The fashionista is in – DIY: Spring Break Bronze

The fashionista’s guide to a safe, sunless tan.

The fashionista is in - DIY: Spring Break Bronze

by Kara Nesvig

Last year at this time, I was a Darque Tan devotee. How can you not be? Have you visited the place? ItâÄôs clean, sparkly and certain beds even come with aromatherapy. ItâÄôs heaven in the dead of winter, and a very large handful of campus ladies (and a few dudes) would agree with me wholeheartedly. But I always felt rather guilty about my bed basking. After all, itâÄôs been proven that tanning-bed exposure is closely linked to melanoma âÄì the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Then we got the news that itâÄôs a cancer-causer on par with asbestos, and I decided, much to my chagrin, not to continue tanning. IâÄôm not going to get on the preachy anti-tanning soapbox, because I wish with all my heart I was listening to Britney Spears in the tanning bed right now, but do consider the risks before tanning. (And if youâÄôre the same color as an adobe house in New Mexico, you need to step away from the tanning bed, now. Think about the wrinkles youâÄôre going to have when youâÄôre 50.) But I know how good a tan feels and how necessary they are pre-Spring Break, so I decided to try my hand at self-tanning. (ReaderâÄôs note: IâÄôm terrible at anything DIY.) IâÄôm hopelessly attracted to anything hot pink, so ModelCoâÄôs Tan Airbrush in a Can seemed the perfect fit for me. Reviews on my go-to site MakeupAlley seemed favorable, so I prepared myself as recommended: Shower, exfoliate and apply a thick lotion (like Eucerin) on the driest places, like your elbows and knees, so too much tanner doesnâÄôt soak in and look dirty. Since Tan in a Can comes in a spray bottle and spritzes out in a dark greenish-brown reminiscent of sludge, users recommend doing it in the shower. The whole process took me about 10 minutes, plus 10 minutes of standing in the bathroom waiting for it to dry. For a first-timer, I think I did OK. ItâÄôs kind of difficult to spray your own back, so a friendly hand might be welcome, but for the most part, Tan in a Can produced an even, natural color. It looks authentic, didnâÄôt rub off on my sheets and smells like a cookie versus something toxic. (Tan in a Can retails for $30 at Beauty360.) Another alternative to tanning that I recommend is the gradual tan lotion; IâÄôve been using DoveâÄôs version off and on for the past year and like everything about it, except for the smell. Ladies, it looks kinda fishy when you show up to lecture looking like youâÄôve spent a week in Cabo; a subtle glow looks so much better than a baked tan. Self-Tan Tips: 1. Assemble supplies. Old towels, Clorox wipes (for clean up if you choose to tan in the shower) and rubber gloves are helpful. Cover the floors, too. 2. Wash your hands immediately after application. My palms look awfully dirty right now; apparently I didnâÄôt wash âÄôem fast enough. 3. Though certain sprays say not to rub it in, I found that Tan in a Can worked better when I did. 4. DonâÄôt do your face. ThatâÄôs what bronzer is for. 5. Speaking of bronzer, this is an important component of adequately faking a tan. I would advise you visit a makeup counter (like MAC or NARS , where the makeup artists know what theyâÄôre doing) and find a shade that actually works for you. Drugstore bronzer can be tricky and often orange. Buying a big fat bronzer brush is important too. (I use NARS Laguna ; itâÄôs expensive, but itâÄôs perfect.)