by Alexandra Samuel
photo by Richard Rutledge Am I crazy, or does anyone else want to scream every time someone says, "I never go tanning, but I need to fix my tanlines." Meanwhile, I'm always like, "Oh yeah, great idea. Fix your sun damage by damaging yourself more." I mean, maybe I'm hyper-sensitive because I'm so pale (and because I've been a beauty editor for years), but there's also something about tanning beds makes me want to gag -- especially when I think about that weird smell that's like a mix of strangers' sweat and burnt skin. (Yes, I've been inside one. I was young and stupid).
But I think I also get frustrated because you can TOTALLY undo tan lines without baking in a nasty bed. In fact, you have two options: you can fix 'em for good or fade 'em fast. And, not only is it infinitely better for you, it actually works. (Unlike this tan-line erasing pen, which literally turned my skin green! Not a good look.) Anyway, here's how to get it done.
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FIX 'EM FOR GOOD: Fading your phantom bikini for good isn't as hard as you'd think. You just need a good exfoliant, a light moisturizer, a little bit of self-tanner and a makeup sponge.
* When you're in the shower, buff the area with an oil-free scrub so skin is super smooth. You can either use your fave standby, or pick up a formula with glycolic acid, which safely removes dead skin cells and creates a smooth glow. Try Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash.
* When you hop out, dry off well and load your fave moisturizer onto the already-tanned areas to help create a barrier for when you apply the self-tanner. Then, dip a makeup sponge into a quality self-tanning gel, like St. Tropez Self Tan Gel, and blend color evenly into the paler skin; hang tight until it feels dry. You can use a self-tanning cream, but I like gel because it's easier to apply on smaller areas of skin.
* Repeat the exfoliate, lotion, tan routine daily until lines aren't noticeable. The only difference: Only exfoliate the too-dark areas, or you'll undo your work. Kinda duh, I know, but worth mentioning again.
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FADE 'EM FAST: Consider covering up tan lines if you're headed out the door in a strapless dress, but can still see the sports bra you wore yesterday on your long run. Generally, I'm not a huge proponent of body makeup (it can be a drip-slash-smudge-fest in the summer), but do it right and you should be okay.
* First, take off any clothes near tan lines: You'll avoiding staining your clothes and missing major spots).
* Then, dip your index finger into a matte liquid bronzer and tap a thin layer over the pale spots. perfectSkin Perfection To Go in Decadent is awesome, totally sweat resistant and really easy to blend.
* Count to fifteen so the bronzer has a sec to dry down, then reassess the sitch. If you need to go darker, add another layer of bronzer. If need to go a little pinker, repeat this step with a cream blush.
* Once you nail your skintone, gently sweep a bronzing powder over the entire area to help blend the faux with the glow, and finish with a spritz of makeup setting spray, like Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
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by Alexandra Samuel