My Favorite Self Tanners and The Best Way To Apply It

Hi everyone! It's been a minute since I shared my last post with you but I've been traveling a bunch which means less time to blog. Now that spring break is upon us, I've gotten dozens of requests on what self tanners I use. As a model, I have to maintain a healthy glow year round due to my swimwear and lingerie clients. Therefore, I've decided to breakdown my favorite products but before I do, I have to share a little secret: the actual product you're using matters about 25%, the way you're applying matters about 75%. In short: application matters! I've been getting spray tans for about a year now and applying self tanners for over 7 (#tbt to Jergens' orange covered palms) so I consider myself a sunless tanning pro! I'm going to fill you in on what makes my sunless tan so perfect in these easy steps. I have never been a fan of tanning beds for obvious reasons but I do love to feel golden bronze year round! I do a combination of spray tans and self application tanner year round. As always, the images shown this post are clickable/shoppable so clicking on the images will bring you to the site! 

Before you tan:

Whether you are going for a spray tan or applying it yourself, you need to exfoliate. In the shower, I use a washcloth or loofa with a sugar scrub on my skin to make sure I wash off any dead skin or previous tanner. This is an extremely important step, you cannot skip it! This is time to use a sugar scrub, this is my favorite exfoliant but you can use whatever or even make your own! When you exfoliate your skin, this gives the tan the opportunity to lay evenly. This is my favorite body scrub, but you can really any sugar based scrub (click the images to shop).

Once you're done in the shower, make sure you dry off really well. Sometimes I even still scrub my skin with the dry towel to make sure I got everything. Now, when I go to get a spray tan I do not ever apply moisturizer or makeup. I also try not to apply deodorant, so the tan sticks directly on my skin and nothing else. Side note: if you live in Buffalo, NY and need a good contact for an all natural spray tan, I have a girl who does it out of her house for $25! DM or message me if you'd like her info. She is phenomenal and my tan seriously lasts over a week. 

Before apply my tanner of choice at home, I put a little light lotion on my feet, heels, knees, elbows, nails and any other severely dry spots. I have also discovered that using a mitt has been a game changer, that way it helps you buff out the skin without getting your palms all orange. I use this to moisturize, I did a collaboration with Dove a few weeks ago and I'm still loving this light, unscented lotion:

While you're applying:

As I said before, using a mitt has made applying SO much easier. You can apply it without rushing out of fear that it'll soak into your palms. When you use the mitt, you want to make sure you're applying in circular motions so it doesn't streak. You want to "buff" it into your skin. I've been trying different self tanners for a long time, my favorite at home by far are bronzing mousses (click the images to shop):

The reason I like the mousse is because it's buildable and you can see what you're applying so if you cause any streaks, you can easily buff them out with a little lotion applied to the mitt. I have Brian help me get my back so that it's not streaky. Ask your significant other or a pal to help you out. I usually apply the mousse at night, wear baggy clothes the rest of the night and then shower the next morning.

If you're in a rush and don't have time for the mousse process, I still urge you to exfoliate but here are some excellent instant/ buildable tanners so you can apply and go with now down time:

After you apply:

If you're using the mousse or getting a spray tan, you want to make sure you give your skin some time to absorb the product. Wear loose clothing and don't sweat or workout immediately after so your clothing doesn't rub anything off. 

When you do shower, make sure you DO NOT take a super hot shower. This will cause the tanner to become spotty and uneven. Take a warm & lukewarm shower, and try not to exfoliate the skin until you want to wash the tanner off. 

Moisturize!!! This is super important everyday but when you want to keep up your fake tan, this is extra important. You want to make sure you're moisturizing more than you typically would so that your skin stays hydrated and so the tanner stays even. 

This may sound high maintenance but I've mastered the art of applying and as long as you follow these steps, you should have a long lasting tan. Feel free to ask any questions below! Would you be willing to try this routine? Leave your answer in the comments. 

