For someone that lives for sunny days and would rather wear a bikini rather than any other item of clothing, I’m shocked that it’s taken me until JUST two weeks ago to discover self-tanner! Growing up, we had “family tanning days” where I would join my mom and dad at their tanning salon, and we’d all go into tanning beds at the same time. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that half (ok, more than half) the reason I love the gym is that I “reward” myself with 10 minutes in the tanning bed after my workouts. But…tanning beds are scary, and I don’t get to the gym nearly as often as I would like to. Chicago winters are harsh and there’s something about having a little color that makes me happy and I think, healthier looking.
Recently delving into learning more about lifestyle blogging, almost every single girl I’m newly following uses self-tanner. There seem to be one or two brands they mainly use, and while they get commission off sales from the products they recommend, I don’t. This is all just my opinion, based on testing out three brands over the last two weeks.
Before self-tanning for the first time, I made sure to exfoliate in the shower with an exfoliating bath pouf. I’d read that tanner can sometimes cling to elbows, knees and ankles and make your skin look uneven, so I mainly focused there. The three self-tanners I picked up warned against putting on any deodorant or moisturizers after exfoliating before applying the tanner.
Although I did purchase one of the brands I see many influencers talking about, Fake Bake, I found another one that seemed a bit more “me” while searching on Amazon. This one, made by Jergens, said, “dries in 60 seconds.” I’m not the most patient person. Add to cart? Yes please. Even better? There was also a Jergens product I found that was specifically for self-tanning your face. It’s perfect because it can replace your daily moisturizer!
I’m not sure if most people do this, but I love the look of tan lines, and specifically, tan lines from a bandeau bikini, so I put one on before I start tanning. The Fake Bake bottle came with latex gloves and an application mitt, so I put on the gloves and used the mitt to test out the Jergens first. I also purchased this additional mitt, because I wasn’t sure how long they last. I’d also heard horror stories about people ending up with orange palms, so I liked the idea of using gloves under the mitt.
Here’s what I’ve found works best for me, after these two weeks of testing:
I put the gloves on both hands, and then started out with the mitt on my right hand. (I’m a righty)
Then, I pumped 2-3 pumps of the Jergens Instant Sun into the mitt and started with my left arm. I apply the tanner in a circular motion and go from my arm to my chest and downward toward my stomach. The cool thing about the mitt is that it’s larger than your hands, so you can easily reach your back. I then move down to my left leg and apply the product from the tops of my feet, all the way up my leg. You can see a faint “tan” as the self-tanner is being applied, so you really can’t mess up and miss spots!
Next, I switch the mitt to my left hand and do the same thing on my right side as I did on my left. In just the last couple of days, I got a bit bolder and wanted to see if I could get my face a little darker using the self-tanner I use on my body. I was pretty scared of my face turning bright orange, but this tanner gives you such a natural golden look, I had nothing to be afraid of.
Already loving the first few times of using the Jergens Instant Sun, I still wanted to see how the Fake Bake worked and the Australian Gold Instant Sunless Lotion I’d thrown into my Amazon cart at the last minute.
While the Fake Bake got me much darker faster, it streaked a bit and oddly collected around the inside of my wrists. I haven’t tested the Australian Gold much yet, because after the streaks I got from the Fake Bake, I went back to the Jergens to correct them.
On days I want to self-tan and am not showering, I can tan at any point in the day or evening. There’s absolutely NO transfer of the lotion to my sheets.
I tan every few days – probably more than I should, but I’ve got a pretty addictive personality…when I find something I like, I tend to throw myself 100% into it, and always think “If I already love this tan I’m getting, if I use it MORE often, maybe I can get even darker, faster!” Juries still out if that’s true.
I hope this post was helpful! There are SO many options just on Amazon alone to choose from, it’s a bit overwhelming. Do YOU have any favorite self-tanners?
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