I’ll confess, a far as beauty routines go – self tanning hasn’t been top of my list of beauty maintenance in 2016. Sure, I still love a bit of a glow as much as the next person. But I’ve gotten out of the routine and it just seemed like a lot of effort to get back into it. But as the Summer draws to a close and the cooler months ahead are starting to creep in, I decided I didn’t want to look like I’ve barely seen daylight. I wanted to get a glow back again – and more than just looking tanned. I love the effect self tan has overall. From evening out skintone, to hiding blue toned veins on my pale legs. It has a bit of an airbrush like effect. The challenge was taking the steps to get back to tanning without making those tell-tale rookie errors that are the dead giveaway that I have in fact NOT been sunning myself in the Maldives but actually mostly behind a screen for the Summer. To get back on the tanning bandwagon I reached for a combination of Vita Liberata products – one being the Vita Liberata Phenomenal Tan Mousse – a great all over body product that promises a glow that really lasts, whilst looking natural. Then for face I used their brand new Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti Age Serum that promises to combine some lovely anti-ageing skincare benefits with giving a natural sunkissed glow.
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Post sponsored by Vita Liberata.
The first step I took was a week of exfoliating. I know, this might sound like overkill. Yes, I did break for food and sleep… I kid. I didn’t solidly exfoliate for a week in total, what I meant was adding in some daily exfoliation for around a week before I wanted to apply the tan. This was purely to make sure I was truly scrubbed and ready. It meant I could start out with some more oil-based scrubs to get my skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated then switch to oil free a few days before I applied the tan. It’s SO important to not make the error of using an oil based scrub before tanning as it basically acts like a barrier to skin and prevents it from absorbing evenly… HELLO PATCHY COLOUR. Not a great look. Scrub wise, I used a sachet coffee scrub at first for a really thorough all over scrub. Then for a few days I reached for my two favourites for a pre-tan exfoliation session – Malin & Goetz Peppermint Scrub (nothing smells better) and the L’Oreal Exfotonic Exfoliating Gel (which I think has been discontinued – SOB).
Then of course the trick is to hydrate so skin isn’t just smooth, but silky too. I’ve been using a combination of my favourite Ameliorate Body Lotion (great if you suffer from bumpy skin on your upper arms) and Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter. BUT the key to this is to NOT use a moisturiser on the day of tanning – as like the oil based scrubs, this can block the tan and cause patches. On the day of tanning I used just a touch of the Avene Tolerance Extreme Lotion on dry areas to avoid them taking on too much colour – so on elbows, knees, hands and around feet.
Then I got to tanning! I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous. I’ve had so many tanning fails over the years I constantly expect them when I tan from shins that just don’t take any colour, to dark patches on dry areas or just totally missing spots all together. You name it, I’ve failed with it on the tan front. But the thing that was different this time is that I had actually put the proper prep work in to make it as idiot-proof as possible. So I got applying, using the Vita Liberata Mitt with the mousse to make sure I blended it in all over properly and didn’t miss any spots.
The texture of the Vita Liberata Phenomenal mousse is really light, almost like a foam rather than a mousse and it blends easily. It has a tint so a guide colour so you don’t miss spots and the mitt makes it easy to apply in smooth motions. I always try to make sure I use whatever product is left after applying to main areas for spots like backs of hands or feet. As these areas can often be naturally tanned from being exposed more anyway they don’t need much product. Plus it can be a problem area for dark patches if you go too heavy!
The new Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti Age Serum is a really interesting combination of skincare and self tanner. It has a gorgeous silky texture, and smells really nice when you apply too. So no fear of the dreaded self tan smell. The smell is a sort of sweet/fresh scent. It can be applied under a moisturiser like a regular serum or used over night if you prefer. I find it gives a natural, subtle glow that’s not too strong – but you can use repeatedly if you want a more intense tan over time. I like face products to be more on the subtle but buildable side rather than a ‘one colour suits all’ approach. It’s one you don’t need to be scared of and with the combined skincare means no more dried out skin from self tans that I find can be alcohol heavy.
Both before and after shots above are make-up free as I didn’t want to distort the photo with foundation or base.
Overall, I guess the best thing about getting back on the tanning wagon was being asked if I’d been on holiday as I looked really well when I saw some friends I haven’t seen for a while. I have looked all over and can’t find any of my usual tell-tale signs of a slight tan fail (they happen to all of us!) apart from maybe a patch I couldn’t reach on my back! Hands and wrists are line free and even. My new trick – something I haven’t tried before – is to use a face or baby wipe over areas of dryness to remove any excess. This seems to have worked a treat on my usually dark elbows/knees and feet and backs of hands. Definitely something I’ll be doing in future.
I’m loving having a glow back, and after putting in the important prep work I feel like it’s something more straightforward to maintain! Now, just to keep it up for my next holiday where I definitely want a bit of a glow before grabbing some last moment Summer sun!
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