In the spirit of making this blog whatever I want it to be, today I talk tans.
I'm admittedly a former tanning addict.
And by addict, I mean I was seriously bummed if for some reason I couldn't make it to the tanning salon seven days a week. I got an eerie, satisfying bonus high if I got to lay by a pool or on the beach after a tanning bed session.
Starting at age 17 and throughout my twenties, tanning equaled beauty to me. And it still does. The warm, buzzing beds offered relaxation and a feeling of accomplishment.
When I was 28, doctors discovered that one of my ovaries was practically - for lack of a better word - rotten, and the other one was being ridiculously stingy with its eggs. Nobody knew why. Call me dramatic, but that was when the tanning stopped. Suddenly, baking my organs in a large, microwave-like device just didn't feel like the greatest idea. I cut tanning cold turkey. I focused every part of me on trying to conceive a baby.
Carter's 18 months old now. For the past two years I lived on the Planet of Pale People (not such a bad place, Carter lives there), and I've just recently started seriously dabbling in self-tanners. I'm loving the boost the color on my skin is giving my confidence. Except the irony? When you miss spots or work too quickly, the funky marks are embarrassing.
I thought I'd share the perfect, fool proof, self-tanner concoction I created.
The first part I found by accident - I selected it off the shelf thinking it was a self-tanner. That night I was floored by how flawlessly it glided on and loved the rich, instant color its tint was giving my skin. The next morning, I showered and noticed the water running off me was super brown. After all that work, I was handed a subpoena back to Planet Pale. I grabbed the bottle, squinted at the label, and man, was I mad. I'd misread its name: L'Oreal Sublime One Day Tinted Gel.
After I got over my fit and figured out how to sum up L'Oreal's betrayal in 180 Twitter characters, I realized that even though it wasn't an actual self-tanner, I'd really loved the stuff. My tan had been beautiful, and the pump spout on the bottle made it so simple. I envisioned it being the perfect tan fix right before a summer wedding or barbeque.
Still on a mission for an actual permanent-ish tan, I clunked the bottle back onto the bathroom counter and went to the store to pick out another product. I'm not into floofy, gradual, build-a-tan lotions. I want something with immediate, 4 hour results. I've heard that gels offer the easiest, streak-free tan, so that's what I focused on. I decided on L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Clear Self-Tanning Spray Gel. After the tan developed, this turned out to be the perfect tanner; the color payoff is incredible. Except that during application, it lacked everything that One Day Tinted Gel had - it was thin, runny, and I couldn't tell where I was putting it because it's as clear as water. I sprayed five pumps of it into my hand at a time and had to carefully balance my cupped palm so it wouldn't drip on the floor. If only it had some color and consistency to it.
And that's when it clicked. The girliest mad-scientist character you can imagine unscrewed, poured, and combined part of the One Day bottle with the Spray Gel bottle. I stared gloatingly into my bathroom mirror.
My combo's been working great. The self-tanner scent seems really faint; it's possible my nose is immune to it because I've been slathering it on twice a week. The other day Matt even told me I looked hot.
♥ You're not going to find a self tanner that doesn't - at some point - smell like a self-tanner on your skin. They all use the same active ingredient. Apply before bedtime and shower in the morning. I try to do it the night before I'm going to wash my sheets.
♥ Work in large, circular motions with your wrists and palms. Be really meticulous.
♥ Your butt is reachable. Therefore it is tannable.
♥ I work a nice facial soap over my palms and between my fingers when I'm done. Be especially conscious of washing the lower part of your thumb, my application method almost always causes buildup there. Then I dollop some tanner onto a cotton ball and work it on the tops of my hands, fingers, in between my knuckles and out towards the tops of my wrists.
♥ Wearing lotion every day is like a tanning insurance policy. It makes the color last longer, look prettier and saves self-tanner money so you don't have to repurchase as often. Although, you'll burn through a big lotion bill. Hmph.
♥ When I was pregnant, every doctor I asked advised against self-tanners. And believe me, I batted some hopeful, desperate eyes at them.
♥ A white face with a tan body makes you look a lot less put together. A little tanner on your face looks great, but it's mostly pointless if you wear foundation. I use Nars Laguna Bronzer to match my face to my body.
♥ Method for hard to reach back application? One persuadable husband.
The Top Baby Blogs icon has a nice tan.
Bet you it gets darker when you vote.