How to get the best out of your self tanner

Allure
Best ways to apply self tanner

(David Stesner)

Haphazard self-tanner applications may fade, but the pictures will live on Facebook forever. Follow these ten steps to score a faux glow that looks natural.

If you need to get a wax or a manicure, touch up your hair color, or shave your legs, do it before applying any self-tanner. "All of those treatments can remove self-tanner," says spray tanner Anna Stankiewicz of Louise O'Connor Salon in New York City.











View gallery

.
Exfoliate your skin

(Dan Drury)

EXFOLIATE

Self-tanner sinks into dry skin, leaving dark patches that look entirely unnatural (and, let's be honest, a little gross). Slough away any flakes on your body with a coarse scrub, focusing on rough spots like the knees, elbows, ankles, and heels.

For your face, use a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid and a skin brush such as the Clarisonic Aria (starting at $200, Yahoo! Shopping) to remove dead, dull skin.

Avoid anything oil-based, since it leaves behind residue that causes streaks, Stankiewicz says.


(See more: Beauty must-haves for spring 2013)




Dry off first

(David Stesner)

DRY OFF

We know, we know—this one seems way too obvious. But after showering, towel off and wait ten minutes until you're 100 percent dry.















Soften the skin

(Regan Cameron)

SOFTEN YOUR SKIN

So we just said to make sure you're completely, totally, not-a-drop-of-water-on-you dry, but you'll need to add a little moisture back into your skin before you get to the self-tanner.

Dab 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, Stankiewicz says.

Our picks? DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew ($42, ulta.com) for our face and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15 ($10.61, drugstore.com) for our body.






Pick out your self-tanner

(David Stesner)

PICK YOUR POTION

"I think mousses are the easiest to rub in, but sprays are great for hard-to-reach areas," Stankiewicz says.

The rule of thumb? 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.

St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse ($44, sephora.com) is one of our favorites for body, while we love Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning For Face and Décolleté ($35 on blissworld.com) for our face.






How to apply self tanner

(David Stesner)

START AT THE BOTTOM AND WORK UP

This technique separates gorgeous sunless glows from bad fake tans. With clean hands (or latex gloves, if you prefer), smooth on self-tanner in circular motions approximately one teaspoon at a time.

Start at your ankles and work your way up to your shoulders to prevent any weird marks when you bend over, and save your arms and hands for last.






Self tanner for the face

(Tesh Patel)

GO EASY ON YOUR FACE

You've come too far to get careless now. Dab a dime-size amount of formula where you'd naturally tan (your forehead, the apples of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and your chin) and blend outward with your fingertips.

Be extra careful around the nose and above the top lip—these areas pick up more color because they tend to be drier. Using what's left on your fingers, feather the tanner out into your hairline and past the jawbone. Wash your hands immediately after you finish.







View gallery

.
Stop tanner from transferring to clothing

(Roger Cabello)

TAKE TIME AND ADD POWDER

Give the formula extra time to dry. "If the directions say five minutes, wait ten," Stankiewicz says. Then brush a talc-free baby powder all over. "It stops the tanner from transferring to your clothes," she says. Avoid showering or sweating for 6 to 8 hours.










View gallery

.
Rub a lemon on if streaks appear

(David Cook)

CLEAN IT UP

Self-tanner mistakes happen, but there's no need to start from scratch when they do. If streaks or splotches appear, Stankiewicz recommends rubbing half a lemon on the area for two minutes before lightly buffing it with a damp towel.












View gallery

.
Preserving your tan

(David Stesner)

PRESERVE IT

We can't guarantee how long your bronze will last, but certain measures can be taken to prolong it.

Wash with a gentle cleanser and make sure your skin is always moisturized. Avoid using retinols and acne treatments, which can dissolve color on your face. When you're ready to refresh your skin, exfoliate and begin the cycle again.




