Jennifer’s right. Now’s the time to get back in the bronze swing of things. But testing sunless tanners at home is a dangerous game. If you’ve ever had a mishap, you know what I mean. There’s nothing cute about looking like you rubbed Cheetos between your fingers. Ew. But I think I found a winner. Xen-Tan’s 2009 products are, so far, the best tanners I’ve tried. Nice smell? Check. Nice texture? Check. Nice color? Check. I’m currently using three of the Xen-Tan products: Transform Daily Moisturizer, Deep Bronze Luxe, and Face Tanner Luxe. Side note: I used these products for a while, and then took a break to get spray-tanned before a wedding. And honestly, I should have stuck with the Xen-Tan. The VersaSpa tan made me spotty and funky-colored. The Transform daily moisturizer is perfect for every day use. (And it’s not like the kind that you apply every day and then 10 bottles later realize it never made a difference.) It creates subtle color you can actually see. The Deep Bronze Luxe acts a quick burst of color that’s natural and never orange. The Face Tanner Luxe does the same for face, but it’s also a really nice-feeling moisturizer. Overall, you get a nice, even tan that’s natural looking—more olive than orange—but still golden-goddess-ish. The products are inexpensive, too, at $20 to $40 at Nordstrom or nordstrom.com. To get some of Dera Enochson’s tips for a flawless look at home, follow the jump.
Exfoliate first: Yes it makes your skin more smooth, but most importantly, it also makes your tan last longer.
Elbows, knees, and other knobby spots: Self-tanners are absorbed more by drier skin, so make sure you focus on the extra dry areas such as knees and elbows.
For a flawless face: Apply face tanner in a circular motion to skin on face and throat.
When it’s hard to reach: Take a long flat folded strip of saran wrap. Dot some self tan lotion in the middle. While holding the ends, smooth over areas on your back that are out of reach.
Troubleshooting: If you are afraid you applied too much self-tan to your wrists, backs of hands, ankles, or tops of feet, just rub a little moisturizer to those areas and blend with arms.
For sandalized feet: Use a light amount of self tanner and blend carefully. Also blend some of your regular body moisturizer around the edges of toes and ankles to prevent dark spots.