Several of you have asked me about my favorite auto-bronzing products and, let me tell you, I’ve tried everything: sprays, creams, lotions, mousses, oils and those pads with theoretically just the right dosage of a self-tanning product.
I’ve even had a full-body professional spray-on tan in a beauty institute in Chicago. When i woke up the next morning I had forgotten I did the head-to-toe thing and when I saw myself in the cruel light of the bathroom mirror I started to cry. I was a disturbing mahogany color. Instantly I realised that if I didn’t stop crying I might have white tear streaks down my face.
I’m of two minds about artificial tanning: I think it can look wonderful on legs and maybe ever so lightly for that impression of good health and vigour on the face and then — the downside for me — I realize I am not at all adept at doing it right. Read: stripes.
For assistance I turned to two aestheticians, one in the beauty institute where I get my semi-permanent pedicure (yes, with that light machine thingie), the other in a salon in Paris.
This is what they told me:
Estelle: “Sprays are far easier for everyone to use. They go on easily and rub in quickly. The problem is they don’t last as long as creams. I’ve found with some of my clients that they start out learning the process with a spray and ‘graduate’ to a cream.”
Jessica: “Let’s face it, there are a lot of good products on the market and it’s true that sprays tend to be the easiest for everyone. Mousses are fun, but need a little bit of expertise. But I do have a favorite: Clarins Addition Concentré Eclat, auto-bronzant hâle sur measure.”
So, obviously, I bought it and she’s right. It’s an interesting product because it tends to be quite easy to apply, even for me, and you’re in total control of the color because of its ingenious “made-to-measure” concept.
A dark plastic bottle holds the tanning product which the user dispenses drop-by-drop in her favorite body cream — you want a lighter tan, fewer drops; a darker tan, more drops.
This is the process for a foolproof auto-bronzage (I got it absolutely right the second time, which is unheard of for me.):
1.) The first step is always a serious exfoliation.
You can find one purpose made for the body, but I use my Nuxe facial gommage and go to work with a pair of exfoliating bath gloves. I am assuming that one’s favorite hair removal ministration was performed prior to the sluffing.
2.) Next, slip on a pair of surgical gloves — I’m told that’s not entirely necessary, but I prefer not dealing with product residue on my palms — and squirt, pour, pump. . . your favorite body cream into your hand. Think about the size of a quarter. Next, push the bottom of the Clarins tanner bottle which will release one drop of product. It’s up to you to decide how much you want. I suggest you start slowly.
3.) Repeat the next day to correct color.
Ed. Note: No one, including me, has any affiliation with Clarins even though, as you know, I have a great affinity for many of the company’s products. In fact, I may talk about another one I’m experimenting with at the moment.