There always seems to be a few girls who get a spray tan two or three days before prom and end up looking a little more orange than planned. To top it off, the color doesn’t fade until after prom. No one wants that so, skip the spray tans that cost as much as your last pay check and hit your local convenience store for the perfect tan that will cost you no more than $10.
Self-tanning lotion is just as effective as spray tans with less risk. The lotion I use is by Jergens or Suave depending on what is available. They go from fair to medium and medium to dark. I have used self-tanning lotion for every event I have ever attended and I have never disliked the results! It has always given me a natural-looking, healthy glow but if your not careful with how you apply the lotion, you will look like a tiger or cheetah. The goal for a perfect tan is to look natural and even. If you follow these easy steps below, that is exactly what you will get!
Step 1 – Allot Enough Time
The most important thing you need is patience. If you do not have at least 45 minutes, then I would not suggest self tanning that day, as the process cannot be rushed.
Step 2 – Exfoliate
Take a shower and with a sponge or loofah, scrub your entire body to take off any dead skin cells. If possible, also use a mild exfoliator. It would also be best to shave so you can start with a smooth canvas. After your shower, dry yourself completely and be sure to have everything you need for the self tanning process next to you; the lotion, a mirror, a towel and a hair tie etc.
Step 3 – Start Simple
Save the trouble areas, including the elbows, feet, hands, knees, ankles, and face, for last. These all take slightly longer to do because they need more attention since they have a greater potential to come out too dark. Start with the broader areas of your body, like the legs and arms, so you can easily see how dark you want your tan and then make the trouble areas match later
Step 4 – Application Technique
Once you are ready, start with your legs, right below the knee. Put a drop of lotion on the front of your calf and rub it in with both hands in circular motions. Continue this downwards to the top of your ankle (do not go onto ankle just yet). Repeat for the back of your calf, making sure to blend well on the sides where the lotion on the front ended.
Step 5 – Repeat
Repeat for thighs, arms, forearms, stomach, back, shoulders or anywhere there is a smooth and larger surface area.
Step 6 – Trouble Areas: part 1
When it comes to the trouble areas that were mentioned in step 3, the best plan of attack is to put a conservative amount the lotion in your hand and gently rub your hands together. Once it is at body temperature, apply the lotion from your hands to the “trouble spot”. Do not just squirt lotion directly onto your body. Using your first two fingers, pointer and middle, cautiously rub the lotion in with circular motions. For an even tan, your body has to be as straight and smooth as possible so make sure your elbows, knees, and toes are not bent. For these trouble areas always remember, ‘less is more’.
Step 7 – Trouble Areas: part 2
Now for the most delicate area: your face. Make sure you are looking in the mirror for this part of the process. Apply the lotion to your hand and gingerly rub them together before applying to your face. You always want to start at the center parts of your face and work your way to the outer parts. Once ready, go ahead and start by rubbing the lotion in a circular motion on your cheeks near your nose. Don’t stop until you feel everything is rubbed in to be sure that it absorbs evenly, otherwise you will end up with streaks. Repeat this step on your forehead remembering to start in the center and rub outwards towards your temples. For the area around your mouth, squeeze your lips together into a hard line then apply the lotion. Don’t be afraid to do your eyelids or underneath your eyes, just do not wash your face until the next morning so the lotion does not go into your eyes- not fun. Be aware that you have to do this blind so make sure only the necessary amount of lotion is on your hands.
Step 8- Last But Not Least
For your hands, put a little lotion on the backs of your hands and rub it in like you would when you put regular lotion on.
Step 9 – Don’t Get Caught Orange Handed
As soon as you finish applying the lotion everywhere else, go to the bathroom and rinse your hands but try to avoid getting the backs of your hands wet. Your palms are mainly where you want to wash because if not, they will turn out unnaturally darker. Let the water run over the inside of your hands for about 10 seconds each, then pat dry them with a towel. You could also use a moist towelette like the kind used for cleansing your face to rub the excess lotion off of your palms.
Step 10 – Final Stretch
Wait at least 20 minutes before you put any clothes on and wait several hours before your next shower. I usually apply self tanner in the evening after my shower and before bed.
Congratulations! You are finished and I promise when you wake up in the morning you will be more tan! Remember that the tan will not happen overnight so start a week before your prom to get the desired results! Have fun being a Greek goddess with your new golden aura! Everyone will be asking you what you did!