Bobbi Brown Sunless Tanning Gel for Face & Body
The Issue: You use sunless tanner because you don't want to look like the crypt keeper in 20 years--but you're sick of looking like a hot streaky mess and turning orange like Lindsay Lohan.
The Fix: A fake tanner that doesn't look fake--skip the streaks, smells and funky hues. Celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Jessica Liebeskind swears by Bobbi Brown Sunless Tanning Gel for Face and Body for a natural-looking bronzed glow that's seamless.
In the same way a good foundation is yellow-based, so too is this tanner. Liebeskind says, "It's yellow-based so it looks warm--not orange, like many other tanners. It blends with your skin tone but gives you a golden glow." And since the tanner is made for face and body, you'll get a seamless bronze from head to toe, not a my-body-went-on-a-Tahiti-vacation-but-my-face-stayed-home color mismatch.
The composition of the gel makes for a kinder and gentler application process. Liebeskind explains that the gel glides smoothly and evenly over skin so it leaves an even--i.e., streak-free--tan. That's pretty huge in the self-tanner world (as many of us who've experienced the bad-tanner "Zebra effect" can attest). It also has a mild, pleasant scent, so it won't make your bathroom and hallway smell like grandma's hair salon. And the gel has no added tint (it's clear), meaning your skin won't immediately turn a funky orangey brown color nor might you accidentally stain your bathmat when you're putting the stuff on.
The tanner comes in a couple shades: light-medium and medium-dark, so you can go for either a lightly sun kissed or Miami jet-set kind of hue, depending on what kind of tan you want. If you want to start out slow, opt for the light-medium, and if you find that you want kick it up a notch, just reapply the tanner the following day (this is called "building" the tan).
It takes a few hours for your tan to develop after applying the gel, and it usually lasts about five days, but if you continue to apply it once or twice a week, you can expect a well-kept golden glow.
At $30 for a 4.2 ounce tube, it's obviously more than your run-of-the-mill drugstore tanner, but you're paying up a little for superior results that should be good enough to kick your sun habit...and preserve your hide.
General Tips for Applying Sunless Tanner:
For the most natural, beautiful effect (whichever brand of tanner you may be using) you've gotta fine tune your application and preservation technique. Liebeskind's tips:
-"Never experiment with a new self tanner right before a big event," she explains (if you ask us, they're like guys: they all perform differently).
-Before applying any tanner, "you want to start off with a smooth skin." Take a shower to wash and exfoliate your face and body; the smoother and more exfoliated skin is, the smoother the tan will appear and the longer it will last. Apply your tanner only after your skin is fully dry.
-To increase your chances of creating an even tan and to get more comfortable with the application process, try combining your tanner with a basic moisturizer like Lubriderm in 50/50 proportions. Massage the mixture into hands and then rub it evenly on the area you're lookin' to bronze. As long as you use the same amount of tanner (don't cut the amount you're using in half), this won't dilute your tan's intensity. But it will increase your tanner's "slip," meaning it improves its ability to glide/smooth over the skin in a way that helps more evenly distribute the product.
-So that you don't end up looking like Patchy McPatcherson, be sure to get all those nooks and crannies when you're rubbing on the tanner (the back of your ears, around your hairline, etc.).
-After you're done applying, don't get dressed again until your skin is totally dry. At which point, make sure to put on loose clothing. If you've got a muumuu, now's its time to shine.
-After your tan has developed, avoid exfoliating for the next few days (even if you want to apply more tanner to build the tan).
-Remember to moisturize daily to keep your skin moist (grossest word ever but you catch our drift) and supple. When your skin gets dry, your tan flakes and peels off. And no one wants to have to explain to the new hottie hookup why there are dark pieces of dyed skin on his white sheets.
In Chicks' Picks, we present health-related, non-prescription products that address a common problem and that relevant professionals like. This is not a product endorsement or recommendation on behalf of ChickRx. Please use your own judgment and consult your physician before using any new product.