help me I’m white as a sheet

I admit it…I put my whitish/pink Irish body into a tanning bed…in high school and college (ok and even after). It pains me to even type that because it’s really scary how risky all that tanning was (not even including the ACTUAL beach). I knew about the warnings but apparently I felt it more important to have a glow. Humans…we just live in the moment, aware of potential consequences but totally willing to ‘forget’ as to get whatever instant gratification we’re looking for. For now, I’ll step off my soap box and put aside the fact that I fake baked myself for years and have since had a mole removed and lived in fear of skin cancer. The good news = there are ways to get a glow without having to step into a tanning booth.

My favorite self tanners…after years of trial and error…streaky legs and orange hands =

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning for Face & Decollete;jsessionid=XEXSGJI544HYQCV0KSIA5UQ?id=P99115&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=2082

*This is for the face and neck (apparently that’s what ‘decollete’ means, who knew). It is a light liquid – a less powerful scent making it easy to use on your face. I put it on a cotton ball and swipe it around. The color is great and natural. It ain’t cheap @ $33 but I’ve had my first and only bottle for over a year and I don’t see it running out anytime soon…you literally use so little of it. For the face, I love this brand because it is more gentle. For the record, I tried the Clarins self tanner for the body…it worked fine but I only got a couple uses out of the tube (Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel) and because it cost upwards of $30, I didn’t feel like it was worth it.

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Lotion

*I use this on my body (sans face + neck) – couple of great things about this product – it is rich and creamy so I feel like I can cover myself well and evenly. It has SPF 15 in it – so I’ve lathered it on before the beach…which I found fantastic because I was protecting my skin while simultaneously getting a tan woooop. Natural color…I’ve gotten a few complements on it, which is always key with self tanners (people notice and not because you look like an oompa-loompa). The smell is so-so…has the scent of a self tanner but it doesn’t linger like others. I love that it is only $10 and I get multiple uses out of the bottle. The spray version of this brand is rumored to be good too. 

First image source:

OH and, if you live in/around the city – the BEST place for a spray tan =

$35 and you are sprayed-by-hand. The ladies here are so nice and do a great job. My only caveat – you have to let the tanner set for awhile. I usually get it done in the evening when I have no other plans (because I look very brown after), let it sit for the night, then shower off the excess color in the morning. The resulting tan is so natural looking and lasts for a few days…it is AMAZING for big events (i.e. weddings, beach vacations). I feel great with this tan.

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