Applying Self Tanner The holidays are coming and whether you’re heading south or staying in town for a whirlwind of festivities, we’re all coveting that sun-kissed glow! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look and feel better with a tan.

I’ve been a fan of self tanners since they first came on the scene back in the mid-80s, during my very awkward teen years. I’ll never forget that first experience in Hawaii on winter break when, shopping on a cloudy day, I was browsing the Estee Lauder counter. And there it was: a new product offering a ‘summer glow’ straight out of a bottle.

After begging my mom to buy it, I raced back to the hotel to slather the stuff on (a thick layer must be better than a thin one, right?), pretty sure I’d be returning to school as a bronzed goddess in only two weeks. Sadly, that was not to be, and instead, I awoke to find my face and body a vibrant shade of oompa loompa (including my palms, which were one shade darker still), making me the laughing stock of my junior high class.

I am happy to say that fake tans have come a long way since then and while Kiehl’s Sun Free Self Tanning Formula is always my failsafe choice for body, the perfect, natural-looking facial bronzer has eluded me—until now.

Brazen Loves: Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning is magic in a jar. This ‘dulce de leche’-ish wonder is a self tanner and complexion perfecter in one product. Here’s how to use it. Following your regular skin care routine (including serums, oils, moisturizers/SPF), smooth a blueberry-sized dollop of this lightweight mousse onto your face and neck, showing your chest a little love, too.

For best results, apply to dry and freshly exfoliated skin and following application, use a damp towel to gently remove any product from your eyebrows and lips. And, for the love of God, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to remove the evidence.

Colour develops quickly, and there’s nothing worse than dreaded DIY neon-orange hands to blow your cover. Absorbing instantly, with no ‘greasy’ look or feel and virtually no self tanner smell, this caramel-coloured wonder will leave you with perfectly poreless and primed skin and a tan that develops into the most gorgeous sun-kissed glow throughout the day.

Apply your regular foundation/makeup on top or just wear the product alone for that natural je ne sais quoi.

Clarins self tanner is perfect for a boost of sunshine in the dead of winter (and you can even use it all summer long to keep your golden colour fresh). Don’t forget to reapply it every second to third day to maintain your ‘just back from the islands’ glow.

Available wherever Clarins products are sold.

photo credit: UrbaneWomenMag via photopin cc

About the author

Holly Bellman

Holly Bellman is the Executive Director of The Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Trust ( and a beauty addict. She blogs about the products she loves and hopes to inspire others with new beauty findings and old favorites at

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