My Easy 5 Step AM Skincare Routine

Happy Monday, everybody! I wanted get this week started off right with my morning skincare routine. It wasn't until my early twenties when I started to realize how important taking care of your skin is- we have one chance to preserve and protect our skin, we must take care of it! If we're being totally honest here, I am constantly exploring new products (thank you free samples from Sephora ROUGE) so the products that I use vary. However, if you are a complete skincare newbie- this might be a good start for you because these are the products that I continue to go back to over and over again. I have combination oily & dry skin, so many of these products are excellent for all skin types!

Pro tip: I love buying at Sephora online because you get a promo & free samples on every order. Something many people don't know- you can return ANY product ANY time for ANY reason, no matter what. So if you decide you buy one of these products and end up not liking it, you can return it! Sephora is owned by Louis Vuitton so their return policy is AMAZING! They are also offering 2x points for VIB's until 1/22 so now is a great time to get stocked up on your skincare! All images are clickable, which means you can shop the products directly from this post! 

Step 1 // Cleanse

This cleanser is the bee's knees. Does anyone say that anymore? No, okay well I LOVE it! I use it in the morning and at night, it has a way of cleaning the skin that doesn't make your skin feel dry or that 'tight' feeling. When it comes to faces that are both dry and oily, it takes a clever cleanser to balance the two. This gentle, frothy face wash carefully does both jobs without canceling each other out. Skin feels comfortably refreshed after cleansing—never tight, pulled, or parched. Great for all skin types, it’s enriched with aromatic bergamot, spearmint, and lavender to add pleasure to the process. I've tried dozens of cleansers and this one by far takes the cake- the bottle also lasts FOREVER. I probably buy a new one every 4-5 months even though I use it twice a day! 

Step 2 // Tone

Most people are very skeptical of toners, I'll admit I was too. Growing up, I used toners that left your face with that burning feeling- something I learned that you NEVER want to do. You never want to use products that make your skin feel tight or pulled. The key to this is using a toner without alcohol in it. This one has purifying chamomile and linden extracts—to remove every last trace of cleanser, leaving skin pH balanced, de-stressed, and spa-refreshed. Pro tip: Do you ever see acne in your hairline or jawline? It could be because you're not rinsing your face wash off thoroughly! Be sure to rinse well and use a toner on a cotton square to make sure it's ready to go. 

Step 3 // Brush Teeth

I know this isn't technically skincare but I've read that you should let your toner set into your skin for a minute before you apply serum or moisturizer to get maximum performance from it. My dad bought me this toothpaste for Christmas and I'm obsessed! It beats every whitening & freshening toothpaste I've ever tried, really leaving your mouth with that clean feeling for hours! This tube also lasts a long time, I feel like we usually blow through toothpaste within two weeks and we've been using the same tube for about a month now!

Step 4 // Apply Serum/ Moisturizer

Some days I apply a serum and a moisturizer, some days I apply just one or the other depending on my motivation and how my skin feels. If it feels dry, I'll apply both. This is a great time to add SPF - yes we need SPF all year round! I love this super lightweight moisturizer that doubles as a versatile sunscreen to protect from UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and free radicals while improving skin’s texture and tone. 
My thoughts on the anti-aging serum: it's never to early to start anti-aging. This powerful, age-fighting serum visibly improves fine lines and wrinkles in as little as two weeks. The cocktail of ingredients helps give skin the look of resilient bounce while creating the appearance of firmer, more lifted skin. 

Step 5 // Eye Cream

Eye creams are ESSENTIAL- I was so skeptical of these, as I wasn't sure what they'd be able to do for me but they have significantly improved the dark circles underneath my eyes. This one is good for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin, Bye Bye Under Eye Cream is a luxurious moisturizing treatment clinically shown to address key signs of aging and visibly smooth the under-eye area. 

BONUS: Step 6 // Apply Makeup

Now that your skin is prepped and clean, you are ready to apply makeup! In case you missed it, I recently posted my 7 step natural beauty tutorial on the blog. I also have a video saved to the Highlights on my Instagram page. 

Are you loving these product roundups? Or maybe you'd like to see something different? Please let me know in the comments below! xo