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I’m a child of the 1970s. When we first moved to Australia we lived in Perth. The official past time of most families was worshiping the sun. I confess (shamefully) to rubbing myself down in baby oil and baking for hours in an effort to achieve golden limbs. Fast forward to the summer of 2012. I have a child of my own whom I obsessively cover in SPF 50 and an aversion to the sun so mighty that I have a vitamin D deficiency! Baking is uncool and dangerous. Stupid really but there is a voice in my head that still longs for bronzed limbs and a sun-kissed glow. About 5 years ago I developed my intense love affair with self tanning and have never looked back. Here are some expert tips I’ve picked up along the way that will have you glowing like J.Lo, and more sun-kissed like Jennifer Aniston that deep-fried like Donatella Versace.
My old university pal and entrepreneur Fabiola Gomez is the founder of Asyana tanning products. If you haven’t tried this heavenly-scented, easy-to-apply and foolproof beautifier you don’t know what 21st century tanning is all about. Here are her four fail proof steps for achieving a gorgeous and extended fake tan:
1. Let’s Talk Prep
Whether you’re taking time out to self-tan or indulging in a professional spray tan, the outcome will only be as good as the preparation you put in.
Asyana Pro Tanning Tip: It’s important to shave or wax at least a day prior to tanning, as this will cause the least irritation to sensitive skin and avoid adverse reaction to the tanning lotion. It also means that you don’t need to worry about ruining your new sun-kissed glow by shaving or waxing over a fresh sunless tan.
If you’re using a new product or tanning for the first time, as part of your prep routine, it’s also a good idea to do a skin patch test with the tanning lotion to gauge the shade of your desired tan and how it will show on the skin, before applying to the whole body.
2. Don’t Axe Your Exfoliation
The key to perfect tan application, lies in your commitment to exfoliation. This step is important, because during exfoliation you remove any dead skin cells that would otherwise prevent a smooth tan application. Exfoliation helps to balance your skin’s natural pH level, encouraging a healthy glow.
3. Tricks of the Trade:
Take your time to tan, indulge in the process and build that outer radiance. To achieve the perfect tan apply self tan to the larger areas of the body first. Then lightly apply smaller amounts to the more refined areas such as ankles and knees, carefully blending darker spots by buffing with a soft towel. Make sure to apply an even amount of tanning lotion to each area of the body, so that colour is consistent and the finished effect is that of a naturally smooth tan.
Fabiola’s Golden Rule: No matter what the shade of bronze you are aiming for, always build your tan slowly. Particularly if you are fairer-skinned, you are better to start with a lighter shade and build it up over several applications. Avoid the temptation to go straight into a heavy shade of bronze, only to end up looking like an accidental paint canvas! The aim is to have you glowing in a healthy, natural-looking tan.
4. Long Live Your Tan
To keep your tan looking healthy, the final step to a perfect glow is to moisturise. Every day. A Tan Extender or daily tanning product hydrates the skin whilst blending subtle bronzing ingredients to extend the life of your sunless tan for up to two and a half weeks so that you can enjoy your natural glow for longer.
Best Self Tanners:
For a celebrity worthy glow:
ASYANA Bronze Tanning Lotion is perfect for a natural tan that’s easy to apply, dries quickly and moisturises the skin so lasts a little longer than other tans I have used.For the face:
Clinique Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion is a great product for that year round glow. The non sticky cream-gel formula achieves a buildable tan over 2-3 hours but the tint makes you look healthy and fresh instantly. $36.00 www.clinique.com.auFor an express tan:
Loving Tan 2 hour Express Tan is perfect for those who have to hit a party at short notice or before going to the beach. $34.99 www.lovingtan.comFor the tan shy:
Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion is a great value gradual tanning formula that builds up a low key but definitely noticeable tan when used daily. $10.54 for 400ml www.coles.com.au
If self tan is not your thing, try an instant bronzer. There are a few great ones around but my all time favorite is Dr Lewinn’s Instant Body Bronzer. Like make up for the body it gives a sexy glow that washes off with soap and water! $19.95 www.drlewinns.com.au.
Last week: The ultimate summer beauty guide