Why: Being a writer for a beauty website has its perks. Right now, for me, those perks include being knee-deep in the latest and greatest in self tanning. I've got an entire office full of lotions, gels, sprays, foams, bronzers, exfoliators, and extenders. For someone like me, who's somewhere between Nicole Kidman and Amy Adams on the pale scale, this particular work perk is both a blessing and a curse. I barely know where to start, and am currently looking at the prospect of spending the next couple of weeks using a different product on every limb. But hey, it's all in the name of beauty… and you'll see the fruits of my labors in our Self Tanner Buyer's Guide in a few weeks (fingers crossed, one of those fruits isn't "orange").
Embarking on this daunting task, I knew I had to build a good base and go from there. I immediately reached for Xen-Tan, a self-tanning system with application options galore. The system is pretty foolproof: I started first with the minty green Body Scrub ($18). It's invigorating, and with a few good circular scrubs, my skin was dead cell free and prepped for tanning. I chose to start with Xen-Tan's Dark Mist ($29), although there are Dark Mousse ($29) and Dark Lotion ($39) formulas, too. The mist sprayed on really dark, which scared me at first, but turned out to be great, since I could see exactly where the color was going. Following the directions, I rubbed the pleasantly almond-scented mist in and was amazed at the instant transformation. I looked darker, but not orangey (thanks to the olive undertones). After a few minutes of settling, my base tan looked even and natural. Now I'm using the Xen-Tan Tan Extender ($28), a feather-light moisturizer that's hopefully going to keep a good thing going.And when winter rolls around, I'll definitely be using Xen-Tan Transform ($17) to build and maintain a gradual glow.
Get Yours: Nordstrom
Your turn: SheFinds needs all you ardent self tanners to give us your insight! See your rants and raves in print in our Self Tanner Buyer's Guide, and feel all warm and fuzzy knowing you've done your part to help your paler sisters get the glow. Leave your recommendations—along with a few words about why your brand is the bomb—in the comments section below.