I don’t know about you, but it feels like summer is a long way off here and my face is looking very pale.
It’s no good trying to get a bit of color with foundation because you always end up with some kind of tide mark where the foundation stops if you try and use a darker shade that doesn’t match your skin.
And though bronzer could help achieve a bit of a glow, the paler you get, the more false it looks – much better to use bronzer on skin that’s already got a bit of natural color.
Using a sun bed is not a great option for your face either, because that involves UVA rays and skin damage – and a temporary tan effect is just not worth it. But there is one more option and that is to apply self tanning face lotion.
But is it a good idea to apply a sunless tanning product on your face?
It depends on how you go about it. If you apply it the right way, you can have a golden glow all through the year. Of course the best option is to have a tanning product applied professionally at the salon but it is a major expense if you want to keep your color all year round and it’s not always convenient. If you want a do it yourself solution to achieving a suntan without the sun, here are the steps to follow.
Don’t Apply Self Tan Just To Your Face
In the same way that you don’t want a line where your foundation stops, a tanned face and a pale body are not going to do you any favors, so for best results (in terms of your overall look) apply sunless tanning all over. If you just want to do your face – make sure that you blend very well so there are no hard edges where your tan stops.
Choose Your Color According to Your Natural Skin Tone
Olive skinned girls can choose a deeper shade than those with naturally very pale skin tones. If in doubt, choose a pale color and reapply, after a day or two, if you think a deeper shade would suit you. Better safe than sorry!
Choose a Quality Product
Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley in “Beauty Bible Beauty Steals” suggest two low cost products for both face and body (though they did say that the best self tan lotions were in the higher price bracket). The two budget sunless products that testers rated well as giving a light natural color for both body and face are
- Soleil Beauty Self Tanning Spray
- Lavera Self Tanning Lotion
If you have a larger budget, according to the Beauty Bible girls (who have tested out tons more products than I ever could) try the following facial self tanners on your face, neck and décolletage and the equivalent product from the same brand for your body (to avoid a two tone effect if you are doing both).
- La Prairie Cellular Self Tan for the Face
- Lancome Flash Bronzer Instant Bronze Glow For the Face
- L’Oreal Plenitude Sublime Bronze Face
- Phytomer Rapid Self Tanning Gel
Get Your Hair Out of the Way
Your hair can get in the way of smooth tanning and could also be dyed by the color so it is important to get it all out of the way with a headband. You could also apply a little Vaseline at the hairline as a barrier to avoid getting tan in your hair (and use it on your eyebrows too).
It’s important that your skin is a smooth as possible before applying fake tan so exfoliate well so there are no flakes or dry patches to soak up the tanning lotion and give you a patchy look.
To help get rid of any remaining dry uneven patches, moisturize your skin well, just prior to applying your self tanner.
Natural Distribution of Color
It is more natural to have a slightly deeper shade where the sun touches your skin, so take a pea sized dollop of your self tanning product and apply it to forehead, nose, cheekbones and tip of the chin – the natural places the sun hits. Then take another pea sized amount and mix it with an equal amount of moisturizer and apply that everywhere else on your face (avoiding the eyebrows and eye area). Apply any remaining diluted lotion from your fingers to earlobes, backs of ears and jawline blending into your neck. (If you don’t have time for this, apply a mixture of self tan and moisturizer to your whole face but start with the central panel and blend outwards avoiding the eyes.)
If applying to the neck and décolletage, apply a mixture of moisturizer and self tan from the chin down to the chest blending well at the edges.
Clean Your Hands
Make surely you wash your hands thoroughly and scrub around nails and cuticles using a nail brush.
Hold Your Head High
If you have applied the self tanning product to your neck, hold your head high while the lotion dries to avoid any of the tan color settling into creases.
If You Make Mistakes
Don’t worry too much if your self tan goes wrong as you will not have to live with it forever. If you have pale streaks, you may be able to do a temporary fix with cream bronzer to even out your color. In any case, the color will fade naturally in 3 to 5 days and, if you want to reduce the effect faster, exfoliation can help get rid of excess color as the self tanning lotion only affects the topmost layer of the skin. Don’t apply your self tanner too close to a big date so you can minimize any errors before the event.