Get Glowing with Self-Tanners

These easy tips add a natural glow to the blushing bride.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Grady Salon

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Grady Salon

Today’s savvy beauties shun the sun—a far cry from the popularity stirred by Coco Chanel’s first intentional tan in the ’30s. But when all eyes are on you and you’re sporting the pasty pale leftovers from winter, it’s time to turn to the sun-kissed color from a bottle. We’ve gathered a few foolproof tips for applying self-tanners to ensure that you’re a glowing bride.

  1. Exfoliate beforehand. Give yourself a nice dry brush before your shower, instead of using a salt or sugar scrub that can leave behind oil on your skin.
  2. Use plastic gloves from at-home hair color kits.
  3. Don’t go too dark. Choose a shade that might match your natural sun-worshipping self.
  4. If you’re nervous you grabbed a too dark formula, get a lighter glow by mixing an oil-free half lotion and half self-tanner.
  5. Apply body lotion around your hairline and eyebrows prior to self-tanning application so you don’t discolor your hair.
  6. After applying the cream to your body, use a tube sock put over your hand a la sock puppet and rub in circular motions to ensure no areas have too much tanner.
  7. Use makeup sponges to apply to face, tops of feet and tops of hands.
  8. When you’re done, put a quarter-sized dollop of hand cream on your hands and rub it in around the wrists to blend any tan lines. Do the same with your feet.
  9. Mess up? Panic not. Lemon juice mixed with sugar, rubbed in small circles at the offending streaky spot should do the trick.

If you have a little extra time (or a nervous hand), let a professional lead you into the dark side. There are plenty of sunless tanning treatments around Boston that will leave you glowing for your wedding. To ensure the right level of color for your big day, make your appointment a few days before so you can settle comfortably into your new shade.

A few local favorites: the new custom spray tan at Elizabeth Grady (bonus: bring in at least four of your bridesmaids and you tan for free), the Get Glowing Body Bronzing treatment at Bella Sante (it includes skin-saving exfoliation before the creamy sunless tanner) and the Decleor Sunrise Sunless Tanning Treatment at Corbu in Harvard Square (a glorious massage is the precursor to the self-tanning milk).

Most self-tanners last up to a week, so they’ll take you straight from your wedding walk into proper beach time on your tropical honeymoon.

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