How to give your face and body a healthy summer tan—no UV rays required
Our mothers may have laid outside under the sun slathered in baby oil, but we know better today. Those UV rays are our frenemies: They feel so good after a long, cold winter and can rid of our pasty white complexions! But, if we spend too much time beneath that glowing ball of warmth, we up our risk for skin cancer. Not nice, sun.
Thank goodness we can fake it. And I'm not talking streaks of orange or a Snooki-like complexion. The newest bronzers are designed to give you a natural, summer-worthy glow instantly, while self-tanning lotions build color gradually so you can correct any missed areas before it's too late. Here's a run-down of our favorites.
The most common type of bronzer you'll find comes in powder form and can take the place of your blush. Or, in the case of Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer, you'll get both the golden glow of a bronzer and the warm pink of a blush in one adorably swirled compact. Just make sure to use a large fluffy brush when applying bronzer so you distribute the product evenly. This will give you an all-over glow, instead of two orange streaks across your cheeks.
If you'd rather a less-matte look, try Stila's One Step Bronze serum, which is a liquid that goes on light as air underneath makeup. Use just a little for visible effects and—bonus—it also works as a primer to keep makeup in place (a plus for those super hot days).
Now that your face has the look of a healthy summer tan, make sure your neck and décolletage, as well as the rest of your body, are of a similar shade. Tinted self-tanning lotions help you see instantly where your color is going, to help avoid any mistakes. Try Lorac SelfTANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer, an all-over moisturizer with a built-in glow. The key to avoiding streaks is to exfoliate your skin first in the shower. Then, take your time applying the lotion, making sure to massage it into your skin thoroughly. Wait for it to dry completely before getting dressed.
For a more gradual tan, ULTA's Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 15 will help you build that glow over several days of application. Plus, its SPF keeps you protected as you venture outside.