We all know a fake tan is the way to go these days. Bronzed skin makes us look better. It hides cellulite and other imperfections, while also making the body appear slimmer. However, getting a streak-free faux glow can be intimidating. Here we break down the rules for getting the most gorgeous natural looking tan whether it’s at a salon, spa, or in the comfort of your own home.
All self-tanners are made up of the ingredient DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which interacts with dead cells on the epidermis to turn a brown color. Some DHA is natural, derived from beet or cane sugar, while some is manufactured synthetically. While DHA is FDA-approved for topical use, recent warnings recommend that it should not be inhaled and to avoid areas such as the eyes and the nose.
At a salon, spray tans are the method of choice for deep glowing skin in very little time. Some salons offer individualized spray tan booths, which are quick and spray the entire body, albeit, can miss some spots. Other salons and spas offer airbrush tanning applied by a skilled technician. If you opt for the latter, the technician can even sculpt body parts for a chiseled, toned look. Booth tans can be found across the country and cost around $25 per session. A tanning session with a technician ranges from $45 to $75, and can be costly if you want to maintain bronzed skin for months on end.
There are a slew of self-tanners on the market today in a variety of formulations and shades: sprays, mousses, gels, creams, lotions and towelettes. Some build color gradual, while others turn skin a deeper hue in just a few hours. With some of the newer formulas, color can last anywhere from seven to 10 days.
Prepping skin is key when doing any self-tan. Exfoliating skin with a good body or facial scrub to remove dry patches helps build a more even tan. “You want to apply your self tanner to fresh skin cells so that the tan looks its best and lasts longer,” says St. Tropez Finishing Expert Sophie Evans. It’s important to pay extra attention to the knees, ankles, and elbows as they can be drier. “These areas will go a good few shades deeper than the rest of the body and look un-natural if not prepped properly,” adds Evans.
Confused on how to choose the right shade? “A good self-tan product should adapt and work off your own individual body chemistry and skin tone,” explains Evans. “Gradual tans will normally turn you one to two shades darker and a self-tan will turn a good four to six shades darker so start light if desired, but most people end up loving the depth of a self-tan application.”
Not all self-tanners are right for everyone so it’s important to do a patch test. Evans recommends testing a block of color in a two-inch square—too much product in a concentrated area will develop too dark while a tiny dot of color will be too light. Following are some of the best self-tanners on the market.
Below are some products that are sure to give you beautiful sun-kissed skin without a trip to the salon or spa.
Start with an oil-free exfoliator like H20 Plus Sea Moss Black Sand Body Scrub ($20) containing fine black sand from lava, sea salt, Irish moss and aloe vera to give your body the perfect smooth canvas.
Friends will think you spent a weekend in the Caribbean with St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Spray ($40), which features DHA containing allo-melanin to mimic the skin’s natural melanin, in a fast-drying spray for fool-proof application.
Recently reformulated to contain no stinky odor, Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer ($8.99) is great for beginners who want to gradually develop a natural bronzed color.
TanTowel Face and Body Towelettes ($24) deliver golden skin in just a few hours, plus are great for travel.
Josie Maran Argan Self Tanning Cream ($32) contains a natural streak-free nourishing formula rich in organic argan oil and caffeine to firm trouble spots.
Not only does Caudalie Divine Legs ($38 ) smells great and contains moisturizing grape oil, but it imparts a golden color with subtle shimmer that makes ghostly-looking legs appear sleek and toned, and then easily washes off in the shower.
For noticeable missed spots, apply Tanee ($5.99), a portable pen containing bronzer and self-tanner that blends in easily and fixes mistakes in a flash.
Evans swears by the St. Tropez Applicator Mitt ($6.50) to help distribute color evenly, and guarantee no messy residue left on hands.
Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery and fantasized about how you would spend the money? Would you buy a mansion, diamonds, yacht, or an island? Whatever your pleasure, it’s sure to include a luxury item.
But is luxury just for the very rich? Definitely not, according to the speakers at the Beauty’s Luxury Lift-Off panel, sponsored by The Fashion Group International in New York City.
Even though nearly 94% of the 18 to 34 age group is in debt, according to Laura McEwen, vice president and publisher of Self magazine, a sponsor of the event, these children of baby boomers crave the luxury experience. “They want Dior mascara, hair done by Fekkai, and are generally eager for luxury products and treatments. They’re paying attention to their appearance constantly,” she said.
“Coco Chanel believed that luxury is a necessity that starts where necessity ends,” said panelist Ava Huang, senior vice president, fragrance and skincare marketing, Chanel. “Some people think that poverty is the opposite of luxury. It’s actually vulgarity.” That said, maybe it’s time to rethink your appointment to have diamonds imbedded in your nail tips.
“Whatever the culture, throughout history, women have gone to extraordinary heights for their beauty,” said McEwen. Just think about the Victorian passion for corsets, Japanese Geisha’s use of lead-based foundation, or Cleopatra’s milk baths.
So if luxury today is not over the top indulgence, what is it? “We refer to luxury as having the Three Cs: craft, creativity, and culture,” said Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president, Aramis &Designer Fragrances, Beauty Bank and IdeaBank, The Estee Lauder Companies. For example, the Cashmere Mist fragrance from Donna Karan gained huge popularity without much marketing support, because women responded to its quality and subtle beauty.
Sometimes luxury involves an experience, not just a product. When panelist Frederic Fekkai, founder of Fekkai hair care and salons, opened his first salon, he included a café, not necessarily a moneymaker, but a warm and authentic touch.
