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How to get a perfect tan without the sun

Filed Under: miscellaneous, seasonal

Tall and tan and young and lovely. Seems like only yesterday you were sporting your coolest sunglasses, cruising the coast in your convertible, hair blowing in the wind with your darkest tan ever.

And now it's ... well, so faux pas to have a real tan. Even you certainly don't want to be the whitest person on the block. So here's everything you need to know to look like your a member of the local beach club - without the typical streaks associated with a fake tan.


  1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Yes, you need to get your skin smooth (that also means shave your legs) or you'll be stuck with elbows and knees that look like you've got a bad patch of orange eczema or streaks that look like make you look like you haven't bathed in weeks.
  2. Moisturize. Your self-tanner will go on much easier if your skin is moisturized. Believe me, this step actually makes a huge difference ... it helps your self-tanner sink in more evenly.
  3. Apply SPF. I know what you are thinking but the truth is most people forget to do this and really the reason you are giving yourself a fake tan is to protect yourself from the sun.

  1. Apply your self-tanner. To avoid staining your hands, some people wear protective gloves. I usually just wash my hands thoroughly after with soap and water. Remember that knees and elbows will appear darker, so apply only a small amount of lotion to these areas. And to cover your skin evenly, use downward, fanning strokes or use one of the spray self-tanners, they seem to go on evenly all over without hassle (although that means the spray also goes on your floor and counter tops, so it's something to think about.) Be sure to blend it into your hairline, neck and jaw area.
  2. This is not a necessity, but it works, especially if you need to put your clothes on right away. Use a hair dryer (on your body) to make sure your skin is dry and your self-tanner has sunk in. This step usually helps to keep your clothes from staining.
  3. Just before you get dressed ... apply shimmer or bronzer to your body and face. This evens out your skin and completes the perfect tan!
Final Tip: If you follow all these steps and still find yourself with streaks, well then I'm at a loss for words. Even still, if this does happen, rubbing alcohol and cotton are your only friend - they are a must have for self-tanning gone awry. Just dip the cotton in the alcohol and rub over any streaks or problem areas.

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