By Becca Gregg
You can blame it all on Chanel. Coco, that is. Much like the ballet flats she made fashionable (and we dutifully wear everyday!), our deep-rooted obsession with bronze skin can surprisingly be traced back to the iconic French designer as well. As the tale goes, it was 1923 – a time when pale was fashionable and conservative dress was in. Well, until a beautifully bronzed Chanel was spotted leaving a nobleman’s yacht following a Mediterranean getaway, setting in motion what would become today’s $6 billion dollar tanning industry.
While neither Chanel’s influence nor our desire for a tanned complexion has waned, our fear of skin cancer and wrinkles has us steering clear of the sun’s damaging rays. So, we’ve turned to sunless tanners in desperate pursuit of the sun’s beautiful glow. To bring you the best, for the past few weeks we’ve been testing them all. We’ve gone out in public sporting multiple colored limbs, nearly painted the bathroom sink a new shade of gold and likely gone through more tanner than even the contestants on Dancing with the Stars. But, alas, it’s all worth it. From your face to your feet, and everything in between, we’ve found the top tanners and the tricks to a flawless application that will have you gorgeously glowing (and orange-free) in no time.
Tips for a Gorgeous Glow
With a star-studded client list that includes Jessica Simpson, Jaime Pressley and Jennifer Esposito, Anna Stankiewicz of Suvara at Spa Chakra (and the former tanning specialist at Rita Hazan Salon) is the pro to know for tips on getting a flawless faux glow. She sat down with The Beauty Bean to give up her insider tips!
Exfoliate first with a residue and oil-free scrub. Avoid sugar or sea-salt scrubs, which can leave a residue and prevent the self-tanner from absorbing evenly. Instead, try Earth Therapeutics Hydro Exfoliating Gloves.
Avoid using deodorants or perfumes prior to tanning, which can leave residue as well.
Wear gloves to avoid unnaturally tanned palms.
Put a light layer of lotion on dry spots (like knees, toes and elbows) to avoid dark patches.
Start from the feet and work your way up to avoid unintentional tan lines caused by bending over.
Remember that less is more – and you can always apply another coat.
Wait at least 8 hours before showering.
Too dark, or uneven? Use a slice of lemon to lighten the tan! Want to clean your slate and start over? Try St. Tropez Tan Detox ($35).
Apply moisturizer daily to help preserve your tan.
6 Tanners to Try
For instant, gorgeous and natural-looking color for your face, The Beauty Bean picks Xen-Tan Face Tanner Luxe, $22 at xen-tan.com.
For a luxurious, whipped cream tan that smells delectable, The Beauty Bean picks Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse, $42 at clarins.com.
For an immediate golden glow worthy of angel wings (Victoria’s Secret angel wings!): The Beauty Bean picks Victoria’s Secret Beach Sexy Sunkissed Bronze Instant Tan Lotion with Tint, $12 at victoriassecret.com.
For some serious glow that’ll take you from day to night, The Beauty Bean picks Scott Barnes Body Bling Original, $38 at scottbarnes.com.
For a smooth, organic tan, The Beauty Bean picks Lavera Self-Tanning Lotion, $26 at lavera.com.
For a risk-free, gradually building daily lotion, The Beauty Bean picks Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, $8.99 at walgreens.com.