A Beautiful Exchange

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

8 Rules for the PERFECT fake tan! [+ my routine]



Y'all know that I am PALE. If you've been hanging around here long enough, you have probably figured out that I also like to fake tan in the warmer months because I just don't get out in the sun enough. The days of relaxing by the pool with a cold Coke, a magazine, and my iPod are FAR behind me and for some silly reason tiny children and ninety degree heat just don't mix well. THE MADNESS. So anyway, I prefer not to look like a ghost among living while hanging out with all you people that still have hours of free time to tan every day (I'm looking at you, Kiki), but the process comes with a lot of little "rules" that keep me from looking like a dyed easter egg. If you're here for the routine, go ahead and skip to the bottom. For now, let's talk about some rules that will help you look naturally (yes, naturally, I'm not over-exaggerating) tan!


EXFOLIATE
I can't stress the importance of exfoliation enough. You should be regularly exfoliating anyway, but when you're using self tanner it is especially important. As your skin naturally sheds its cells, you'll be left with a "splotchy" look if you try to make your tanner last too long. I have found that I can't go any more than 3 full days with one or two applications of tan. Any time after that, I just get too splotchy and uneven.

USE A MITT
The days of having to scrub off the remnants of fake tanner from your palms are long gone. There are tons of options out there and most of them are under $10. I really like this Vita Liberata one from Sephora, and this generic brand one from ULTA works just fine even though it is a bit more scratchy than the Sephora one. You should also wear something under your mitt just to be sure it won't leak. I just buy normal little latex gloves from the cleaning section and use one glove for 3-4 applications.

USE A MOUSSE
This rule is kind of a personal preference, but if you're not experienced in applying fake tanner, a mousse is really great. It rubs in a lot easier than gels and lotions, yet doesn't dry so quickly that you can't get it good and massaged into your skin. Also, be sure to always use a self tanner that has a color-guard. Using a tanning product that doesn't have color-guard will result in you being streaked to the MAX. You need to be able to see where you are applying on your skin. I use the L'oreal Sublime Bronze Tanning Mousse and it works really well for a drugstore tanner!




ALWAYS SHOWER RIGHT BEFORE APPLICATION
You want to apply your tanner onto skin that is ready to soak it up and is super moisturized! Taking your shower right before applying ensures that you don't apply your tanner, then end up having to shave the next day (which will strip most of the tanner from your legs--shaving is exfoliating!) and also allows you to take care of your exfoliation pretty simply! You should also do this at night so that the tanner can sit on your skin, uninterrupted for an extended period of time. Just the tiniest drop of water will mess you up, so it's just safer this way. If you hate the self tanner smell as much as I do, take a quick "rinse" the morning after to rinse off the smell and color-guard. You can take a 5 minute shower and then be ready to go, all tanned and lovely!

NEVER APPLY TANNER DIRECTLY TO DRY AREAS OF YOUR BODY
Just, no. Please do not squirt some of your product and rub it directly onto ANY place on your body that might be even a little bit dry. I always use the "left-overs" to get these places so that I don't overdo it and look like a pancake that got a little burnt in all the wrong places. These are the areas that you should avoid and only apply "left-overs" to:

Elbows
Back of ankles
Tops of feet
Knuckles
Wrist (whatever that bone is that sticks out)
Front fold of your armpit* 
(where you get "boob fat" if you go strapless...y'all know what I'm talking about)
Kneecaps

*You should also wait to apply deodarant until AFTER you're done "tanning" since you don't want any tanner clinging!

WEAR LOOSE CLOTHES AFTER APPLYING TANNER
If you apply your tanner all over, which I do, then you'll need to be especially careful with this one. Try to wear really loose pajamas after tanning and be sure to wear pants NOT shorts. If you wear shorts and sleep with your legs touching each other at all, you will have lines where the product transferred (not that I have experience with this or anything...). You may also opt for wearing seamless  (or loose lace) panties if you don't want them rubbing off the tanner on your hips, back, etc.!

BUY A SPRAY FOR "TOUCH UPS"
When I don't feel like doing a complete second touch ups, I will just spray on some of the spray tanner quickly before bed (remembering to wear loose pajamas afterwards)! My chest is especially prone to getting splotchy, so I'll just spray on a little bit of this stuff on the trouble spots and on my legs and it really helps my tan look normal and last for a whole 3 days! Make sure when you are using spray tanner, you do it in a well ventilated area with a towel underneath you!


