Feb 22, 2016

How to Apply Self-Tanner

As soon as the weather starts to turn toward spring, I find myself doing whatever I can to get some color back on my pale winter skin. I tend to keep some color year round, the tan lines never truly fade as a native Floridian, but I do get a bit self conscious in denim cutoffs with pale legs. It's weird when it's warm enough to be in shorts, but not quite warm enough to lay out and get some sun naturally—with sunscreen of course.

This time of year, I usually start thinking about self-tanning, but I've never really been good at the application process. I struggle around my feet and hands, especially. So, I would shy away from self-tanning and opt for small amounts of time in a tanning bed or would spring for a spray tan. I decided to give the Norvell Professional Venetian Sunless Mousse a try.

To start, I exfoliated every square inch of skin I was going to tan. Arms, neck, chest, stomach, legs—you name it, I exfoliated it. I used the pumice on and around my feet. For the rest of my body, I used the Pure Grace sugar scrub from Philosophy and it did a great job exfoliating my skin. I love this exfoliator, and use it once a week anyway.
After my shower, I hit all my drier spots: elbows, knees, feet and hands with grapeseed oil. This helps keep the sunless tanner from over absorbing in those areas due to dryness, which can make those spots look like you self-tanned and your secret is out.
 I only used a little bit on each dry spot, and blended in well to the surrounding areas as well.

Norvell Venitian Sunless Mousse
Don't be scared by the tint of the mousse, some of it is a guide for application, and some of it is the instant bronzer. Either way, your legs won't turn this brown with one application. I applied two pumps on to my tanning mit, which seriously is the only way to apply self-tanner at home and not have your hands turn orange.
Anyway, the first two pumps covered my lower leg, then I applied two more pumps to my mit for the upper part of my leg. Whatever was left on the mit, I blended in extremely well into my feet, taking it all the way up and onto my toes, as well as the sides of my feet and behind my ankles. Keep in mind, I didn't apply any new product to my mit before doing my feet. I just used any leftover product that was already on the mit.
 Above is the before color—kinda pale and paste-y for me if I'm going to be in shorts or a dress.
This is the color about thirty minutes after application. Not super dark, which is exactly what I was looking for, but enough to take the edge off. I used the same method for one arm (I had done a test run on one arm before doing my full body--see below), chest, and stomach. Then, after I was done with everything else, I used whatever was still left on the mit to tan my face. I took the tanner all the way up past my hairline and into my hair to ensure I didn't get a brown line around my face, and blended really well down my neck and behind my ears onto the back of my neck. One can never be too careful around one's face with self-tanner.
The next day, my feet were still a little orange-y self-tanner looking, so I used my sugar scrub again on my feet to help scrub off some of the excess tanner, which worked out well.
Here's another great comparison: one application of self-tanner on the left after about an hour, and no self-tanner on the right. You can see how pretty the color is; and how nicely is progresses after application.
Norvell Venitian Sunless Mousse

 Tips for Self-Tanning

  1. Exfoliate your skin.
  2. Moisturize any dry areas.
  3. Use a self-tanning mit; it helps blend the product and keeps your hands from turning orange
  4. Don't apply new product to feet, hands or face—only use leftover product already on the mit after applying to larger sections.
  5. Blend, blend, blend. Blend until all streaks are gone—otherwise you're gonna dry with streaks.
  6. Product can rub off on clothing, so make sure you are dry before dressing—you can use a blowdryer to help speed up the dry time if necessary.
  7. If you notice a bit too much product accumulation after a few hours, go back with your exfoliator and it'll remove some of the excess.
  8. Make sure to wash your self-tanning mit after each use.
  9. Keep your tanned skin moisturized to ensure longevity of the self-tanner.
  10. It's best to tan at night, after you shower. Can take up to eight hours for color to fully develop.

Items Shown...
Self-Tanner | Norvell Professional
Sugar Scrub | Philosophy
Pumice Stone | Not Available Online
Loofah | Not Available Online
Tanner Mit | Sephora
Grapeseed Oil | Health Stores or Whole Foods
Nail Polish | Julep
Windowpane Shirt | Old Navy
Robe | Target
Fitbit Flex | Target

Post sponsored by Norvell Professional. All opinions are my own.


  1. These are great tips. Thank you. Love your blog. I am just starting my adventure in blogging. Lol. Check mine out.


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