How to get a sexy tan– my foolproof method

by Marlies Dekkers

Old boyfriends remember me as being way ahead of my time. “You were always reading in the shade, completely covered in sun lotion, while everybody else was frying in the sun,” one of them told me the other day. It’s true, this was a long time before people were fully aware of the effect of UV radiation, but my intuition told me to protect my skin against the damaging rays. It was also way before True Blood, but I already loved that pale, vampire-like look.

Then, about ten years ago, I fell in love with a man who had a bit of a fetish for women with a bronzed, gypsy-like tan. My imagination was tickled. I had mastered the geisha look, why not try the bohemian thing? (Oh the things we do for love!) I still had no intention of going into the sun, so I was forced to experiment with self-tanners. Well, after much trial and error –Oompa Loompa orange, streaks and blotches, you name it- I developed a foolproof method, which I’m still using now.

And my lover? We had a lot of fun with my sexy tan. I still think of him sometimes, when I smooth on the self-tanner. The funny thing is that my new lovers all comment on the smoothness and softness of my skin. I guess staying out of the sun really did pay off..

Here’s my foolproof tanning method in 3 steps:

1. First, I have a shower and use an exfoliating scrub all over, paying extra attention to my knees and elbows. I love Dermalogica’s Exfoliating Body Scrub.

2. I then use a tanning spray, spraying at an even speed, making sure I keep the bottle at a distance of 8 to 12 inches from my body. My favorite: L’Oreal Sublime ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist. Also wonderful: Marc Inbane’s natural tanning spray with aloe vera and ginkgo.

3. I wait about 15 minutes for it to dry -you can speed up the process by using a blowdryer- then apply a self-tanning cream. (I recommend L’Oreal’s NutriBronze lotion). It seems to even out the spray tan, and so the two combined create a gorgeous streak-free tan.

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