Self Tanning 101

Brittany Hall is a professional makeup artist and freelance blogger. With her passion for beauty and makeup, she is dedicated to providing you with the latest trends and tips and tricks on all things pretty!  Visit her website at:

With the summer months upon us it’s so nice to rock a beautiful healthy glow! Weekends at the cottage, beach days and summer BBQ’s may have given you a little colour and vitamin D but adding a little self tan to boost your natural glow is a great and healthy way to step up your tan! It’s also a great way to get some colour before you attend these events, exposing areas of your body that may not have seen the sun in months.

First off, pick up a self tanner.

There are so many on the market now and personally, I think it’s a bit of a trial and error game in order to find the one that works for you. I love tanning mousse, I find they apply so well when using the mitt applicator and you are able to see where it’s going so you can avoid streaks and blotches.

I am a bit of a self tanning junkie, and I have tried and use many that I love for different reasons. Sprays, mousse, wipes, lotions so many different options. No matter what type of product you use you always want to protect your hands. Tanned palms is just not a good look and totally gives away your self tanning secrets. I suggest picking up a self tanning mitt that is usually sold with a mouse product. For lotions, sprays, or liquids I suggest picking up a box of latex gloves at your local drugstore for less than $3 for a pack of 50.


If you are looking for a brand to try my go to favourite self tan is St Tropez tanning mousse. They also sell over textures like lotions and sprays.

Some other favourites include:

Dr Dennis Gross Glow Pad

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze

Fake Bake

Sephora Tinted Body Mist

Now let’s talk a bit about prep and preservation.

Before you apply your self tan, you want to ensure you are shaved and exfoliated. I also like to apply a water based moisturizer all over. Some brands say to only apply to knees and elbows but if you use a lightweight moisturizer all over I find it helps the self tan absorb into the skin better. If you apply self tanner on to dry, dehydrated skin it will just sit on top of the skin and not sink in.

Wherever you apply your self tan you want to exfoliate, I like to use a facial scrub and body scrub but you can also just use a luffa and scrub your skin well with it.


Use a body lotion as opposed to a body butter or body cream. Lotions tend to be more lightweight and water based. To check if your lotion is water based, read the ingredients and if water/aqua is the first ingredient on the list, that means it is water based.

Once you have applied your tan here are some tips to preserve it…

I tend to suggest applying it at night before you go to bed. The next morning have a lukewarm shower and don’t exfoliate or scrub, just rinse off and wash your body. Once out of the shower, instead of rubbing your body dry just pat gently leaving some moisture. Next up apply a body butter or cream, something super hydrating. This helps lock in the tan and keeps it absorbing into the skin. You can apply self tanner a few days in a row to achieve your desired results, then rock your tan for however long it lasts!

Once you notice it fading or maybe becoming blotchy where you bra sits, repeat the first instructions again, hop in the shower and exfoliate from head to toe thoroughly, removing the old tan and provided a smooth surface for your next applications!

Here is a summer makeup look a created just after applying my St Tropez tanning mousse for a couple days…


Hope you all enjoyed this post and get that summer glow poppin 😉

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Brittany Hall is a professional makeup artist and freelance blogger. With her passion for beauty and makeup, she is dedicated to providing you with the latest trends and tips and tricks on all things pretty! Follow her on Instagram @makeupbybrit.

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