Insider Self-Tanning Tricks

by Alexandra Samuel

photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdyphoto by Thayer Allyson Gowdy I am super, super pale -- like so pale that you can see my veins under my skin. So I had to self-tan. It was time. Thankfully, I edited this story when I was back working at the mag -- 8 Steps To A Perfect Faux Tan -- and followed the story step-by-step...kind of, at least.

You see, while this process is a really good way to get an amazingly gorgeous, long-lasting, even tan, right now I'm feeling a little bit lazy. So I found a few shortcuts and tweaks along the way.

Face: Instead of the exfoliate-hydrate-apply tanner routine, I've been using Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads, which have antioxidants, exfoliants and self-tanner in each swipe. I mean...I kinda feel like these pads make my whole story moot!

See more: Tone Up Your Trouble Spots

Arms and Legs: There's no real substitute for dry brushing your limbs, guys -- exfoliation is key to a smooth, even application -- but I am a huge fan of St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray, an superfine spritz with built-in hydrators that mists at any angle and doesn't need to be rubbed in like crazy with your hands, which kinda means you can skip exfoliation. And if you make a mistake? Use the Bronze Buffer to get out spots.

Abs: As we mentioned, a single wash of color on your abs, well, washes out your washboard abs. So for the sake of keeping all tummies tight, don't take any shortcuts with these steps. In fact, I like to stretch this one out and use these tricks to highlight my arm and leg muscles, too. Then I look all kinds of cut. Or, at least, I think I do! And if you're scared of self-tanning your tummy, try this trick to get a midriff-top-worth stomach, stat.

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