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Summer Edit Week: Self Tanning #101 (Tips, Products, Maintenance etc.)


When it comes to hitting the (fake tan) bottle, there's a few things that I like to do to make sure I get the best possible tan, and that I can maintain that tan so it lasts as long as possible.

Today I will be going through my self tanning routine and I'll also share some tips that I use and find very helpful and effective for that perfect faux glow. If you want to see my Intro to Self Tanning then click here for face and here for body

St Tropez Self Tan Express 
What I love about this tan specifically is that you can leave it on between 1 and 3 hours depending on what kind of tan you want. None of this waiting for 8 hours and washing off malarkey, as that fake tan smell is not something I am fond of and I much prefer to get this all done in a couple of hours. Although you don't wait 8 hours before washing it off, it still develops over the next 8 hours so if you're not happy with your tan once you've waited the 1,2 or 3 hours, don't panic and scrub at your skin with lemons and salt, wait for it to fully develop.

These are the products I use to prep my skin for the self tanner.
1. I wash my body with the Radox Coconut Kiss Shower Gel because I'm obsessed with the scent.
2. I then go in and shave my leg I use conditioner most of the time because its moisturising and I feel I get a closer shave, I also exfoliate using the Garnier Oil Beauty Nourishing Scrub to get my skin nice and smooth.
3. Once out of the shower I towel dry my skin and I like to wait about 10 minutes to make sure I am completely dry before applying my moisturiser, I use the Garnier Oil Beauty Nourishing Lotion all over my body, but I like to make sure I concentrate on any really dry areas where tan tends to stick to like my ankles, elbows, knees etc.

Continuing on with my self tanning routine...
4. For my regular self tanner I use the St Tropez Self Tan Express, This is a mousse which I find much easier to apply and blend out, I don't get as much streaking and I prefer the finish it gives to my skin. I normally leave this on for about 2 hours for a medium tan. I use a tanning mitt to apply and use two pumps on each arm, then about 4 pumps on each leg and one pump for my chest and stomach. I make sure to blend this in really well with the mitt and make sure to just run the mitt over my hands, feet etc.

Tip: If like me you're not a tanning pro, I recommend having a clean tanning mitt handy, and after every limb you apply your tanner to, go over with the clean mitt to make sure its all blended in and you haven't missed anywhere. Trust me, this really does work.

5. Once the tan has been on for the right amount of time, I jump in the shower and rinse it off using the Radox shower gel again, but I don't use it with a shower poof or anything as that will dislodge some of the tan that we've just applied and cause it to go blotchy. Pat skin dry with towel, DO NOT RUB as this can also cause streaky-ness.
6. I always like to apply lotion to my skin again to make sure everything is nice and nourished and it also concentrates on those areas that are somewhat troublesome when it comes to tanning.

Optional Extras:
If I want to top up my tan, or I haven't bothered to apply the express tanner but I want a quick fix so that my legs can be out in the open, then the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in Light Glow is the product I go to. This is a spray (it comes in a lotion too which I also like) and its basically makeup for your body - it says airbrush legs but you can use this all over your body although I wouldn't recommend using it on your face. I like to spray it on and then rub it in with a tanning mitt to get a nice even application. This is water resistant, it doesn't transfer onto your bed sheets, but you will have to wash it off, don't leave it to come off on its own as that just won't look pretty.

This is the  Tarte Brazilliance Skin rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanner which I like to use if I am getting a bit patchy, I prefer to use this mainly on my arms as it gives a really nice colour and doesn't fade awkwardly. It's a lotion consistency and I still apply it with a tanning mitt and just blend it in. This is a regular tan that develops over 8 hours and then you wash it off so if I find that my self tanner is fading and I want to top it up a little then I will apply this before I go to bed and when I wake up I have a shower to wash it off (same as above) and then my tan is topped up and looks awesome again.

Maintaining your tan:
7. When it comes to maintaining your tan, there's lots of products on the market which you can use as a gradual tanner when your tan is fading. But to stop any patchy-ness or fading issues I make sure to keep my skin moisturised as dry skin causes your fake tan to cling to those areas and make it look unnatural and patchy.
8. Another thing I like to do which you would have seen in the IABT Quick tip this week (see here) is to mix a liquid illuminator with my body lotion to give myself a nice glow. This gives your skin a natural sun kissed kind of glow and it's great if your tan is on its last few days.

To remove the tan:

9. To remove self tanner, there are a lot of beauty hacks to remove it as fast as possible, but they tend to completely forget about what's best for your skin. My top tip is to wash your skin i use the Radox one again and then exfoliate. The Garnier Oil Beauty Nourishing Scrub is my favourite scrub ever, but what makes it so great for removing self tan is that it has different size granules in it which really help to exfoliate the dead skin away and lift any tan off with it. I find I have to do this a couple of times for the tan to be completely gone. If the tan is already fading and is barely there, exfoliating once normally is enough for me. Shaving is also a great way to remove self tanner because, as you are shaving your legs (or wherever), the razor is lifting off the dead skin cells which is therefore lifting off the self tanner. This exfoliator is great at removing the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs too.

10. Finally for the last step in my self tanning routine is moisturising my skin again. Whether it's to apply self tanner again or not, applying the Garnier Oil Beauty Nourishing Lotion is so quick and simple that I don't have to wait around for ages for it to sink in and it doesn't transfer onto my clothes or bed sheets or anything so it just nourishes and makes my skin uber soft and smooth. I can be very lazy when it comes to moisturising my body but when it comes to self tanner and the summer time, it's a must and somehow I just make myself apply it.

Just a couple of tips when it comes to self tanner:
- Always work from your feet up, it just prevents any awkward creasing marks.
- When it comes to your hands and feet, don't just run the mitt over once and be done with it, you need to really concentrate on dispersing the product and use another clean mitt to make extra sure. 
- I always like to all moisturiser onto the more temperamental areas where tan can cling and cause it to look patchy and unnatural. So I make sure to rub in some moisturiser onto each area and leave it to sink in. 

I highly recommend all of these products, I think they are all great and I love the results so I always end up going back to these products.If you have any tips for self tanning that I haven't mentioned then please leave them in a comment below, I would love to check them out.

What are your self tanning essentials?

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