More at Allure:

Lauren Conrad's Beauty Obsession

How to Wear Bangs

Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ son is 19 now and the internet is freaking out over how attractive he is

      Beautiful people often have beautiful kids, and this is no exception. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ oldest son is 19 and super…

      Hello Giggles
    • Dear Abby: Our child's friends need help on fees

      DEAR ABBY: My daughter has been friends with twin girls for several years. Their parents are divorced, and we’ve always known that money is tight in their family. We invite them over to eat as often as we can, and they know our home is their home and a safe place. The girls are now all applying to colleges, but the twins have repeatedly expressed concern that they don’t have enough money to pay the ACT submission fees or the college submission fees. They are both working long hours and trying to save money for college. We are in a position to help them submit these applications, but don’t know how to approach the topic. We are not close with either of their parents. Most important, we don’t want

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • Alec Baldwin promises to stop playing Donald Trump on SNL on one condition and we love it

      When you become the president elect of the United States, you automatically open yourself up to being impersonated on Saturday Night Live. It’s basically…

      Hello Giggles
    • Willie Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Walks Daughter Rebecca Down the Aisle in Mexico Wedding

      Rebecca Robertson tied the knot with John Reed Loflin in Mexico on Saturday. The beautiful bride was walked down the aisle by her father Willie, Duck Commander CEO and star of the A&E reality series. Rebecca’s sister and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Sadie Robertson was one of the many wedding attendees to share their memories of the big day on Instagram using the hashtag #LoflinWeddedWife. “WOW WOW WOW what a wedding,” Sadie captioned a photo with the bride and family members Bella and Mary-Kate. “Every single moment was just absolutely priceless.

      People
    • Kylie Jenner Flaunts Her Famous Curves in Cutout Bikini on Miami Vacay

      Welcome to Miami. Kylie Jenner is currently living it up in the Magic City with her rapper boyfriend Tyga, and you better believe that she has the bikini photos to prove it. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star shared a pair of snaps on her Instagram account today which feature her rocking a black two-piece swimsuit that has a sexy cutout top and shows off all of her bodacious curves. In the images, the 19-year-old wears her long brunette strands in loose waves as she lounges on a white l

      InStyle
    • Video Appears To Show Man Punching Kangaroo After Finding It Strangling Dog

      It may be one of the most bizarre battles fought in the animal kingdom.  A video uploaded to Facebook on Saturday appears to show a man punching a kangaroo in its face after coming across the marsupial attacking a dog.  The video, which has been viewed more than 3.6 million times as of Sunday afternoon, shows the man running up to the canine-kangaroo skirmish. “Well, we’re not sure what’s going on here but the roo has the dog, not the other way around,” a man narrating the video says. Upon seeing the man, the kangaroo pauses. The distraction allows the wriggling dog to break free, sparking a near eye-to-eye boxing match between the man and the kangaroo.  The man throws a punch at the kangaroo

      The Huffington Post q
    • Windsor: Hard to believe Orange Bowl is a consolation prize for Michigan

      This one will sting for a while, for Michigan’s seniors in particular. Their coach, Jim Harbaugh, is building a program in Ann Arbor, and he will get his shot at the College Football Playoff soon enough. Yet for seniors like Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley and Jourdan Lewis – NFL-level talents all – this season was it. It was their chance to compete for a national title only two years after finishing 5-7. Instead, they’ll settle for the Orange Bowl, a place they would’ve jumped at when they signed on at U-M under Brady Hoke four years ago. As consolation prizes, it’s not a bad one. But it’s still a consolation. ►Related: See how Michigan stacks up against Florida State ►Related: Michigan football

      Detroit Free Press q
    • Peta Murgatroyd And Maksim Chmerkovskiy Kicked Out Of Birthing Class

      Maksim Chmerkovskiy said he’s traumatized after he and Peta Murgatroyd were kicked out of their first birthing class.

      International Business Times
    • A Gunman Has Been Detained At A DC Pizza Restaurant That Was At The Center Of A Fake Clinton Conspiracy

      On Sunday afternoon, a lone gunman entered the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, a popular pizza and family establishment in Washington D.C., and fired several shots. According to the Washington Post, Police Chief Peter Newsham stated his belief that the incident was not terror related, although the gunman’s motive remains unclear. Newsham was also quick to note that this restaurant was tied to fake news and conspiracy theories, which circulated earlier this year, about the Clinton campaign.

