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Tips & Tricks: Perfect Summer Glow

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I have spent the last couple months aggressively testing the best self-tanning products on the market. From sprays to mousse, wipes to lotions, I have discovered some great formulas and techniques. (Reviews to follow)

Along the way, I have picked up some tips and tricks to get the perfect summer glow:

PREP:

☀ Do a patch test: Skin may be sensitive to DHA (a sugar derivative) or other ingredients in the product.

☀ Wax 24 hours in advance. Shave 12 hours in advance.

☀ Exfoliate! To get the smoothest, streak-free color possible, apply self-tanner immediately after exfoliating. The outer layer of the epidermis, which is what the self-tanner interacts with, is composed of dead skin cells that last only 7 to 10 days before they shed. You want to make sure you have an even layer of dead skin cells so that they all tan and slough off together. If you don’t properly exfoliate some of the skin will begin peeling in a day or two, which can result in a splotchy tan job.

☀ Apply a light body lotion to dry areas such as knees, elbows and heels. Body lotion will prevent the tanner from saturating these areas.

☀ Choose your favorite self-tanning formula: Aerosols are easy to apply and dry very fast. Mousse has quick-drying power and gives you more control. Wipes are great for on-the-go. Lotions are the most hydrating and will generally last the longest.

APPLICATION:

☀ 99% of the time you will end up with a streaky or uneven tan because of lack of product. Always work with enough product so you are able to glide it over the skin freely. Your skin will only absorb a certain amount of product so it is better to follow the “more is better” rule.

☀ With many application methods to choose from: gloves, mitts, brushes… I believe the best device is your hands. To prevent tan-palms, do not wait until the end to wash your hands. Scrub hands after each section of the body is completed.

☀ Apply product section by section. Always start at the bottom, so you won’t crease the color as you bend over. Start with feet: Apply product to a cotton round and blend on the tops of feet, toes and ankle area. This is my biggest problem area and have found this technique to be the best.

☀ Continue to apply over the shin and calf of a leg. Then apply tanner to your thigh from front to back, using the excess to cover your knee. Repeat on your other leg. For the final step, apply tanner to your hips, stomach and torso, following with your shoulders and arms.

☀ For application to the back area – your best bet is have someone do it for you. Otherwise, use an aerosol formula for an easier reach.

☀ Hands – same technique as feet. After applying product to the body. Wash hands vigorously. Add product to a cotton round and smooth over the backs of hands and lightly on the fingers, blending down onto the wrist area.

☀ An easy way to soften or slow down the absorption of self-tanner on areas that tend to grab a lot of product such as the elbows, knees and heels is to use a dry wash cloth to gently buff these areas after application. It will pick up some of the excess self-tanner and prevent them from getting too dark.

☀ Ever notice that areas like sunspots, melasma or old scars tend to get darker and more noticeable when you’ve slathered on self-tanner? Once you apply self-tanner to the area, take a slightly damp Q-Tip and gently wipe off the self-tanner from the areas where the dark spots are most prevalent. If it still grabs to the spot – try dipping Q-Tip into some rubbing alcohol. This will minimize the chance of the area getting darker and create a more even tone to the skin.

☀ Wait at least 15 minutes before dressing.

EXTENDING YOUR TAN:

☀ Moisturize! Try to moisturize the skin a couple times a day.

☀ Try a gradual tanner. This will not only extend your tan but will even it out as well.

Easy Breezy: Summer Scarves

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This summer leave your statement necklace at home and add a splash of color with a lightweight scarf. This finishing touch is versatile, vibrant and adds an extra layer of style to any look.

From bold, graphic prints to floral bouquets, adding something extra to your ensemble has never been easier. The breezy, effortless nature of a lightweight scarf is perfect for summer. It pulls together a chic look and also acts as an extra layer of sunscreen. Functional and versatile, here are a few fresh new ways to wear your scarves this summer:

Turban: Take a long scarf and tie it into one knot on your forehead, then cross the ends around each other and tuck them in place behind your head. (This look is great for bad hair days)

Mini Caplet: Fold the scarf in half, diagonally, and tie the ends together around your neck – scarf should be draped on shoulders.

Belt:  Tie scarf around your waist or weave through belt loops to cinch the waist.

Experiment to find new ways to wear your favorite scarf: twist, braid, tie two scarves together… Here are a ton of different scarf options to choose from, separated into four categories: Stripes/Florals/Brights/Graphics.

STRIPES:

Mango ~ Cotton Sailor Style Foulard: $19.99

Juicy Couture ~ Chevron Striped Scarf: $68.00

J.Crew ~ Lemlem Gama Gauze Scarf: $125.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs ~ Jacobson Striped Modal Scarf: $180.00

FLORALS:

American Eagle ~ AEO Floral Scarf: $24.50

Forever 21 ~ Floral Scarf: $8.80

Rebecca Minkoff ~ Floral Explosion Silk Scarf: $210.00

J.Crew ~ Printed Summer Scarf in Bold Orange: $59.50

BRIGHTS:

J.Crew ~ Italian Summer Scarf in Belvedere Red: $45.00

Love Quotes ~ Knotted Tassel Scarf in Sunshine: $88.00

Mango ~ Basic Cotton Scarf in Mint: $19.99

J.Crew ~ Italian Summer Scarf in Brillant Purple: $45.00

GRAPHICS:

ALDO ~ Draughon: $22.00

Lucky Brand ~ John Robshaw Vines Print Scarf: $34.99

Tory Burch ~ Ikat Scarf in Turquoise Lucio: $155.00

Tillys ~ Aztec Pattern Scarf in Navy: $9.99

Glow & Go: Scott Barnes Body Bling

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Achieve glowing skin instantly with this shimmering body lotion that lasts all day. The bronzer to the stars, Scott Barnes Body Bling, is a no-commitment illuminator, that washes off with soap and water. Glow & Go.

Scott Barnes is a celebrated makeup artist credited for creating gorgeous looks for his numerous celebrity clients. His most popular look coined “the glow” was created on Jennifer Lopez. This monochromatic look features bronze glowing skin and pale lips. His signature look became known as “lit from within” and launched the world famous shimmering bronzer, Body Bling.

Use Body Bling on your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage for a flawless look from head to toe. It’s great for masking self-tanning streaks or mistakes, covering flaws and instantly toning and slimming arms and legs. It is easy to apply and feels moisturizing on the skin.

Scott Barnes Body Bling is a must-have for summer. This lotion looks amazing on-top of already tanned (fake or real) skin. It is not dark enough to replace your other self-tanning products, but will look incredible in conjunction with. With specks of gold shimmer that reflect light beautifully, everyone can create Scott Barnes signature “lit from within” look.

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