Self tanner is my #1 secret to looking awake… or really just alive! I put it on my face/neck/chest and arms once a week during winter AND summer. The only thing I do differently during summer is that I use a self tanner that’s a bit darker and less moisturizing. My favorite time to apply is about an hour before bed, and I throw on an oversized tshirt—please don’t wear your favorite Victoria’s Secret pjs! Staining sometimes happens.
There are many great brands out there… and there are many not so great ones. In MY opinion, Neutrogena is by far the worst when it comes to color and fading/wearing off. The color tends to be on the more orange side. Even with the perfect application of any of the Neutrogena self tanning lotion/gel/mousse/spray there are streaks. When it starts wearing off it falls off in scales and you end up looking like a reptile as opposed to fading evenly. L’Oreal is a little better when it comes to application due to a better color guard, but it wears off the same way. The best of the drugstore brands that I have found is Banana Boat. Specifically, Banana Boat Sunless Summer Tanning Lotion. I use the light/med in the winter and deep dark in the summer. Sorta a drugstore brand but not really is Ulta’s Sunless tanning continuous spray. It’s under $10 and there are often BOGO offers AND it’s AMAZING!!! It has the perfect color and fades evenly and is a breeze to apply!! If I’m feeling blah in the morning and haven’t used sunless tanner in awhile I will spray this on my face (hold about 12-20in away so it applies evenly) and proceed to get ready–doing my makeup last and using a mineral foundation as you don’t want to rub your face. The tan will develop within a couple hours and adds a beautiful glow under your makeup. You’ll walk by a mirror in the afternoon and go “Wow! I look like a million bucks!”
Also, another tip that will save you a lot of frustration—many people have trouble with their hands/wrists. Well after suffering from years of orange wrists/spotted fingers/brown palms—I have figured out the perfect, easiest technique! Apply the self tanner and skip your hands and about 2-3in of your wrists. Scrub your hands front AND back really well. Regardless of whether you used a mousse/lotion, etc. ALWAYS use a mist spray like Ulta’s Sunless Continuous Spray on your wrists/hands. Don’t worry about the brands being the same or color matching perfectly— just spray/lightly mist the tops of your hands and undersides of your wrists allowing the mist to also spray on the forearm and underside of your arm… it will all blend in so don’t worry, just be sure not to spray your palms because with this technique you do not want to wash your hands after. I have tried using mitts/latex gloves, etc. and I would always end up with funny looking fingers/wrists. This way has been super easy and the most effective at creating a flawless look.