For marketers, “luxury must come from the heart, followed by communication and collaboration,” said moderator Greg Furman, president of the Luxury Marketing Council. The brand’s goal is to include you, the shopper, as a partner in defining luxury.
Partnering with a prestige company sounds inclusive and respectful, but we’re still being marketed something. At least it will be something we love and relate to.
For many, luxury has nothing to do with acquiring objects, such as the luxury of time, perhaps the most valuable commodity in our “gotta have it yesterday” lives. It’s interesting that going to the gym to work out is a necessity, but sleep has become a luxury.
Not merely relative, luxury is a very personal concept. But if you treat yourself to something that is not a necessity, well made, and perhaps a little scarce, you are on the right path.
Mom. Maman. Mum. ‘Ma.
No matter which part of the world you come from, chances are that your word for your mother is something heartfelt and meaningful. Mothers deserve respect everyday (take it from a new mom) but especially on Mother’s Day. Luckily, the beauty sphere is filled with precious items to show mom a truly great time. Here are a few gems sure to make mom smile and possibly even forget all the late nights, temper tantrums, soccer games, school plays, science projects, wedding jitters, late night calls, term papers………….
The Korres Body Wash is silky and sumptuous, and creates s a creamy foam that oozes luxury. Natural antioxidants are an added plus. The Body Butter is on the richer end of the moisturizing spectrum, and is nourishing to the skin, while restoring elasticity with shea butter and quince extracts. Of course, the rose is a symbol of romance, and has been for generations: give mom a modern twist of the classic with the Japanese version.
Sonia Kashuk Beauty Organizers ($24.99)
Lipsticks, gloss, jewelry, makeup palettes. All these add up and the last thing mom wants to see is clutter (didn’t all her years of nagging you to do chores get that point across?). She will be so surprised when you help her on the road to order with a beauty organizer, theoretically speaking. And practically, Sonia Kashuk’s little gems found at Target will do the trick, and they come in beautiful floral and yarn print designs.
Photo Credit: zoskinhealth.com
Give mom the gift of youthful skin with this anti aging skincare kit from the skin health master Dr. Zein Obagi. The secret weapon behind this program is the high concentrations of active ingredients including growth factors, retinol and enzymes. of retinol. The five-product system includes everything mom will need to fight lines, uneven skin tone, and loss of firmness—day and night. An added bonus: once she tries the Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, no other makeup prep will do.
New York City’s best-selling hues are all packaged in this incredibly detailed, artistic limited edition box. The set contains four eyeshadows as well as NARS’ must have Laguna Bronzing Powder and Amour Blush in a svelte, purse-friendly compact. It also contains lip gloss (Dolce Vita, a sheer dusty rose), and a blood-red nail lacquer (Chinatown) that will make mom’s look complete. It’s classic and thoughtful, and so very elegant for a very deserving woman.
If you want to give your mom a gift she may not buy herself, try the mē Smooth. This is the first and only at-home hair removal device that has been FDA cleared to use on ALL skin types, a very big deal. It combines Intense Pulse Light with Radiofrequency energy to heat the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth. A full leg treatment takes only 10 minutes. Repeat for seven weeks in a row and then follow up once a month for smooth, silky legs. mē Smooth can be used anywhere below the neck; just adjust the treatment times according to the size of the targeted area.
LUSH Cosmetics Bath Bomb ($6.95)
Mom deserves a (cruelty-free) bath, so run to the store or order Lush Cosmetics’ Bath Bombs online. The Mumkin bubble bar is adorable and available exclusively for Mother’s Day: it features a fruity, raspberry fragrance, which crumbles under running water and is perfect for soothing away the day’s woes. There are also Cream of the Crop reusable bubble bath bar wands for mom, which are easy to swirl around the tub or in running water for scented bubbles. Group together a handful of the floral shaped wands for a lovely bouquet.
Right in time for Mother’s Day comes an elegant, refined yet edgy coffret from the Atelier. Rose Anonyme is all about being a seductress, with sparkling tones. In this beautiful fragrance, Turkish rose absolute sparkles beneath notes of ginger, velvet oud, Indonesian patchouli, mystic papyrus, and Somalian incense. The result is zesty sensuousness. The coffret comes with a scented soap, as well as liner notes, all packaged in a beautiful giftable box.
This is one of the most fun beauty partnerships we’ve seen this year: a colorful kit by Ralph Lauren Fragrances and Essie means mom can look good and smell heavenly. There are four distinctive and colorful kits, each with its own coordinated drawstring pouch. Each kit has a unique fragrance and personality: Sporty (#1), Sensual (#2), Free-Spirited (#3) and Stylish (#4). The drawstring bags contain a Big Pony EDT (30 ml), a Perfuming Body Mist (50g) and a corresponding Essie polish. In-store nail specialists will be offering manicures with the Big Pony colors at select Macy’s and Belk stores.
An at-home, affordable spa set that gives mom a polished, exfoliated look? Sign us up! The new Color Collection from Spa Sonic is brand new and makes for a chic gift. The Face and Body Polisher is a waterproof device that is designed to work in the shower. But unlike similar systems, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The kit comes with all the attachments you need to get the job done: a small brush for the face, a larger one for the body, pumice head for rough areas like elbows and heels, and a facial sponge for microdermabrasion. I’ve not seen a kit for this price give so much, and work so well. I’ve used both the Clarisonic and Spa Sonic and while the look of both is different, there’s no doubt that the Spa Sonic can perform comparably. The new colors are made for gifting!