Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The #1 Biggest Challenge of Self-Tanning is...

...getting alone time in the bathroom.

If you're a mom, you know EXACTLY what I mean.  I can barely use the bathroom without someone following me in, let alone getting any extra time in there.  Even my dog follows me in sometimes.  It's very uncomfortable.

I mean, seriously!  Can't a girl get some privacy?!

I still remember when my son was a baby and I was nursing every few hours.  I wasn't sleeping, I was trying to keep my fluid intake up because of that, and I was forcing myself to eat because I had no appetite.  I barely showered during those first three months of my son's life.  I know... gross.  But true.  I was "on call" at all times, though, and I swear he wanted to eat ALL. THE. TIME.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Anyway, I still remember one night when I went upstairs to take a much-needed shower.  I gave my son to my husband after just having fed him and told him I just needed 10 minutes to shower.  I don't think I was in the shower a full minute before my husband came in the bathroom with my crying son to tell me that he was crying.

Yes, I hear him, thank you.  I am not deaf.

"I think he might still be hungry," he told me.

Well, I'm in the shower.  I JUST WANT A FEW MINUTES TO GET CLEAN AND FEEL LIKE A GIRL AGAIN.  Deal with the crying baby!!!!!!!!!!

And ever since then, my alone time in the bathroom has dwindled.  It's basically a thing of the past.  You know, P.C.  (Pre-child.)

But if you're like me, girl time for "maintenance" is important.  Gotta tweeze the eyebrows and all that good stuff.  (Well, really to do all that stuff that's painful because, after all, pain = beauty.)

One of those "maintenance" things for me is self-tanner.

I am pasty white, so without it, I would glow-in-the-dark.  I self-tan in some capacity all year round because it makes me feel so much better, but it sure is time-consuming.  I've learned a lot of tricks and tips over the years, though, and I've tried a number of self-tanners out there.

Here are the ones I'm currently using:

My favorite self-tanner is the TanTowels.  They are similar to baby wipes and come in individual packets.  You can get them at Kohl's or through HSN, but I usually don't buy them unless they are on sale or unless I have a coupon.  Once or twice a year, HSN does a Today's Special with them, so I try to watch for that, too.

The reason I like them so much is because they are nearly odorless and they are so easy to apply (notice I said nearly odorless - more on that later).  You literally just rub the wipe on your skin in circular motions.  That's it.  You can even use them on your face, though I don't because they don't interact well with my skincare.

I'll exfoliate, shave, shower, dry off completely, and then apply.  (If you are new to self-tanning, here's something to remember -- do NOT apply any sort of lotion to your skin after showering and before applying.)  The TanTowels dry really quickly - like in a minute or so - and then I put my PJs on.  I haven't had any staining issues on my clothes or sheets, which is a major plus.

In the AM, I'll take a quick shower to rinse off the color guide and the scent.  The color guide is just like the top layer of the tan that hasn't penetrated into the skin, and because the tanner does have a slight scent, I like to get that off because I have a very sensitive sniffer.  (My sense of smell increased when I was pregnant, and it's never gone away.  I'm like a dog.  I can smell for miles.)

I do my best to apply lotion each day to help extend the tan, and - if I want a darker color - I'll follow this same routine the next night.  Usually, though, one "coat" gives a nice, natural tan look and will last a few days.

My second favorite self-tanner is Faux Tan by bareMinerals.  This is more of a thicker, gel/lotion consistency, and it has an almond-y smell.  This one is a lot messier to use, and it can get pretty streaky.  I do have a special application brush to use with it, but I don't ever use that because it takes forever - I just use my hands.  I don't notice as many mistakes in my application when I use the TanTowels, though.  What I do like about the bareMinerals one is the color.  It's a beautiful bronze shade.  I don't know if I'll purchase it again after I finish this bottle, though, because the TanTowels are so much easier and way more convenient.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had picked up the Jergens Instant Bronze mousse to try.  The foam-like consistency was nice and dried quickly, but if you miss a spot, it's really noticeable.  Plus, I can't get past the smell.  If you've ever used any of Jergens' gradual tanners, it's that same smell.  It's entirely too strong for me -- I just can't take it -- so I will not be repurchasing.

Another quick tip -- it's really important to wash your hands frequently when applying self-tanner.  I keep a tiny Rubbermaid container (like one for salad dressing) filled with Dawn dish detergent with my tanning stuff.  I'll wash my hands frequently during application with the Dawn and that seems to help prevent staining.

In terms of gradual tanners, well, I'm not a huge fan.  They take too long to develop for me and don't provide a dark enough color.  Just my opinion.  Maybe they work for you!

If you are looking for a gradual tanner, though, here are some that don't have that nasty smell like the Jergens one does:

The first two are gradual tanners - bareMinerals Faux Tan gradual tanner and St. Tropez gradual tanner.  I just realized that the bottle on the right isn't exactly a gradual tanner - it's more of a lotion to apply on top of your tan to give you that pretty, bronze glow.  It's from the TanTowel brand.  Trust me - a little goes a long way with this!  I learned my lesson the hard way.

Oh, two more things.

1)  Look at these super duper clearance deals I found at Kohl's!  (Sorry for the reflection of the lights in the pic as well as my dirty bathroom countertop.  #reallife)

2)  My son bought me a gift the other day when he was out with his Pop-Pop.  He was so excited to give it to me when I got home!

He picked it out himself and was so proud!

Yes, it's just costume jewelry, and it's not exactly what you would call everyday jewelry, but to my son it is.  So I've been wearing it around the house with my yoga pants and tanks.  He said it reminded him of the amulet Sofia wears in Disney's Sofia the First.  In that show, her magical purple amulet gives her the power to converse with animals, so when I wear it, I pretend I'm talking to my dog and that he's talking back.  Ah, the things we do for our kids!

We're set for a day of rain here, but I'm okay with that!

Hope you have a good Wednesday!


  1. I've never tried the tan towels, will have to keep my eyes peeled for them!
    I haven't used self-tanner in a while because, well, I'm pregnant and the smell drives me insane, plus, like you, I don't get much alone time in the bathroom with a toddler (and soon to decrease even more once baby arrives). I'll have to remember these recommendations though!

    1. I understand, Shaunacey! When you do decide to try, I'm telling you -- the TanTowels rock! :-)

  2. Love your post BB! Your wit cracks me up and adds a great start to my day. A long time ago I tried a gradual tanning lotion by Vaseline for my legs... Chinese girl with orangey yellow legs... Not good. Not pretty. No more. If I need to get a faux tan, I will use a bronzer powder; until then it's natural skin color for me! Have a great day!

    1. Haha - oh, Laurie... you gave me a laugh back! Hope you have a wonderful day, too! :-)

  3. I am way too lazy to use self-tanner even though I'm crazy pale. Haha. If I did though, I would definitely look into those tan towels!

    1. I hear ya! There are definitely some times when I'm too lazy, too, but then I scare myself when I look in the mirror - ha!