      UPROXX
    • Kim Jong Un’s Wife Makes First Public Appearance In Months

      Ri Sol Ju was last seen in public on March 28 this year and her absence had sparked rumors of pregnancy while some said she may have had a serious falling out with the North Korean leader.

      International Business Times
    • Dear Abby: As his mother, wife feud, he must take a side

      DEAR ABBY: I am a happily married man with one problem that doesn’t go away. I convinced my wife, “Ellen,” to move to Florida so we could be close to my family, but now she doesn’t trust them because of an altercation she had with my mother. Ellen says Mom made negative comments about her and lied about it. My intention was for everyone to come together as a family, but now I feel I must decide whether I can be a part of the family. If I do, my wife feels I am saying it’s OK for my family to hurt her. If I don’t, I’ll feel I’m missing out on spending time with them. Ellen no longer wants anything to do with my family and wants them to apologize. It has been a rough four years being trapped in

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • NYPD: Men yelled 'Donald Trump', tried to pull off victim's hijab on subway

      18-year-old Yasmine Seweid is recounting the ugly attack that happened on Thursday night. It was around 10 p.m. when the college student jumped on the 6 train to head home to New Hyde Park, when she noticed three young men in the car.

      WABC – NY
    • Donald Trump Attends a ‘Heroes and Villains’ Costume Party Dressed as Himself

      On Saturday, Donald Trump attended a costume party on Long Island, New York, which was hosted by the Mercer family. The Mercers were one of Trump’s biggest donors to his campaign, contributing $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, according to Politico. Trump’s motorcade arrived at the party at 8:35 p.m. And when Trump was asked who he was dressed as, he pointed to himself and mouthed the word “Me,” according to Politico.

      People
    • Madonna Jokingly Offers to Remarry Sean Penn for Charity: 'I'm Still in Love With You'

      The 58-year-old singer also twerked with Ariana Grande at the charity gala she hosted on Friday night.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • America’s Best Towns for the Holidays (10 photos)

      Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO. "From the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment," says the broker for Sotheby's International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt's dinner party, "Vail is the most beautiful place I've ever seen for the holiday season." RELATED: Best Places to Travel in 2015 Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights. RELATED: America's Most Beautiful Lakes Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts--local wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks--that you'd never find at the mall back home. RELATED: 17 Unreal Bars For a Drink You'll Never Forget Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That's why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. "It's fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall," says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines . "Nantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year--which makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays."

      InStyle
    • Selena Gomez went out in her PJs and looked like a dream

      Celebrities where pajamas outside! Just like us! Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store, class, or the movies, wearing pjs hoping no one…

      Hello Giggles
    • Report: Alabama backup QB Cooper Bateman plans to transfer

      Cooper Bateman has thrown for 410 yards and two touchdowns during his time at Alabama. Alabama could be without its backup quarterback for the College Football Playoff. According to a report from Al.com, Cooper Bateman, the Crimson Tide’s No. 2 quarterback, was granted his release from the program last week and will transfer.

      Dr. Saturday
    • Trump: 'Saturday Night Live' Spoof is 'Unwatchable,' Baldwin 'Cant Get Any Worse'

      Donald Trump took to Twitter early Sunday morning to express his displeasure with Alec Baldwin's portrayal of him on "Saturday Night Live" last night -- and Baldwin didn't keep quiet. Baldwin shot back about 15 minutes later, tweeting, "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Last night's episode, which featured "SNL" cast member Kate McKinnon as Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, poked fun at Trump's use of Twitter, his campaign promises and vanity.

      Good Morning America
    • ‘Star Wars’ Controversy: Is George Lucas Out of Line?

      George Lucas is clearly not a fan of 'The Force Awakens'. But are his criticisms valid?

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • 'Broken' Matt Hardy says he will 'delete' Vince McMahon if he is double-crossed on his WWE return

      Matt Hardy has said that he might return to WWE if he is made the right deal. The Attitude Era superstar, however, has said that he is currently focused on TNA, where his wrestling gimmick – "Broken" Matt Hardy – has received praises from both fans and professionals in the wrestling business. Speaking on Ross Report, Matt said that Vince McMahon would love him to return to WWE as his "broken brilliance" currently is the hottest entity in the pro-wrestling world.

      International Business Times UK q