Before you worry, no, we’re not advocating you fake your feelings on your wedding day…we’re talking about your tan. A natural tan picked up from lounging on the beach is appealing, but the days before your wedding aren’t the ideal time to work on it (in fact, according to health experts, there’s really no ideal time). But you can still be a bronzed beauty if you’re willing to fake it.
Self tanning does possess its own set of risks, though, and no bride wants to experience the Bride Wars orange-skin scene firsthand, so it’s worth it to take a few extra steps to ensure that everything comes out gorgeous and glowing. Keep reading below the jump for our favorite tips.
Try a Little Glove Love
If you’ve been slapping on self tanner with nothing but your bare hands, you’re missing out. Applying tanner with a tanning glove means skipping the streaks of fingertips and evenly covering large areas of skin faster. We like the Velvotan Tanning Mitt (pictured above and available at Shoppers Drug Mart) because it’s less than $10, has a nice soft texture, and is easy to wash after use (just throw it in the washing machine and hang dry).
Self tanners are sort of like wine in that there are many varieties all with subtle differences, and, like with wine, personal preference will vary. The best way to figure out what works for your skin is to try a few and pick your favorite. Get an idea where to begin with the Consumer Search list of best tanners (we like Alba Botanica Tanning Lotion for its less noticeable scent and lack of streaking—you can find it at most natural food stores).
Everybody Makes Mistakes
Self tanning is definitely a little tricky, and that’s why you should be prepared for less than ideal results at the beginning. This means testing out your methods well before you wedding and doing your self tanning at least a couple days before your wedding day. If something happens, however, and you end up with streaks or an orange tone right before your wedding, don’t panic. A lemon juice and salt scrub (just blend the two to make a paste) will do wonders to lighten larger areas and astringent can work well for a smaller stain. In a true emergency where you only have a few minutes and limited supplies, try and even things out with bronzer.
Trust the Experts
Self tanning at home is unquestionably cheaper and it can even be more convenient if you’re swamped in the weeks leading up to your wedding (don’t be surprised if you’re tanning at midnight). That said, if you’ve got doubts about your self tanning skills, you should consider leaving it to the experts. You can get a spray-on Mystic Tan for about $30 in most tanning salons or an airbrushed tan in the spa for about $100. It’s more than a bottle of self tanner will cost you, but not a huge expense compared to many wedding costs.