Ole Henriksen

Monday, July 8, 2013

Get a Faux Glow

I dabble in self-tanning. I used to go to the tanning bed regularly, but it's awful for your skin. It ages you way too fast (hello wrinkles!), increases your chance for skin cancer and it's expensive to keep up with the lotions, creams, eye-wear and what-not. So I quit. And I got pale.

Let's face it. Everyone looks better with a little color. Your skin looks more toned, you can camouflage annoying things like spider and varicose veins and for me, at least, it improves my mood to have a little color when I look in the mirror, see pictures of myself or wear shorts or a skirt. You, too?

I was lucky enough to be able to try Tarte's Brazilliance self tanner and I have to admit, I really like it. It comes with its own mitt for application (I think that's becoming a new trend), but I tend to be really clumsy and messy with my legs, so I don't always use it.

Tarte's formula is nice for a few reasons. First and foremost, it's a dark gel formula, so you can see it on your skin and I find that's helpful in letting you know where you might have missed a spot. It's not fool-proof, but it does help. Second, while it doesn't claim to be, I think it falls somewhere between one of those gradual self tanners and a regular self tanner. You'll definitely see color with just one application - but I usually apply one, wait a couple of hours, and apply the second. Start with one, but don't be afraid to slather on a second coat if after a few hours you discover you'd like more color. Last, but not least, the formula is actually good for your skin. Infused with maracuja oil, vitamin C and doesn't smell awful. I can't lie, I still think it smells, but it's not the awful self tanner smell from the 90's. Maybe I just have a sensitive nose?

Here are some steps to make the process painless and easy.

1. Exfoliate/Shave. It will help your tan fade evenly and remove dead skin cells which may hold onto pigment more than they should.

2. Moisturize - if you have dry skin, and really don't most people have dry knees and elbows? (Don't forget your feet here - they get dry, too!) Choose something light - a daily moisturizer. You don't want to be greasy, just lightly hydrated.

3. Invest in a pair of latex gloves. (Or a box.) I like the mitt for smaller areas, but prefer to use my hands and fingers on my legs and I don't trust that all of it will wash off, so gloves are my best friend.

4. I apply a line of Brazilliance from my ankle to my knee and start by rubbing left to right, followed by up and down. This seems to be the best way to ensure there are no weird patchy places. Go easy on the places you know are dry - knees, elbows, etc. Same process for arms. It's intimidating at first, but just jump in there and go for it!

5. The formula dries pretty quickly - just give it a few minutes to complete drying and then go about your business. When you check on it in a few hours you can decide if you desire more color and can apply a second coat.

6. Enjoy your faux glow!

Want to get your own? You can pick up a tube of Brazilliance at
for $37. Or you can snag one at Sephora or Ulta stores.

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