How To: Get the Perfect Self Tan

Hey Guys!
This has been a highly requested post and I am sorry for not getting to it sooner. Lately, I have not been self-tanning as much as I use to. However, I did self-tan a couple days prior to going out for New Years Eve and many of you were wondering how I got such an even, dark tan after a couple of applications, what products I use...etc. 

Tanning Tools and Products
I must admit, I at one point in time would go to tanning beds to get a little colour. I mainly only did this a month or two before going on vacation. I stopped using the beds for obvious reasons: skin cancer, wrinkles, sun spots, etc. Once I discovered self-tanning, it actually gave me a better tan and it ended up being cheaper than the amount of money I would spend for minutes in the booth, plus expensive tanning lotions.

Basically, everything I have learned about self-tanning I owe to my friend, Natty, at Miss Natty's Beauty Diary. When I first started blogging, I was envious of her amazing tan skin, and when I realized she self-tanned, I had to get the products she used! If you are interested in checking out Natty's posts on self-tanning, she has several really informative posts: Self-Tanning Routine, Self-Tanning Tips and Tricks

For the past 2 years I have gone through stages of being very into maintaining a tan complexion. I personally like a small amount of tan because it evens out my skin tone and gives me a nice, healthy glow. In this post you will find out how I prepare, apply, and maintain my tan using a variety of different products. 

Lotion, Spray, or Mousse?

From left to right: St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse, 
Sun Labs Self Tanning Micro Mist in Dark, Sun Labs Self Tanning Lotion in Very Dark

The products I use on a regular basis to maintain my tan are either by St. Tropez or Sun Labs. I find both brands quite similar, in my opinion. I have yet to find a drugstore self-tanner that I like, but if you have any recommendations, please let me know! 

You may be wondering what formula you should purchase when considering buying a self-tanner. I find there are benefits and drawbacks to each formula, so it really depends on your preferences. I like to switch it up because some formulas last longer, while others are darker, and some are easier to work with. It really depends how I feel at the moment for which bottle, or two, I grab. 

Lotion is the hardest formula to work with, out of the three, and you really have to work it into your skin. This formula takes the longest to apply. I like to use latex gloves when using a lotion to protect my hands. I'm not a big fan of lotion, mainly because it takes longer and I find it a chore applying self-tanner. However, in my experience I have found lotion to last longer on the skin and it tends to give me a deeper tan than mousse. Essentially, you put in the time, but the end result is a longer lasting, deeper tan.

Spray is the fastest method, but also the messiest. If you want a truly DEEP tan, spray is your best bet. I love how dark the Sun Labs Spray is, how evenly it applies, and it smells pretty good too. With a spray, I think it is essential to use a tanning mitt. This is also a good option if you have no one to help you apply product to your back. You can either spray your mitt, or your back directly, and rub it in with your tanning mitt. If I want to be EXTRA tan, I will actually spray this on top of my mousse I applied prior to deepen my tan.

Mousse is my preferred method of application because it's fast and fool proof. I have used St. Tropez longer than I have used Sun, and it is more easily available for myself since I can find it at Sephora, and I have yet to see Sun Labs anywhere in Canada, other than my one time find at Winners. The formula is really easy to work with, especially when you use a tanning mitt. For beginners, I would suggest using a mousse because you can't really screw up using this because as long as you don't miss a spot, your tan will be even, even if you go over areas multiple times with your mitt. Mousse also tends to be not as dark of a tan, in my experience. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how dark you want to be. I see this as a drawback because I have to go heavy on using the product to achieve the colour I want. Sometimes I put on one layer, wait for it to dry, and then put on another layer. 

Click below to find out "How to Get the Perfect Self Tan!"