It's that time of year, when shorts and sundresses and swimwear come out from storage and on to our pasty bodies. Well, unless you're lucky enough to be an olive-skinned lass, which I am not. I know that a bronzed body isn't as widely sought after on the east coast and other parts of Middle America, but this is Dallas. The city known for big everything, and the most beautiful women on the planet. You don't want to be caught at Sfuzzi sporting the whitest legs this side of the Rio Grande, do you? I didn't think so. Me either.
Here are a few tanning tricks of the trade to keep in the back of your mind when you decide to tan your hide. Some are from my own trial and error, and some were bequeathed to me from bronze goddess friends.
1. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa are both wonderful spray tan booths that work quickly and effectively. I won't lie, the solutions smell fairly terrible and if you sweat, this stuff WILL come out of your pores. However, Palm Beach Tan Tanning Salons offer you the option to add a scent to your Mystic Tan, which alleviates the smell. If you don't want to put a few extra bucks towards this, I suggest going to tan before bed and let the smell dissipate over night. Just sleep on dark sheets, my friends! You'll be pleased with the more natural color these solutions offer than the older, more orange-y versions.
2. Accidentally go overboard with self-tanner or can't get the remaining Mystic Tan out of your pores? Buy a rough pumice stone (I got mine for around $6 at Market Street,) and a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide (also very inexpensive). Take a warm to hot shower and let the steam open your pores. Very carefully use the pumice stone to lightly scrub the trouble spots until you slough off the overly-tanned skin. If the trouble spots are in sensitive areas or hard-to-get to (like between the fingers or on knuckles, elbows, etc.,) use a cotton ball or Q-tip dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide to scrub the areas. These two methods are your best bet for removal.
3. Once you have either spray-tanned or used a self-tanning lotion, moisturize like you have OCD. By keeping your skin hydrated the color will remain on your skin longer and have a nice, healthy sheen to it.
4. Legs can be the hardest place to get tan, both from the sun and from self-tanners. One bronzer that works instantly and looks lovely is L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel, 6.7 fl oz. I recommend getting a pair of latex gloves and rubbing one smooth coat of this on each leg. It dries quickly and smells nice, and it's around $9 from drugstores. Just be careful if you sit on light colored couches or car upholstery-this stuff does transfer on to light fabrics. (Don't ask how I know this.)
5. I know Benefit doesn't carry it anymore, but if you can find Benefit Talk to the Tan online anywhere, this is the most amazing product to use on a pale face. Almost like a tinted moisturizer, it's sheer and smells good. When I'm having a good skin day (thank you, Clairsonic!) I sometimes wear it instead of foundation.
6. Last, but not least, is the world's best waterproof bronzer for your face. Waterproof, you say? Yes! I bought Hourglass Water-proof Bronzer last summer in an attempt to find something that wouldn't wash away the second I went under the water while doing water aerobics (I know, kind of old lady-ish of me, but it's fun,) and this totally does the trick. It has no glitter or sheen to it, which is an added bonus. Sephora carries this brand, and though they can be a little pricey, this one is worth the $48.
Always remember to be "sun safe" and wear an SPF, a stylish hat, and sunglasses to protect your beautiful peepers. Being bronze and beautiful isn't worth a melanoma scare, so be smart when catching some rays.