The Best Self-Tanners & Application Tips

Makeup Artist and Beauty Blogger, Kendra Stanton stopped by to reveal her favorite self-tanners and expert application tips too:

It used to be that self-tanners just looked like you rubbed a bunch of orange Kool-Aid all over your body and then called it a tan. But now, self-tanners have evolved to where you actually look like you got some sun, minus the harmful sun rays and potential cancer risk. Since I tend to be over-zealous with sun-protection, I wanted to share with you my favorite 5 self-tanners and some self-tanning tips to go with that will leave you with a streak free and bronzed body.

Self-tanning tips:

With any self tanner you use, it is imperative to do a few things to prepare your skin for your application to avoid streaking and splotching.

1. Exfoliate and clean your body really well. I use a body scrub and my Clarisonic with the attachment that helps me reach my back. This helps you have an even and non-splotchy application.
2. Apply moisturizer to your elbow, knees, hands, feet, and corners of nose when doing the face. These are the areas of body that tend to grab onto the self-tanners. Applying the moisturizer to those areas just softens the effectiveness of the self-tanner, making it appear more natural.
3. When applying your self tanner, I highly recommend using a self-tanner mit. If you have one, place the self-tanner on the mit, and then apply it to your body in curricular motion as if you are buffing it into the skin. I always start on my legs first and work my way up.

Favorite Self-Tanners

1. Kate Summerville Body Tanning Towelettes and Face Tanning Towelettes: I fell in love with these towelettes when I got them in a beauty sample subscription because they are so easy to use, are paraben free, gave me a fabulous glow and would be perfect for travel. The face towelettes have  Peptide k8 and other anti-aging properties, plus you can place two fingers into the self-tanning pouch, making it super easy to give your face an even tan with circular motion. They are also great for someone with fair skin. $45.00

2. Perricone MD No Sun Tanner: This face and body self tanner is for people that want a little bit of a sun kissed glow, but want a little more control with how bronzed they get. This is a gradual self tanner that not only gives you the look of sun kissed skin, it has pro-Vitamin D to give you the other benefits of sun as well. It also doesn't streak, and has no gross self tanner smell to it. $69.00

3. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse:  This self tanner gives you a really beautiful deep golden tan. Don't use this if you are just wanting a splash sun because this will make you look like you had a full day of fun in the sun and were left with an incredibly amazing tan.  It is infused with aloe vera to give long lasting color, and has Aromaguard™ fragrance technology that eliminates self tanner aroma by a minimum of 70%. It also comes with a tanning matte which makes it incredibly easy to apply, and I am obsessed with the fact that it is a mousse.  $42.00

4. Xen-Tan Moroccan Tan: So this is the self-tanner that got me on my self-tanning kick.  It looks like a bronzing lotion, so you can immediately see where you are applying in order to not miss any spots and leaves you with a medium tan. It also dries quick so you don't get any residue on your clothes. Another bonus is that it has Moroccan oil and peptides to help moisturize your skin while tanning. $35.00

5. Too Faced Royal Oil Coconut Oil Bronzer: I am slightly obsessed with this bronzing oil. It has mangosteen oil in it to protect against environmental damage, plus coconut oil to keep skin moisturized. It glides on the skin perfectly and dries quick to avoid transferring onto your clothes. While this isn't self tanner that stay's past a shower, it is perfect if you want to look bronzed without having to wait 3 hours for it to set. Plus, it has this gorgeous shimmer to it that will make your body look amazing. $35.00

6. Jergens Natural Glow: I have been using this self-tanner for years. It really has ended up being a go-to option for winter time when I don’t want to look like a ghost, but also would feel weird sporting a full on tan. It use to have really strong self-tanning scent to it, but now it is odorless! For over-the counter, it does a great job for more pale skin types and if you want more of a tan, you just add more. It is also extremely affordable at only $4-$6.00.

You'll find more beauty tips from Kendra on her Citizens of Beauty blog.

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