Faux Tanning For Dummies

For the last two months I’ve sacrificed my body to test multiple faux tanning products. I received many odd looks at my streaky skin and several comments from friends about my inconsistent skin color. It was all worth it to find the most effective faux tanning solution for any time of year.

With my fair and sensitive skin, products react differently on my body than most people but there is a process for application regardless of your skin type or product.

Step 1: Always exfoliate. Scrub away dead skin cells while paying close attention to your knees, elbows, ankles and heels.

Step 2: Moisturize. Excess tanner will grab onto dead skin which often lies in those obvious areas along your elbows, knees and heels.

Step 3: Start with your arms when applying your price of choice. Then to your shoulders and wrists, this avoids dense areas of product at your hand and wrist area. Cover your legs starting with your thighs to the tops of your feet. I always apply to stomach and chest last.

Step 4: Throughly rinse your hands to remove tanner from creases.

Trick: add a small amount of product to the tops of your hands and blend.

Now that you know what to do, here are some product reviews to help you decide what to use!

Faux Tanning For Dummies

Product: Tan Towel
Price: $20 for two body and two face towels at Sephora
Rating: One Star
Review: The tan towel product works miracles on some people, but not me. The tan towel is meant to be applied the night before. Tan towels are a colorless and nearly odorless disposable towel. They leave embarrassing inconsistencies on my skin, making the fake tan look extremely obvious and disproportioned. It also leaves my skin very warm while the product is setting in.

Faux Tanning For Dummies

Product: St. Tropez Bronzing Foam
Rating: Two Stars
Price: $12 at Ulta
Review: St. Tropez is an amazing and trustworthy brand, so I had to try their Bronzing Foam. The results were mediocre. It’s not the best self tanner I’ve ever used, but it’s not the worst. The scent was extremely strong to the point it was waking me up at night. The application was easy and essentially fool-proof, leaving little to no streaks. I would recommend this product if you don’t mind the odor.

Faux Tanning For Dummies

Product: Avene Moisturizing Self Tanning Lotion
Price: $28 on Amazon
Rating: One Star
Review: This lotion goes on odorless and colorless, but unfortunately leaves endless streaks similar to my issues with the tan towel. It also leaves my skin warmer than usual. Application is fairly simple with a detailed guide to the amount of lotion that should be applied per each area of your body. All in all, I would not use this product again.

Faux Tanning For Dummies

Product: Neutrogena Micro Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan
Price: $15 at CVS (In the sunscreen section)
Rating: Five Stars
Review: I love and live by this product. Spray the mist directly onto clean, dry skin, keeping the can about six inches away from your body. The mist is almost impossible to mess up or cause streaking. Even better, it has no scent after application. It leaves a beautiful glow on your skin and can be applied several times per week. As always, be cautious about ankles and elbows.

Faux Tanning For Dummies

Product: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
Price: $14 at CVS
Rating: Five Stars
Review: This is one of my favorite products year-round. When you need a touch of color any time of the year this is your product. Apply as your daily lotion and watch as your skin shows a subtle tan over the next seven days. Also available in firming body lotion and face lotion.

Have you tried any other faux-tanning beauty products? Share your experiences in the comments!

By Mallory Lepage

After living in several of the greatest cities in the country, I made Chicago home a short three years ago. Chicago is the perfect hybrid of the Midwest relaxed mentality and chaotic city life that allows me to enjoy so much it has to offer. I’m equal parts tom boy and glam girl, I love watching sports (Go Green!) just as much as I enjoy taking hours to get ready for a night out on the town with my girlfriends.

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