Rocking a faux tan has never really been my thing. While I’d never advocate for getting sun damage to actually tan, I usually just throw on SPF and embrace my pale complexion even during the summer months. Fake tanning has always scared the hell out of me because it seems like such a hard thing to do correctly (and honestly, the thought of walking around with a patchy tan or looking overly orange sounds absolutely awful). This year, I’ve decided to be brave and step outside of my beauty comfort zone by giving faux tanning a real shot.
After all of my research, I’ve definitely learned that proper exfoliation is key to having a smooth, seamless faux tan. I like to exfoliate in the shower, so I’ve picked up a few different scrubs to use that will get my skin nice and smooth, perfectly prepped for tanning products. You can never go wrong with a good sugar scrub, and the lovelies over at NYL were kind enough to send me their Organic Shimmer Scrub* to test out. It smells like a burst of fresh citrus and has tiny flecks of shimmer in it, making it ideal for achieving that much sought after summer glow. The other products I have are from a brand that I’ve been highly interested in trying – Frank Body. They make body scrubs from ground coffee, which sounds like such an insanely cool idea, right? I’ve got their Shimmer Scrub* (can you tell I’m excited for the shimmer this summer?) as well as the Cacao Coffee Scrub*, and honestly, I don’t know which one I should use first? Do I want chocolate coffee or shimmery unicorn coffee? Decisions, decisions…
Besides regularly exfoliating, I know staying moisturized is super important to ensure an even tan. I’ve been completely obsessed with The Body Shop’s Body Yogurts (read my full review here), and I just recently received the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream* from Sol de Janeiro to try out and I’m pretty sure it’s going to become a summer staple. It smells amazingly rich and tropical, offers a fantastic amount of hydration as well as a subtle shimmer, and thankfully absorbs right away without any leftover residue (I absolutely detest greasy lotions, especially during summer). One of the ingredients is guaraná, which is supposedly going to help tone and smooth, but I’ll have to use it for a little bit to see any results.
Now, to the star of the show – the faux tanner itself. There are so many different kinds out there on the market, but after talking to a few beauty-obsessed friends on Instagram I found out about a brand called Tan-Luxe. They’re a bit raved about in the beauty community, both for their ease of use as well as they’re incredible results. Tan-Luxe makes Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, both for the Body* and the Face*, and all you have to do is mix a couple drops with your moisturizers for an even, luminous faux glow! For someone like me who has been terrified of trying fake tan products for fear of turning out like an Oompa-Loompa, these drops make achieving bronzy summer skin a breeze. The only thing I would mention is to make sure you wash your hands after applying so you don’t end up with stained palms (although I’m sure that’s basic knowledge for everyone but me, haha).
The last bit of faux glow items I’ll be using this summer are some bronzing products. Usually I just wear a bit of contour powder to give my face some definition, but I figured since I’ll be looking more tan, I might as well add in a little bronzer as well. (Emphasis on the word little – I don’t want to look like Snookie circa 2009.) Glossier’s Haloscope in Topaz is what I’ll be using on days that I want a subtle, dewy bronze. I’ll usually pair this with a little bit of Beam on the cheeks for a warm flush, but it can also be used by itself for a pretty highlight/bronzing combo. When I’m going for something a little more full-faced and glam, I’ve got the new Limited Edition Bronzing Palette* from Clarins to test out. This has 3 different shades that can be worn alone or swirled together to create the perfect custom bronzing shade, so it should be very versatile and work with any look I’d like to create.
Are you a fan of fake tanning or does it make you just as nervous as it did me?