I am pale, fair, light-skinned - whatever you want to call it. I'm not the palest girl out there by any means, but I can't be in the sun without a healthy slathering of SPF 30. Not because I'll burn to a crisp, but because I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer the first week of my freshman year of college. As a result of this, I am a huge advocate of suncare and also of the sunless tan! Sunless tans get a bad rap - I think that once upon a time, people must have tried the original 'big blue box' MysticTan or a drugstore lotion and turned out streaky or bright orange. So there's this huge fear of using it around your wedding. Well fear not! Sunless tanning technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the past years. Here are my favorite sunless tanning recommendations for your wedding or anytime.
1. First up, the DIY method: My favorite sunless tanner you can use at home is Bliss' Tan For All Seasons. Here are it's awesome features: It comes in an aerosol can, so it sprays out evenly. It has a bronzer in it, so you can see where it sprays and where you need to rub it in. It dries nice and quick - no waiting forever and no sticky feeling (which I can't stand). It has a yummy citrus smell - it is hands down the best smelling sunless tanner I have encountered. It has anti-oxidants in it so it's good for your skin. And the biggest and best feature: It has a blue undertone to it, so you WON'T TURN ORANGE. I promise. Bliss is carried online at BlissWorld, Sephora, and Nordstrom.
Tips and Tricks: Always exfoliate first! (I like Bliss' Lemon and Sage Scrub, because it smells yummy with the tanner and will leave you moisturized). Spray in a back and forth motion, rub in evenly. Use dark towels to wipe down any spray that might have landed anywhere. Keep a jar of scrub (again I love Bliss' Lemon and Sage Scrub) next to your sink to scrub when you wash off your hands. They may look a little blue, but don't worry I have never gotten orange palms from this tanner!
2. The MysticTan "MyMyst" method
Like I said before, people have a stigma about MysticTan and sunless tanning in general. But MysticTan has come along way since it's "big blue box" days. Brides, meet the MyMyst. The MyMyst booth is the best thing to happen to sunless salon tanning in the last few years. First you can pick your own shades - Clear or Bronze, then Regular or Premium. I recommend clear premium three days before the big day, which gives the tan enough time to settle in and wash off, as well as being fresh enough to not peel off. Plus I think the clear develops more nauturally. Some salons even offer the MysticAroma fragrances that they can add to your solution to help with the smell. These come in Vanilla Creme, Desert Bloom and Coconut Lime - I personally like the Coconut Lime, it does a better job of covering the sunless tanning smell as it develops (which is atucally the DHA or sugar interacting with the proteins on your skin).
The booth itself is tear-drop shaped. You step inside, and there are four foot plates on the ground, all numbered. Basically, you will turn four times as the unit sprays you up and down as it moves in a back and forth motion that mimics a technician airbrush tanning experience. This is what makes the MyMyst so great in my book - it gives such an even tan! And the cartridge of solution is just the right amount so you wont be dripping and worrying about streaks or choking on the cloud of overspray. Prices vary per salon, but should never be more than $35 for a session. I recommend a package of at least 3 but preferably 5, that you start about a month and a half out. Then you can see a few times how many days it takes the tan settles, how many days until it starts to fade, etc. Check here to find a MyMyst location near you (if the salon has the MyMyst, you'll see a little symbol under their name and address).
Tips and Tricks: The booth talks to you giving easy to understand instructions, but don't be afraid to speak up and ask the attendant at the salon for her full attention and for her instructions and directions. So many tanning disasters happen simply because someone was afraid to ask for help!