper or loose robe – something I don’t love.
9) Clean Up Right Away!
Wash your hands right away – even if you used a glove. This will save you the dirty orange “I use self-tanner” hands that will totally give you away! If you have a spot or two that got a little dark or your elbows or knees need some lightening, rub a freshly sliced lemon on them for a minute and then rub them off. Should do the trick!
10) Preserve It
There’s no guarantee how long your bronze will last, but there are certain things you can do to prolong it. Wash with gentle soap and make sure you’re always moisturized – this is #1 to maintaining your faux glow. If you use medical-grade skincare, it’s going to break down the tan on your face quickly. This is why I usually use the tanning drops – I just combine them with my moisturizer and put them on nightly.
And, when you’re ready to refresh your skin, exfoliate and begin the cycle again.
I really prefer this to sitting in the sun. I feel better, my skin feels WAY better, and I’m not taking unnecessary risks with my skin.
Also, I was able to get everything I needed during a recent trip to Walmart. I’ve been super impressed with their selection lately and their beauty aisles are no different. Plus, they fit my requirements of allowing me to shop anywhere anytime. With free shipping on orders or $35 and free returns, I’m guaranteed to love anything I buy or return without issue. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t give my business to stores that don’t make it easy for me to shop with them.
And with Walmart, they make it simple.
This post was sponsored by Walmart!
P.S. I also picked up some other products that I’m going to be blogging about soon but I wanted to give you all a sneak peek!