The quickest way to get mistaken for an Oompa-Loompa? Bronze only from the chin up. How to avoid a tan-tastrophy…
Consider your canvas from your collarbone to your hairline. Begin with an oil-free peel pad (they’re less messy than scrubs) to exfoliate. Then hydrate with an oil-free lotion—oil blocks color, says Anna Stankiewicz, founder of Suvara Tanning in Northport, New York.
Use a makeup sponge to dab a dime-sized drop of tinted self-tanner onto forehead, nose, ears, cheeks, chin and neck; blend as you would with a foundation. Wash and hydrate daily—but go easy on acne fighters, which may fade color.
Bronzer buildup around wrists can leave you looking more like a white-gloved mime than a beach babe. How to avoid a tan-tastrophy…
Start with a dry body brush—a natural bristle brush on an extra-long stick—to exfoliate the backs of your shoulders and arms. Then slather elbows and hands with a no-oil lotion to prevent buildup spots on dry areas.
Squeeze a quarter-sized dollop of tanner on each shoulder, and blend starting at the top of your arm, moving down so color distributes evenly, Stankiewicz says. Scrub hands to erase extra tanner, dry, and add a drop of color to the back of each hand and rub them together.
A single layer of allover color washes out a washboard. How to avoid a tan-tastrophy…
Exfoliate your midsection from bra to bikini line, but skip moisturizer. Tummies tend not to be dry, and the lotion will mute color.
In a circular motion, rub in a golf ball-sized pump of a mousse-based tanner with your palm, says Carmindy, makeup artist on TLC’s What Not to Wear. Then look in the mirror, tighten tummy, and trace the contours of your would-be six-pack with a tanner-dipped makeup sponge. Dry while standing for 10 minutes to avoid Jersey Shoreñstyle freaky streaks.
Sahara-dry knees drink up color, so caps look like orange rinds. How to avoid a tan-tastrophy…
In the shower, shave legs using conditioner: It’s lighter than creams, so it leaves less color-blocking residue. Next, smooth dry spots with a handful of naturally hydrating white sugar. Post-shower, rub an oil-free lotion into knees, ankles and toes only, because these super dry spots tend to be the thirstiest.
Tackle legs in two sections—foot to knee, knee to hip—to get even color. Use a quartersized drop of tanner on each area, blending in a circular motion for one minute to avoid streaks. Too much between toes? Clarifying shampoo on a washcloth removes dark spots.