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You know that tanning is taboo -- but if you still crave bronzed skin for summertime, try self-tanner! Here, 10 easy steps for making your self-tan look gorgeous:
1. Moisturize regularly. Dry skin soaks up more tanner than hydrated skin; this can result in blotches. For a week before you tan, apply lotion after each shower to boost your skin's moisture quotient.
2. Choose the right tanner. Go with a lighter shade rather than a darker one, then reapply if you want deeper color.
3. Try a goof-proof formula. While most tanners today give you an even brown color instead of the orangey one you may remember from tanners in the past, there's still room for streaks. Try a tinted tanner, which allows you to see where you apply and ensures an even tan.
4. Exfoliate all over. Doing so with a scrub or loofah gets rid of dead skin cells and helps you achieve an even tan.
5. Do double exfoliation duty on rough spots. Knees, elbows, and feet need an extra shot of exfoliation to remove dead skin buildup. Go over these areas twice with your loofah or scrub.
6. Apply in long strokes. Squirt a bit of tanner into your palm, rub hands together, and then apply to your skin using long strokes (instead of short ones).
7. Go easy on ankles. A telltale line where your tanner stops is unflattering. Instead, sweep your hands over the tops of your feet, blending the tanner outward so there's no hard line.
8. Scrub up. Tanner can stain your palms and cuticles. Right after you apply, wash hands using a nail brush and soap.
9. Apply to backs of hands. As a finishing touch, dab a tiny bit of tanner onto the back of one hand. Then rub the backs of hands together so you get color there, too.
10. Reapply. The key to keeping a beautiful self-tan is to reapply the color -- and repeat the above process -- at least twice a week.
We all know the basics for applying self-tanner: Exfoliate beforehand, wear gloves and smooth onto clean, dry skin. But, how can you be sure you'll get a natural-looking tan with all your nooks and crannies? Apply tanner like a pro with tips and tricks from Helen Famulare, Spa Training Manager for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spas.--Jessica Goldberg
Between toes/fingers: Avoid these areas. Tanner collects in webbing, causing discoloration.
Heels, knees, knuckles, elbows: Skin around these joints is drier and more prone to streaks. Use a loofah on these areas and apply moisturizer the night before tanning.
Belly button: Remove excess self-tanner with a cotton swab.
Back: Must use a spray for self application. Look in a two-way mirror to apply evenly.
Face: Apply Vaseline to lips and eyebrows to keep them color-free. Never spray directly onto your face. Spray gloves, rub together, and apply.