There's something about the healthy glow of a tan and yet we know that while tans look healthy they're anything but. My years of basking in the sun with my baby oil and reflector or Bain de Soleil Gel #4- are long gone. Oh the wonderful orange oiliness that made your skin look instantly bronzed and cooked you to a crisp! Oh the terrible things we did! Luckily the deep savage tan look is passe and not at all chic or dapper... think Snooki and her Jersey Shore friends. But, there's something about a lightly golden, sun kissed look. It really does make one look healthier. It evens out skin tone and seems to obliterate those unsightly skin irregularities - the newly emerging spider vein, the odd blemish, freckle and such. And well, at risk of sounding completely vain, it's easier to put on a sundress or shorter skirt when your skin doesn't so much resemble Casper's!
1. Embrace the Self-tanner!
Self tanners have come a long way. Gone is the Nacho cheese flavor Doritos-hued tint of yesterday. Also gone is the noxious smell. Today's self tanners are much more realistic looking. And when put on properly do make it seems as though you've had a nice long weekend luxuriating on the shore in the Hamptons or Nantucket or Newport. When picking a self tanner it's best to start with a light shade then go darker. Always try a some on a patch of skin that no one will see. Before applying the self tanner do exfoliate. I prefer the sprays, foams and mists. I think they go on more evenly and are easier to rub in. Make sure your skin is thoroughly dry before applying your tanner and keep it on for at least 3 hours before showering. It will need some time to set.
I adore the Neutrogena Micro Mist. It's easy to apply and massage into the skin and the spray mist helps you reach those hard to get places like the back of your shoulders and your back. I do spray generously for a more golden tan. I do use a darker shade.
I also love the Jergen's self tanning foam. The tinted foam lets you see what you're covering and helps to avoid those nasty "tanner stripes." The foam, because it is tinted, gives your skin a nice hue as your tan sets in. Beware, however, you'll need to wash your hands frequently between applications as the color does start to set quickly. Orange palms are quite the no-no!
Reapply every 3-4 days, or as needed.
2. Coconut oil really is your skin's best friend!
So what's the big deal about this coconut oil? Right? Well, according to my own skin it is a big deal. A very big deal. I have very dry skin. No matter the season my skin is dry. I have tried every single lotion and concoction there is. Some work better than others - I do tend to prefer oils over lotions - but nothing seemed long-lasting enough. And I ran out of my favorite body oil and in a pinch I ran to the cupboard to get the jar of coconut oil that my daughter had used in a homemade salt scrub that she made for me for Mother's Day. I worried about slathering it and smelling like a Pina Colada. But the oil is completely unscented. I dabbed some onto my fingers - a little goes a long way. It was incredible. My skin felt instantly soft and supple and had such a beautiful, organic glow to it. I then began to slather it on all over, including my face. For the past week or so the coconut oil has become part of my regular beauty routine. As soon as I'm out of the shower I start to apply it.
So now we have the golden tan and the perfectly dewy summer skin.... Let's move on to our faces.
3. Never underestimate the power of a good bb cream!
I adore Garnier's bb cream. Not only does it perfectly cover my skin and really does cover up my really fine lines, but it gives my skin a natural dewy look. I'm not one for matte cosmetics and I have a hard time finding foundations and bb creams that really illuminate the skin. Garnier's does this on all levels. On top of the bb cream I then add just a touch of bronzing gel which gives my skin depth and dimension. Just a touch. I have a Clarin's gel that I love, but it has recently been discontinued. They've reincarnated it, however. Guerlain has their version and I've long been a fan of the Guerlain bronzers.
4. No summertime make up bag should be without a good bronzer.
In college I was introduced to Guerlain's Dore bronzer. Within a few brush strokes my skin took on a golden hue. Once I picked up that brush there was no looking back. I still think Guerlain's products are top notch, but when I found myself in need of more and no where near a good make-up store or department store I had to make do with what there was. CVS was it. I had read (in one of my fashion magazines) the Physician's Formula had a very good and inexpensive bronzer, but I couldn't locate the brand. I did see Rimmel and decided to test it out. I was quite pleasantly surprised, especially given that it was half the price tag of my favorite Guerlain version! A couple brush strokes and we're nearly there...
5. Don't forget about the sun-kissed cheeks.
No day spent in the sun is without the perfectly sun-kissed cheek. Don't forget to add some pink to them apples. Lately I'm crushing big-time on Nars. My color of choice? The perfectly named Outlaw. A deep rose that complements any tan! Once you've done this add some mascara, lipgloss and you'll look like you've been kissed by the sun without the worry of wrinkles, spots or skin cancer!