TAKE THE TANNER ALL THE WAY UP TO YOUR NECK
So often, people will tan their arms and chest, forgetting to take the tanner all around the back of their neck and up to their jawline. I stop right at the top of my neck, but if you forget to do this, you'll look totally odd with a tanned chest and super white neck. Also, make sure you wear a darker foundation/powder/bronzer when you tan so that you don't look oddly pale in the face. Usually, my tanner takes me about 2 shades darker than my "winter" foundation color.


Ok, now that you have some ground rules/tips, let's talk about the routine that has worked the best for me! This is what I've kind of settled into as I've learned what works and what doesn't with self tanning. It might take some time for you to get it perfect, but this will work well for any time of the year! Here's how to get yo pale self TAN!
1. Get in the shower and exfoliate your skin! I like to use a sugar scrub along with my loofa to really get all of those dead skin cells out of here! Make sure you go ahead and do all of your shaving since shaving after the application of the tan will remove your tan! 

2. Moisturize your skin! You can use a regular lotion or body butter if you want. Pay extra attention to your ankles, elbows, hands, and feet since those places get the most dry and dry patches=clingy self tanner.

3. Grab a tanning mitt (I also wear a simple latex glove under mine for extra safety, even though the tanner has never come through my mitt before), your tanner, and some loose clothing to put on after your application.

4. Starting with your legs, begin applying your self tanner ONE pump at a time. You want to make sure you are starting with conservative amounts of tanner, working it into your skin in circular motions. Remember our rules--do not apply the product directly to your ankles or the tops of your feet! Once you have worked the product into your leg, use the "left over" that is in the mitt to lightly rub minimal amounts of the tanner on those areas. Move on to the other parts of your body being sure to avoid those dryer areas until you can use the excess rather than direct product.

5. When you move up to the top portion of your body, be sure to avoid that little fold where your armpit is. That area stays dry because of your deodorant, so treat it the same as your ankles, elbows, etc.--It's also up to you whether you take the product up to your neck or not, but I do! I avoid my face opting for a darker foundation rather than applying tanner on my skin.

6. Get ready to twist around like a crazy person! If you apply the tanner up over your shoulders (which you should if you're gonna be wearing any kind of tanks after applying) then you'll also want to take the tanner towards the center of your lower and upper back. You'll have to turn around and make yourself into a pretzel, but just keep trying until you can get it rubbed in. Make sure you do your tanning in front of big mirror with plenty of light so you can see what needs to be rubbed in a little more!

7. After you're completely done and have quadruple checked that you are evenly covered, go back in with your moisturizer and touch up those dryer areas again! If you find a spot that didn't get rubbed in all that great, just take a dry cloth and rub it! That should take care of the problem

8. Put on LOOSE clothes (like we talked about) and head to bed! Stay away from all water, being extremely careful when you rinse out your mitt.

9. For the next few days, follow your normal shower routine. Try not to use any loofas or heavy exfoliating products in the shower! Your tan should last for about 2-3 days, but after that, get ready to exfoliate and repeat the process!

Do you have questions? Ask away!!

*Enter the Spring Style Giveaway for your chance at a $75 Old Navy gift card or a $25 Ulta gift card! 2 winners, double the chances of winning!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS [+ a Giveaway]


I don't know about you guys, but I am totally loving all of the trends this spring! I have been pinning away and after I purged myself of all the clothes I didn't need from last season, I was excited to fill my closet with a few new styles! Right now I am ALL ABOUT some wedges and mint, mint, mint! I have always had an obsession with blues and grays, so I guess it was just fate for me to have a love affair with mint things. And that purple color that is supposedly the "color of the year"....GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS. I really wanted to narrow things down for y'all today, but I really started getting overwhelmed, haha! SO, have a little looksy for yourself and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a few more fashion posts headed your way in the near future!


What are you loving this spring? Well, here's you shot to go out and treat yourself to whatever that may be!! This time around, we are treating TWO lucky gals! The first prize winner will receive a $75 gift card to Old Navy and the second prize winner will receive a $25 gift card to ULTA! Check out your gorgeous hosts and enter below! :)


HOSTED BY:

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!



Open to US residents only
Must be 18 years or older to enter
The first verified name to be drawn will be the "first prize" winner and the
 second will be the "second prize" winner
Prize distribution the responsibility of A Beautiful Exchange Blog
Winners will be contacted within 48 hours giveaway ending
Winners have 48 hours to respond to contact or new winners will be chosen