Every bride wants to look radiant and glowing on their big day, and sunless tanning is an awesome (and safe!) way to achieve that look. The only problem - it can be more than a little intimidating. We consulted our skincare expert Ursula Diaz of Honor Beauty to give us some tips to make sunless tanning on your big day a breeze! Because let's be real... your skin and all of its glowing-ness should be the LAST thing you are worried about on your wedding day.
If you want to do it at home....
Katie May: How can I prepare my skin?
Ursula Diaz: Start by exfoliating your skin to remove dry skin and dead skin cells to create a clean and smooth canvas for your tan. I love Crème Brulee Sugar Scrub by Laura Mercier and St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. Follow with moisturizing your skin with a very hydrating lotion.
KM: What are tips to prevent it from looking streaky?
UD: I find that spray sunless tanner is pretty foolproof and I have never had an issue with streaking when I use that formulation. I really like MicroMist® Airbrush Sunless Tan by Neutrogena. Make sure to use long strokes as you spray your body (stopping at the end of each stroke) to help ensure an even tan. If you are using a mousse formula like St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, use a tanning applicator mitt to minimize the possibility of streaks.
KM: How can I avoid making the elbows/knees look too orange?
UD: Since those parts of the body tend to be a bit drier and will absorb more of the product use it sparingly on those areas.
KM: How long after applying should I wait to put on my clothes?
UD: The wait time varies depending on the formulation you choose, but my personal favorite, the Neutrogena MicroMist I mentioned above, dries in 5 minutes!
KM: How can I apply it to my back?
UD: I have found it nearly impossible to do this without a friend’s help however the Neutrogena Micro Mist bottle will spray continuously in any direction that you hold it (sideways, upside down etc.) so you can even spray your back. I swear I’m not a spokesperson for this product but I totally would be because I think it’s the BEST home self-tanning product I have ever used!
If you want it professionally done...
KM: How can I prepare my skin?
UD: Exfoliate and moisturize. Consistently moisturizing your skin prior to your spray tanning session is imperative to getting a gorgeous, even, natural looking tan. Healthy moisturized skin looks the best with a spray tan. Freshly exfoliated skin will help ensure an even tan.
KM: What should I look for when picking out a professional salon?
UD: I recommend looking for a salon that has an actual technician that manually applies the spray tan (also known as airbrush tanning), instead of a salon that has spray-tanning booths. Typically, if a person does it for you, your tan is more likely to be even and oftentimes the technician can customize your color just for you. I would also recommend reading reviews about the salon and looking at their website. Most salons that do a lot of spray tans for weddings will even have before and after pictures.
KM: How long before the wedding should I start applying tanner or get a spray tan?
UD: I did a trial spray tan one month prior to my wedding to make sure I would be happy with the color (I highly recommend doing a trial tan!). Then I got a spray tan two days before my wedding and it looked perfect on the day of. Sometimes a spray tan can be a bit dark the day after but it should look great on the second day.
KM: What are ways to make a sunless tan last?
UD: Using a mild body wash only on necessary areas and not your entire body will help extend the life of your tan. Also, applying moisturizer to your body immediately after you get out of the shower when your skin is still moist will help keep your tan looking great and help it fade gradually instead of randomly flaking off.
-If you are getting a manicure and pedicure make sure to get it before your spray tan. If it is a regular manicure/pedicure a few hours before your tan is fine, but if they are gel wait 24-48 hours before getting a spray tan.
-After your spray tan make sure to wear loose fitting clothes and no bra if possible. Seams and tight straps can interfere with your tan. I have found that a maxi dress tends to work best.
-If you plan on going to sleep and showering off the tanning solution in the morning make sure to sleep in loose fitting pants and long-sleeved shirt. This will better protect your sheets and help your tan absorb evenly.
-If you plan on tanning your face at home or in a salon use the product sparingly or ask your spray tan technician to only do one spray on your face. Tanning solution tends to be drying and the last thing you want on your wedding day is dry patches on your face! Remember that you can always warm up your face with makeup and bronzer but if your face is too dark it would be very difficult to make it look lighter.