Keeping that summer glow year round is easy once you get the hang of applying self-tanner. (VIDEO)
SLAM DUNK | Although I do not agree with Coco Chanel’s 1929 pronouncement that “a girl simply has to be tanned,” I do think women look better in dresses and skirts when they have some colour on their legs.
But what’s a girl to do, then, to get that colour when she stays away from direct sunlight and sun beds, and avoids sunless products—spray tanning booths and self-tanning potions—as if they were the plague? “Seriously, you need to revisit the fake world,” my friend Jess informed me when I complained about the prospect of wearing a short skirt to a stylish event last month. “Gradual self-tanners give good, natural looking colour now, and while I find all tanning products impossible to apply on my entire body, doing cream or lotion on my legs is a piece of cake.”
Jess’s Top Tanning Tips
Jess prefers a gradual tanner for year-round use because it allows her to be in charge of the colour outcome. “Using a gradual ensures there’s no way I’ll look too shockingly dark in the fall or winter.” Before applying product, “exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate,” she says, “particularly your knees and heels. If you don’t do this, these dry spots will come out darker.” She uses a loofah for this, but a Korea Italy towel works perfectly fine, too (CLICK HERE for our story).
Jess applies gradual tanner just twice a week year round and finds that, for her skin, this gives her legs the subtle sun-kissed glow she craves in the dead of winter. In between applications she uses moisturizer to keep her legs soft, and she exfoliates before each new tanner application.
Lots of beauty advisers recommend mousse for first-time self-tanners, but Jess says cream or lotion is perfect on legs. You must apply it properly, of course, but everything you need to know about how to do this is covered in the Beautisol VIDEO FEATURED ABOVE. Jess says this video explains the process better than most, and I’ve watched it a few times, employed the techniques (using thin all-purpose latex gloves) and gotten great results.
Jess’s Product Picks
Jess has tried most of the gradual tanners out there, including super expensive Crème de la Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan and super cheap Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin Gradual Tanner. “La Mer is good, but not a miracle worker for the price,” she says, and “Nivea’s results are good enough, considering how little you’ve paid.”
Her current favourite product is one she discovered last spring on GOOP, How Now Brown Cow from MooGoo in Australia. “I ordered this product online, and I’m glad I took a chance because the colour on my legs is very nice. Aussies know a thing or two about tanning, and for a product to be popular in that country, it needs to be exemplary.” —Annabel Lee