No matter how soon spring arrives — holiday tans always seem to fade just as quick — and at a blink of an eye, you’re off to the beach, sans the bronze. And as we all know the easiest way to look — and feel — better in a swimsuit, is a perfect golden glow. Luckily our go-to girl for getting a serious glow, also happens to be an A-list favorite, Natalie Saraf of Gloss Studio, shares her secrets of attaining that warm, even-toned skin in a snap.
Every jetsetter knows a sexy swim look isn't complete without a flawless tan. Here are a few of my top tanning tips and tricks (and product must-haves!) for achieving that elusive ‘bronzed beauty’ glow without the harmful and damaging effects of the sun. But first, decide what type of sunless tanning option is best for you: either self-applied sunless tanning at home, or an airbrushed/hand-applied tan in a professional salon or spa. Here are some pros and cons for both:
SELF-APPLIED, SUNLESS TANNING AT HOME
THE GOOD: The ease and convenience of at-home solutions make this method a great option for the girl-on-the-go. Solutions can be applied virtually anywhere, and at anytime, making quick touch-ups and re-applications a breeze.
THE BAD: Although formulas have vastly improved over the years, at-home solutions do come with the risk of incorrect application and can be at times messy (waking up to bright orange sheets is never a good look!). Make sure to do a trial run before your getaway to make sure you’re an at-home application pro.
PROFESSIONAL AIRBRUSH TANS OR HAND-APPLICATION:
THE GOOD: Like any salon service, you can rest assured the professionals will take care of you, taking dull, porcelain skin and transforming it into supple, glowing perfection. Your tan should be streakless without any harsh spray lines or imperfections – just a bronzed bod straight off a Turks and Caicos postcard!
THE BAD: professional airbrush or hand-applied tans can sometimes be pricey, although tanning packages and seasonal specials are often times a great investment to keep that beach bunny look year-round. For example, my Beverly Hills salon GLOSS Makeup and Beauty Studio offers many package options to fit everyone’s tanning needs and lifestyle.
Regardless if you opt for an at-home DIY method or like to get glammed by a professional, here are some universal tips for sunless tanning:
Exfoliate like there's no tomorrow. Snakeskin is meant for your handbag, not for your tanned bod. Exfoliate prior to your sunless tanning session with an oil-free exfoliant. This is crucial because oil can cause the DHA in formulas to prematurely fade and not adhere properly. Use a loofa or washcloth to buff off dead skin in the shower.
Moisturizer is your post-tan BFF. The more you moisturize, the longer your tan will last! Start applying a moisturizer the second day after your sunless tanning application for optimal results.
Dress the part. Minimize the risk of post-tan streaking or unintentional tan lines by wearing loose-fitting, dark clothing after any type of sunless tanning.
Don't forget to rinse! Hands and feet naturally get darker than the rest of the body, so make sure to rinse hands and feet an hour after your sunless tanning application. Rinsing the extremities will help achieve a more natural looking tan.
Now that you know the ins and outs of sunless tanning, here are my all-time favorite products for achieving that coveted bronzed beauty look:
1. BONDI SANDS LIQUID GOLD - As the No. 1 tanning product in Australia, this dry oil tanning is a great option for dry skin because it moisturizes with Argan oil. What’s also great about Liquid Gold is that there’s no need to wash this off after application – just apply for a literal instant glow. If you decide last minute you want to wear a skirt, glide this super natural, glossy oil on and paint the town red (not orange!) with confidence!
2. ST TROPEZ TANNING MOUSSE - Great for all skin types, this lightweight mousse is easy to apply, quick drying, and streak-free. Leave this on your skin for 8+ hours, and you’ll be left with a beautiful St Tropez glow. This solution is also great for building a natural looking tan – use every other day for a deep glow, or once a week for a light tan on fair skin tones.
3.KATE SOMERVILLE 360 TOWELETTES - These disposable towelettes are a lightweight, easy way to apply a tan. Perfect to toss in your carry-on or cosmetics case, these towelettes offer a no-spill, no-mess sunless tanning option that offers an even application and won’t clog pores.
4. DESIGNER SKIN ONE NIGHT STAND - Want a deep, dark tan without the commitment? Use this concentrated formula that offers an instant boost of even coverage – then simply wash off in the shower! It’s also ultra-moisturizing for a healthy, dark, and even tan.
5. BENEFIT HOOLA MATTE BRONZER - This iconic bronzer is loved by MUAs and consumers alike, and for good reason. This luxurious powder bronzer is easy to apply, can be used to contour the face, and is a tried-and-true makeup staple for a quick, pick-me-up throughout the day. Dust across the face and chest to accentuate your inner and outer glow.
PROFESSIONAL AIR-BRUSH TANNING PRODUCTS
1. NORVELL RAPID SUNLESS SOLUTION - Need a tan, STAT? This professional airbrush tan can be applied in a salon in 15 minutes flat and offers you the luxury of showering after only one hour for a light tan, or after three hours for a deep, dark tan.
2. NORVELL VENETIAN SUNLESS SOLUTION - This violet-hued solution is specifically made to combat the notorious orange color that just screams fake tan. As the No.1 tanning solution used by the cast of Dancing With the Stars, Norvell’s Venetian Tan formula dries instantly and looks amazing.