My natural skin tone is quite pale, but if you knew me back in my south Florida collegiate years, you would have never known. Although I was good about staying out of the sun, I was addicted to self-tanner. I would go through bottles and bottles of my beloved L’Oreal Sublime in Deep. I loved that stuff. But that was then. Today, the overly tanned look feels so passé, and certainly not chic. I don’t know if it is the New York “pale is perfectly normal” attitude, but my obsession with being super tan has dissolved, and I’m perfectly satisfied with a nice healthy “glow.”
Fortunately, there are some pretty great wash-off bronzers, highlighters, lotions, creams and oils that make you look – for the day! – like you just returned my a tropical vacation. Take it from me, an ex-self-tanner enthusiast, I have nailed down the best wash-away bronzing products and post-shower steps to give you the ultimate body glow.
Immediately after the shower when your body is still slightly damp…
Starting with the chest and neck, spritz on my favorite Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil (the new limited edition bottle is totally adorable and smells like a dream). Before rubbing into skin, mix in a few drops of Nars Illuminatior and blend. I looove to mix illuminators with lotions and oils, because you can really customize the look you are going for. Depending on your mood, there are a number of Nars shades, but when it comes to the body, I’m partial to Super Orgasm (peachy) or Laguna (bronze). Mac Drops are also amazing, and are a backstage staple.
Accentuating your collarbones makes you chest more defined and is sure to give you that goddess glow vibe that is oh so summery. Using your fingers, dot the tiniest bit of Benefit High-Beam (a little goes a long way) directly to the collarbones, blending outwards to the shoulders. High-Beam is a pretty pinkish-pearl color that will pop against the bronzy glow. Another eye-catching alternative is Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen in Lavender Voile. The highlighter pen’s brush allows exacting application and its shimmer-concentrated formula creates a gorgeous metallic finish.
To really make your bones POP, take a bronzing highlighter pen like Clinique Chubby Stick in Fuller Fudge and draw faint little lines below your collarbones and blend.
For the legs (and arms), it’s great to keep them super glowy, but not sticky. I like Nars Body Glow, a beautiful coconut oil that just smells like vacation and delivers the prettiest chocolate colored shimmer. Caudalie Divine Legs is a lovely lightweight tinted body lotion that gives legs a touch of sun without the use of a self-tanner. The universal tint blends perfectly with all skin tones and dries in an instant, creating a beautiful, bronze finish. This can certainly be applied on the arms and chest as well. Scott Barnes Body Bling – the ultimate wash-away body bronzer, and with JLo as its #1 fan, you know it means business. Lastly, there is Urban Decay’s newly released Naked Skin Beauty Balm. This luxe, moisturizing BB instantly blurs flaws, leaving a radiant finish on the skin. The lightweight and non-greasy formula features light-diffusing spheres that retouch your complexion to deliver a smoother and firmer appearance, creating a noticeable, all-over glow. The finish is slightly matte, so I would top it off with a few spritzes of Nuxe Dry Oil.
For a deeper and slightly more aggressive tan, check out drugstore favorite, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs! Spray only a little at a time and blend fully before moving on to the next area. If you end up spraying too much and it dries on your leg, becoming un-blendable, just mix in a little lotion and it will even out in no time. This will literally change your skin color. There’s a reason that Airbrush Legs is every makeup artist’s secret weapon.