Let’s face it: self-tanning can get weird, real quick. The smell, the streaks, the orangey glow, the ankles, elbows and fingers that look like you went wild with a bag of Cheetos. I’ve experienced it all, really. And because of it, I’ve never been a huge fan unless I’ve been in dire need (weddings, last minute dates, last minute need to be in a bikini – noooo!). But guess what? I have two new products to share with y’all that are going to change the way you self-tan – or start in the first place!
Ok, let’s first go over self-tan basics. A quick refresher course, if you will.
First: you must start with clean, exfoliated skin. Some girls go crazy with sugar scrubs, I just use a loofah. Some will also say that you shouldn’t exfoliate with any kind of moisturizing product because you need clean, bare skin. For me, my skin is so dry that I have to at least use my normal body wash in the shower because I’ll be a flakey mess upon towel dry.
Second: Coat any places that are prone to “the Cheetos look” with a light moisturizer. This means your ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, fingers… basically any spot that is difficult to apply evenly and can absorb too much of the self-tan product. These areas also tend to be dry! So if you also have any other weird dry spots (I do!), give those a good coat of a light moisturizer.
Ok, now you’re ready to tan! The main product that has changed the game is the Josie Maran Argan Oil Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil. It’s the only oil-based self-tan product I’ve ever used, but I’m hooked. Lotions, mouses and creams can be tricky to apply… they all seem to absorb to quickly or take too long for me. I LOVE the oil, because it shows instant color so you know where you’re applying it, and then the oil seamlessly sinks into your skin WHILE moisturizing it. Because so many self-tanners can feel drying to me, this may be my favorite feature! So, you simply squeeze the product into your handy mitt (that is included with the product! YAY!), and rub the product in circular motions until it’s absorbed. Do this all over! Think of the process like you would for applying sunscreen, but just with an oven mit. Totally normal, right? And for the “Cheetos areas”, just go easy with it. Don’t add more product to the mitt for those. For example, if you just applied a lot of product to your legs and finished, use whatever is left on the mitt for your ankles to toes. I promise there’s enough on there to give you some color!
After all is applied, I slip on a robe and check emails, read a devotional, catch up on house work…. just enough so that I feel like everything is well absorbed and won’t rub off on my clothes that day. And give it a few hours to work! You’ll see the color develop as the day goes on. When to shower off? Honestly, I usually just shower the following day because for the first time ever, the smell doesn’t bother me so much that I feel like I need to get it off immediately (as is the case with most self-tanners).
In summary, main reasons I love this product:
- No bad smell. It has a ‘tahitian vanilla’ scent upon application, that honestly isn’t my personal favorite (but lots of reviewers said they loved it!), but it goes away within minutes as it dries.
- The color is so natural and not orangey. Upon application, it looks like you’re coating yourself with a dark tanning oil and honestly, that’s how it stays! The color pay-off is amazing! However, because the color does look very natural, this may not be ideal if you have already dark or tanned skin. You may need more color!
- It’s a bit more natural than other self-tanning product ingredients. I can’t imagine anything that changes the color of your skin to be all that great for you, but this product uses a natural DHA with 100% Argan Oil.
- Argan Oil is SO moisturizing for your skin. Plus, the product also has coconut water and soothing aloe juice to boot! You’re just not getting that in a lot of other self-tanners.
- It’s build-able. If you need to look like you just got back from a week in Maui, you can apply 2 days in a row and it doesn’t turn funky orange. The color builds the more you apply!
- It fades gradually and naturally. I use an in-between product to make my self tan last (review of that one below), but this gradually fades after about a week. And the best part? It doesn’t fade in patches or look blotchy. Just naturally fades to your skin tone.
Ok, you hooked yet? Good. Now onto my other new fave!
As I just mentioned before, sometimes I like to use a product mid-week to keep my faux tan looking fresh! Because let’s be real, self-tanning takes some serious time! And sometimes, we just don’t have it. I recently used these Sun Bum Self Tanning Towelettes on our trip to Texas and I’m now obsessed. I tanned with the Josie Maran a few days before our trip, but didn’t have time to do it right before we left. So, I packed these to use mid-trip to keep things looking good (hello, Texas is hot! I was wearing shorts and dresses the entire time and didn’t want to show off my paleness!) I loved how they were so easy and simple to throw in my toiletry bag without taking up any room. I also loved that they smelled amazing. Like, tropical vacation hand me a piña colada please, amazing. I just rubbed the towelette all over at night before bed and showered off in the morning. I felt natural, sun-kissed, and ready to put on my shorts!
For the towelettes, you can’t see any color and where it’s going. They just look like a small hand wipe, to be honest. So because of that, I wouldn’t recommend relying on them for an all-over J.Lo glow. On the flip side, they’re not nearly as messy or as time consuming! Just don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly after you use them!
Ok, are we self-tanned out? I am. It’s a process, I know. But one that I’m happy to share! Because really, self-tanning can be appealing but SO intimidating! And I truly believe that a little glow can do wonders for our self-confidence as we enter into this summer season. And when you get it down, you’re saving your precious skin of those rays from the sun! Winning all around!
If you’re looking for more summer beauty tips and tricks this season, I’m SO excited to share that I am one of the AOL Summer Beauty Awards judges! I’ve been testing these self-tanners and more summer beauty products for the past month and I have SO many more goodies to share with y’all this June! So keep an eye out here on amybethcampbell.com for your weekly summer beauty fix and also check out the winners and other judges reviews seen HERE, very soon!
Happy faux glow-ing!
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