Streaky self-tans are what beauty nightmares are made of, so we want all Glitter Guide gals to avoid them at all costs! Last week we rounded up our favorite sunless tanners, so today we’re sharing some advice for properly applying them! Giving us the inside scoop is self-tanning expert James Read. His clients include Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Mariah Carey, Jessie J and Rita Ora (just to name a few)—and we’re all ears!
Written by Kaleigh Fasanella
Photo by Ariane Moshayedi
What tricks can we use to achieve a smooth and even self-tan?
Always use a tanning mitt. Reapply a second layer 15 minutes later—this helps deepen your tan and ensures that you didn’t miss any bits the first time around. Always shave or wax and exfoliate 24 hours before tanning. Moisturize daily so your tan lasts longer. Exfoliate after three days so that your tan fades evenly. Never apply the tanning product directly on your hands and feet: Work the excess product from the tanning mitt onto your hands, and the excess product from your legs onto your feet and ankles. Don’t over-apply—less is more. Finally, always do a selfie to see if the tan suits your skin tone.
Out of your whole line, which three products do you truly believe every girl needs?
1. The sleep mask tan, as everyone loves some good beauty sleep. This hydrates and tans your skin while you snooze.
2. My instant bronzing spray allows you to spray and go, giving you a natural-looking tan in minutes. You’re left with a tan that lasts for five to six days.
3. My express bronzing mousse is great—it’s every girl’s quick fix for a tan. Apply and leave on for one hour, then wash it off. Your tan should last for a week. It’s hassle-free.
What should we always do before and after self-tanning?
Before tanning your face, brush your eyebrows back and forth using an old toothbrush or brow brush to remove dead skin that can accumulate in the brow hair. If you have fair brows, brush vaseline onto them before tanning your face to avoid tanning the brow hair itself.
To avoid getting those little white patches on the crease of your bum, under your breasts or in the lines on your neck, lie flat on your back immediately after tanning. Put your legs, positioned at right angles to your body, up against a wall for about five minutes (until the tan has dried).
If we make a tanning mistake and end up with streaks, what should we do?
If you’ve had a salon spray tan and don’t have time to lie down for five minutes, use talcum powder under your chest, neck and bum to prevent skin-sticking. Press the backs of your hands onto your neck over the next few hours to stop the tan from settling into those lines.
If you’ve had a self-tanning disaster, don’t attempt to remove streaks or dark patches. Instead, simply apply another coat of self-tanning product, avoiding the darker areas to balance out the color.
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