Don’t Fear the Faux Tan

Between pasty and Oompa Loompa, there’s a spectrum

The tell-tale smell, blotches, and unnatural orange shades of self-tanners are things of the past. Such leading brands as St. Tropez have been formulating products that allow you to dial a tan up or down. Nichola Joss, a St. Tropez consultant, created various umber hues for designers during Milan’s and London’s fashion weeks. Here’s how to achieve a range of sun-kissed tones.

Festival Tan

festivalOn the Runway: House of Holland
How-to: Mix gradual-tan moisturizer (Jergens’s Natural Glow, St. Tropez’s Everyday Gradual Tan) with self-tanner in medium shade and applyto skin. Using large brush, sweep matte powdered bronzer along arms, legs, shoulders, cheeks, forehead, chin, and bridge of nose.



Pastel Tan

pastelOn the Runway: Erdem
How-to: Create light veil of color all over body and face, using self-tanning moisturizer. Apply pearly pink highlighter cream (Make Up For Ever’s Uplight Face Luminator Gel) along upper cheekbones, and dust reddish blush (Nars’s Exhibit A) on apples of cheeks.



Vacation Tan


On the Runway: Pucci
How-to: Buff dark tanning mousse or spray on body and face with sponge or mitt. (If skin is fair, build color with multiple applications.) Rub shimmery gold dry oil (the Body Shop’s Honey Bronze, St. Tropez’s Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil) on arms, legs, and décolleté.



Know Before You Glow
Prepping, applying, and perfecting that bottle tan

Scrub & Shave
Experts stress the importance of exfoliating before applying self-tanner. Getting rid of dry, flaky skin ensures even application. Ideally you should exfoliate—and shave—the night before.

Moisturize the Rough Bits
Smooth moisturizer along hairline and eyebrows to prevent staining. Other susceptible areas are hands, elbows, knees, and feet; these parts of the body are often dry and can make the color patchy.

Wipe on, Wipe off
When applying products, wear snug latex gloves and use more rather than less (excess can be washed off). Tan hands last; have Baby Wipes at the ready to clean palms and bottoms of feet.

Illustrations by Kirsten Ulve