Summer Bronzing :: How to Get your Glow on

It’s high summer. You can always tell because there are a plethora of sun bronzed people strutting around the city showing off their wares, which if you don’t happen to be one of them might make you feel a keen sense of tan envy. But really, while we all know by now that tanning your skin is something we really should avoid, it doesn’t stop our innate desire to attain that glorious glow. I suppose we can thank the likes of Coco Chanel and all the tawny-hued celebutants we know and love, for making it fashionable. But times have changed and we cannot ignore the fact that our love affair with the sun has had major consequences. With skin cancer on the rise, it’s enough to make you run for cover. But do not fret, my lovelies. I have been test-driving some beautiful alternatives to traditional tanning with some beauty items that will give you all the coveted tawniness you desire as well as pamper your skin —All without any of the negatives associated with the ol‘ shake n‘ bake!

Here are a few of my favorites. All give fantastic results and the best part is no one will ever know you didn’t get your glow the old fashioned way.

First and foremost, before you begin any self-tanning adventure the skin must be smooth and polished.I find the best way to acheive this is to exfoliate using a soft body brush. They are one of the best all around beauty treatments for maintaining gorgeous skin. Body brushes are also soft, yet surprisingly stimulating. Utilizing a dry brush encourages dead skin cell removal, increased lymph circulation and skin detoxification. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash for them, some of my favorite ones have come from Muji in NYC. STYROL SHOWER BRUSH $21.50 Available at www.Muji.us

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

This uber-lightweight mousse is perfect for the novice self-tanner. It’s very transparent, and the mousse formula makes application trouble-free not only because of the smooth formulation but because it’s tinted, it is easy to see exactly where the product is applied on the skin making blending and buffing a breeze. For my test drive, I did my first application in the evening after a shower, and left it to process overnight. I find following this protocol works best for me as it has time to develop while I sleep and I don’t have to smell that tell tale, faux-tan aroma all day. It comes with a handy foam mitt for application which helps avoid getting the product on the hands and wrists. Additionally it alleviates blotchy application issues on some of the more troublesome areas like the knees, elbows and ankle areas where tanning faux pas tend to occur most. Starting with the torso, using circular motions to pull the foam across the skin, i move as quickly as possible then buff out any lines or demarcations as I go. I gradually worked my way outward toward the limbs. Rule of thumb—Go easy at the elbows, knees, near the ears, hands and feet. You don’t want to over apply in any of these areas. Be aware that this product dries quite quickly so if you haven’t buffed out all the product it will make for a blotchy looking tan, but I found I was able to blend it out before it dried. The upside of this is that it allows for almost immediate dressing,

While I didn’t dislike the scent, which was mild during application it did develop into a faint odor once the product began processing, which incidentally, occurs with almost ALL self tanners but this one was much subtler than most. Maybe it was because I slept through most of the processing time, but overall I found it was pretty tolerable and wasn’t bothered by it at all. The following morning, my skin was a healthy, tawny-looking bronze. The formula has a green undertone and therefore as it develops, counters any redness in the skin. The result is a realistic, natural looking tan. I am sure many have experienced the “Orange” effect of some other self tanners on the market but with St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, you’ll never have to worry about that faux hue giveaway again. Re-application every three or four days was enough to build a realistic , “I spend my weekends at the beach” tan, and once you’ve reached the shade desired, a weekly top up was enough to keep it looking flawless. One 8 oz. bottle of St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse should last about a month.
$42.00 Available at Sephora.com

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze :: Luminous Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion

I like to cover a few retails arenas when it comes to beauty products and truly believe that while you can drop more than a few of your hard earned cash at luxury beauty retailers, the local drugstore has a lot to offer at a much lower price point. It’s a matter of choosing the best items from the overabundance of product on the drugstore shelves.
L’Oreal has long established itself as one of the market leaders in skin and beauty care and there is a good reason for that. Quality and performance keep consumers coming back for more and so when I set out to look for a competitive self-tanning product for this post, I didn’t need to look far. L’Oreal launched the Sublime Bronze collection this summer with a collection of eight products to attain the perfect tan. I selected the Luminous Bronzer Self-Tanning lotion because many people prefer a lotion over any other formulation. This product is really lightweight and almost has a gel like feel to it. I immediately noticed the scent. It is really fresh, unlike so many other self-tanning products. During the processing time, it didn’t seem to change so when I used it during the day, I wasn’t smelling the usual tell self tanning odor at all. Like the NUXE dry oil, it has fine gold shimmer particles suspended within the product, that give the skin a nice shimmer yet was didn’t look overdone. Once dry, it was weightless and didn’t leave any sticky residue on my skin at all. The color took a little longer to build than when I used the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, but once I achieved the depth of color I wanted, it was easy to maintain. I used this product every other day, to get the density of color I was after, and once a week thereafter to maintain it. I found that this formula went on streak free and was extremely easy to blend. It didn’t grab on the tough areas like the elbows and knees, although as with any self tanner, I would suggest using an application mitt just to keep your hands clean and to evenly distribute the product. I did use more product to get the same results of a more expensive product but I if your beauty budget is limited, this is one of the best self tanners out there.

$10.99 Available at www.lorealparisusa.com

NUXE Multi Purpose Care :: Huile Prodigienuse OR

This is a wonderful dry oil for the face, body and hair that is a fantastic way to treat your skin and add depth to your faux tan. I love this light weight, illuminating oil— it never feels greasy and will leaves the skin with silky, buttery-looking finish. On bronzed skin, NUXE multi purpose dry oil helps to extend that gorgeous tan and the subtle flecks of golden glitter and pearl reflect the light and add a subtle sheen. This oil nourishes and repairs the skin with a blend of six plant oils and vitamin E and there are absolutely no mineral oils, silicone or preservatives in any of the NUXE line.

I used this product day and night, especially after a shower. It extends my tan and gives it a richness and depth that I really love. If you prefer not to have shimmer, NUXE also offers a formula without it. Whether its for summer or winter use, NUXE multi purpose dry oil will keep your skin in perfect condition all year long. $45.00
Available at us.nuxe.com

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