Faux Tan How-To: Part One

by christinamdick

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I love getting spray tans. (look out for part-two, where I interview my favorite spray tanner, Alison of Malibu Tans). They are such a pick-me-up and make you feel great in photos for special occasions or on vacation. When I went to the Outer Banks this summer, I got a spray tan the day before we left so I’d be tan for the trip.

On regular days, I use self tanners at home. They’re perfect for maintaining a little bit of a glow throughout the year. I’ve been in the same self-tan routine since March, and I’ve been getting  questions about what I use and how it works. So, I thought I’d do a little post about it.

What is it? I use a foaming self tanner called NKD SKN Tinted Tan Mousse. It’s not a makeup, and it doesn’t wash off. It gives the appearance of a tan, and gradually wears off. I use the dark shade, but I’ve tried the light/medium one. I prefer this one even though I’m fairly pale. I’ve also used St. Tropez, Vita Liberata and Tan Towel. I used St. Tropez pretty regularly before I found NKD SKN, and I definitely think it’s great. I prefer NKD SKN because of the color (it’s hard to explain, but it looks really natural, almost olive-toned), the smell (the best smelling one I’ve smelled) and the price – $19 .50 for 3.38 ounces vs. $34 for 4 ounces. I’d still St. Tropez too, it’s great. But, NKD SKN is my favorite.

How do you use it?  I use this mitt from St. Tropez to apply it all over before before bed. Heads up, it can look really dark when it first goes on.  I make sure I don’t have any lotion or sunblock on. When I take a shower in the morning, just enough comes off so that it looks natural. If I have streaks or if I get some on my fingers, I use this remover. For the most part though, it’s pretty fool-proof.

How long does it last? I’d say it’s in full effect for about 2-3 days, and then it starts to fade a little so I do another coat.

How much is to/Where do you get it? $19.50 from Elements Beauty Shop. (Get 10% off with the code TIRAMISU)

Does it get on your clothes and sheets? Yes, if you’re not careful. I wear dark pajamas the days I use it because it does transfer, but once I shower in the morning, none gets on my clothes for the day. (Speaking of pajamas, I’m dying for these ones from one of my favorite local boutiques.)

What about your face? I don’t usually use it on my face, but it depends.NKD SKN doesn’t  break me out at all, but it’s not really meant for the face. That’s been a tricky part about using self tanner. Sometimes, I have to think about and make sure my face/foundation matches the rest of me. I use one shade darker. I think this stuff is fabulous. I also use Clinique For Men bronzer. (This is a great product, actually – not just for guys!) and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil to warm up my face to match my body.  Sometimes I’ll take a tiny amount on the mitt and rub it on top of my face, but I usually skip that step. I also love to use Becca shimmering skin perfector on my cheeks for a complete bronze-glow look.

What else do I need to know? Make sure you exfoliate before you use the tanner. This is what I always hear. I don’t know if this makes a huge, visible difference in the appearance of the tan, but I do think it would help it last longer. I just discovered this super scrub from Derma Doctor, with Polylactic Acid Glycolic Acid, and I’m on my third jar of this one from 80 Acres. If you’re in a pinch and wearing dark clothes, you can apply this in the morning and be fine. I’ve skipped applying it out o laziness at night and then rubbed it on my legs and arms before throwing on a black dress for work.

Happy Tanning! Do you use self-tanner? What’s your favorite. What are your tips?

PS: Make sure to use the code: TIRAMISU at ElementsBeautyShop for 10% off NKN SKN, the Bronze Buffer, and anything else you get!

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