one of the things i've always loved most about my skin is its ability to tan. call me petty all you want, whatevs, it's the truth. i have two sisters who weren't as fortunate in the tanning gene pool and one in particular who has to plaster on spf 100 to protect her porcelain skin and freckles. i remember her frustration during our trips to palm springs and hawaii as she sat under umbrellas and under her sun hat. my grandma tells me i inherited this skin tone from my grandpa and his danish ancestry; a "ruddy complexion" that gets brown in the summer and white in the winter. for years i was a regular at spectrum tan and golden tan and i loved the 20 minutes a day i spent naked in that bed of light bulbs, especially on snowy days when i felt particularly homesick during college. there was nothing like that heat to make my day just a little brighter and my body a little darker.
you know, everyone looks better with a tan. it's just a fact. your teeth look whiter, your eyes look brighter, your body looks more toned, it's just a really nice thing to be tan and for a long time i thought it was only attainable through the tanning booth.
and then came my wrinkle.
it's right smack between my eyeballs on my forehead. chances are, you would never notice it unless i pointed it out, but oh...it's there. and it frustrates me to no end. the other day i seriously asked david if he thought i was crazy for wanting botox at the ripe age of 24. he sweetly didn't answer that question, but really we all know he thinks i'm crazy. (but thank goodness he likes it like that.)
and i know, really, i should be talking about skin cancer here, but the wrinkle...the wrinkle! the wrinkle is a real testament of sun damage and no matter how many makeup primers i use or how many jars of collagen repair cream i go through, the wrinkle isn't going anywhere. it is what it is. and i don't want any more of them.
over the years i've tried a couple sunless tanning products and i never really stuck with them. i tried the jergens lotion, but i was never consistent enough to fall in love with it. i tried the banana boat stuff but wasn't the biggest fan. i've heard lovely things about fancy products you spend $50 on, but that ain't me. so when maskcara recommended this stuff -- tanwise -- i decided to give it a shot. the girl knows what she's talking about and with a price point of $12, it doesn't hurt to try.
i've been using tanwise for a couple months now and i can't begin to tell you what an awesome product it is. it lasts for a solid week, it never is streaky, it is a true brown and looks so natural. my father-in-law even complimented me on my tan today via facetime, so that is saying something, people! it's available at sally's and the bottle lasts forever.
i've experimented with a lot of trial and error with this stuff and i think i've found a system that really works.
here's how it goes:
you also need a clean, dry, exfoliated body without any fresh lotion on it! and i know, there is a bottle of lotion in this photo, but let me explain!
your lotion needs to be settled into your skin. that means, you need to have smooth, moisturized skin, but not sticky lotion-y skin. because sticky, lotion-y skin doesn't let the tanning mouse sink in.
the night before i plan on tanning, i take a shower and exfoliate everything (you don't need to buy any fancy scrubs, just a washcloth or a handful of sugar will do just fine,) shave, and then put lotion on. that way in the morning, my skin is soft and ready to go. (ps. have you tried that lotion pictured above? it's from costco and it's the bomb and it smells like watermelons.)
but you still need the lotion! you see, there are certain parts of your body that are more dry than other parts (like your ankles, your kneecaps, your elbows) and these areas are more likely to absorb the tanning mouse and turn dark and make your sunless tan look not-so-natural. to fix this little dilemma, rub some lotion onto these dry parts right before you tan. this will act as a kind of shield. apply lotion to dry parts and rub it in.
once your lotion is rubbed in, it's time to glove-up. a lot of self-tanners say you can just do it without gloves and wash your hands after, but i've tried that, and really, hear me on this...gloves it the way to go. i bought these as sally's too for like a dollar, but once i found a box of plastic-y gloves in my in-laws garage and those worked awesome too!
and now we are ready to get messy! this stuff looks super gross and dark and i don't know how it transforms into such a beautiful tan, but it sure does.
i like to use three pumps her section of my leg - three for each calf and three for each thigh. i also use four pumps for my stomach and use those pumps to wrap around my hips and lower back. i use four pumps for each arm and use those pumps for my shoulders too. i then do about two on my chest and bring it up my neck and around to the parts of my upper back i can reach. i once had david do my whole back (he was super stoked about it...not) but i don't go that extra mile unless i'm planning on being in a bathing suit.
anyway, rub this stuff in real good! it is surprisingly blendable but it does dry fairly quickly, so do each body part one at a time. don't forget the tops of your feet! I have also used this on my face, mixed with a little bit of moisturized, and it was great. (it didn't make me break out.) after you've finished with your whole body, carefully remove the gloves and use them to rub the tops of your hands and around your wrists to blend everything together.
if you're wondering if these photos were super hard to take while i was in the process of rubbing this goo all over my naked body...yes, they were.
and then the waiting game begins. i like to give myself a good 20 minutes of air drying before i put clothes on. i try not to sit down or lay down because i don't want any creases in my tan and i don't want to stain anything. so just awkwardly stand there or walk around. totally normal. and then after my 20 minutes is up, i put on a dark pair of sweatpants and a dark long sleeved shirt (usually one of david's...sorry babe) because this stuff will get on your clothes a little. fact of life. but it does absolutely wash out! but still, don't go tempting the fates and jump into white jeans or something. just play it safe in your black sweatpants, k?
and then i just chill...for at least 8 hours. preferably overnight. i did 24 this last time and it turned out really nice. i kind of think the longer you wait, the better it is. but i get it, life happens and sometimes you can't wait...so just be careful. like don't go swimming. or don't run through any sprinklers. and if you have a steamy lovemaking sesh...just uh...warn your partner.
so after your waiting period is over, your skin will look just like you got back from a tropical hawaiian vacation and you are blessed with the most gorgeous glowing golden skin tone. you will totally want to wear shorts every day and you will be the talk of the town showing off those tanned legs!
i told ya so.
happy tanning, ya'll!
ps. to keep this golden tan as long as you can, keep your skin nice and soft and put lotion on every darn day!
pss. i did not get paid or compensated in any way to write this; i really actually truly think this tanwise stuff is what's up.