Self-tanning season is officially on!

We’re about 6 weeks away from Memorial Day so it’s time start thinking about your skin as an accessory—more specifically, golden, glowing skin that you’ll be baring in the months to come. If you’re thinking that it’s too soon, consider the facts that it can take a little practice to get your self-tanning mojo back, and you don’t want to go out pale and pasty one day and as a bronze bombshell the next.

The key is to start slow since summer doesn’t happen overnight (well, thanks to climate change it just might), and that’s where a gradual self-tanner comes in. I’ve been using St. Tropez’s Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion because it takes a few uses to get your glow on. After three or so easy applications (i.e. slathering it on, standing around for 3 minutes and washing it off), consider yourself ready to rock shorts and skirts. Note to St. Tropez: If you could somehow incorporate a timer into the bottle, that would be a big help.

Once you have your base, you can use a regular self-tanner once or twice a week to maintain your glow. I’m partial to Vita Liberata’s Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Mousse in Medium because it consistently delivers good results. The tinted foam lets you see where you’ve applied (and where you need to blend) and it dries fast so you can get dressed and be on your way.It may not have felt like spring everywhere this weekend (I’m talking to you, Northeast), but the calendar doesn’t lie…

As we all know, self-tanning snafus happen, no matter how careful or experienced you may be. So be sure to have a Bronze Buffer on hand for touch-ups. These reusable sponges wipe away unwanted color instantly so you can say bye-bye to streaks and hello to a flawless, natural-looking tan.

Have you put self-tanning on your calendar yet?

3 self-tanners we're crushing on right now

Labor Day is six weeks out so there’s still plenty of time to get your faux glow on. These days we're all about innovative formulas that take your tanning to the next level, and here are three that we can’t stop thinking about as we head into the homestretch of summer.

St. Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan
Our first foray into in-shower tanning was with Josie Maran’s now-unavailable product. While it was great in concept, the foaming formula had to be applied with a shower pouf, and it was so tinted that it made a big old mess in the shower. Needless to say after much initial excitement, we lost interest after just a few uses.

We decided to revisit this tanning approach when St. Tropez launched their version about a month ago, and boy, what an improvement. Slathering on this white cream is a breeze, and it somehow manages to stay put on wet skin. After applying a layer, simply keep yourself occupied for three minutes and rinse it off, taking care to pat my skin dry rather than rubbing. The only downside about this product is that it’s a gradual tanner, and you may have to use it for a few days straight to see any color payoff. But with that said, it’s a real time saver and we have yet to experience any streaks or mishaps.

Svelta Tan Skin-Perfecting Self-Tanner
Packed with plenty of naturally derived good-for-your-skin ingredients (such as aloe vera, camu camu, green tea leaf extract and sweet almond oil), this tinted self-tanning lotion is the bomb. The instant color is gorgeous (and slightly sparkly) and resulting faux glow is deep and long lasting.

Marula Pure Beauty Oil Bronzing Self-Tan Marula Oil
If you like facial oil and you like facial self-tanners, this product gives you the benefits of both in one. Its base of fast-absorbing, antioxidant-rich marula oil helps shield skin from environmental damage and leaves skin soft, smooth and hydrated—and the subtle tint gives you an instant sun-kissed appearance and deeper color with repeated applications. Full disclosure: We have not tried this yet, but we'll let you know when we do!

The newest self-tanning brand on the block...

Faux tan season is in full swing, and there's a brand-new way to get a gorgeous golden glow. It’s called Madame LA LA, and get ready for it to make a splash here in the U.S.!

Hailing from the U.K. (as most top-notch self-tanning lines do), Madame LA LA delivers deep, dark, rich color—plus myriad other benefits for your skin. First, the tinted mousse lets you see where you’ve applied it so you can blend appropriately, and then it dries quickly so you’re not wasting time waiting to get dressed. The formula is designed to hydrate and nourish skin with coco water extract, aloe vera, green tea and vitamins A and E as color develops over the next three hours—and with proper care your color can last up to 10 days! Even more, this is a great product to use in the morning since it also contains skin-perfecting pigments along with instant color to minimize flaws as you get your glow on. Oh, and there’s absolutely no self-tanner smell, we promise!

We’ve been using Madame LA LA to kick off the week with sunkissed color and we're able to keep it going strong with one application of a gradual self-tanner midweek. So far we haven’t experienced any blotchiness as color fades (if it does, that's where Bronze Buffer comes in!), making this a really low-maintenance way to go for the gold. Keep in mind we’ve been using the original version, but it comes in light as well. (Madame LA LA recently launched the West Coast Face Bronzing Serum, too.)

At the moment you can find Madame LA LA at Nigel Beauty Emporium in Los Angeles, but we have a feeling this bronzing brand is going to be huge here in the States!

Our favorite face self-tanners for summer 2015

Who doesn't want to be beautifully bronzed for Memorial Day weekend?, These products give your face a gorgeous glow no matter how much (or how little) time you have on your side and it’s still early enough to get your mitts on these must-haves, so start shopping!

James Read Express Glow Mask—Face
Sometimes you just gotta glow—and when you don’t have more than a couple of hours until game time, this is the product you need. The lightweight gel absorbs super-fast and delivers a natural looking bronze in just one hour. Wash it off after 30 minutes for subtle sunkissed color or leave it for 60 minutes for a deeper tan.  The color continues to develop even after the mask is washed off, but you can apply makeup and be on your way.

 Vita Liberata Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask
This gradual tanner works while you sleep and delivers a steady dose of hydration, antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients at the same time. Use nightly until you achieve your desired color—and once you get there, you’ll be surprised at how long your faux glow lasts. IBB Tip: Apply to the face, neck and chest for the most natural looking effect.


St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil
If you haven’t jumped on the facial oil bandwagon yet, this is the perfect time to try one. This non-greasy oil delivers a full-on tan with each application minus the self-tanner smell. Offering all of the dewiness and hydration you’ve come to expect from a facial oil, it’s an amazing way to wrap up your nighttime skincare regimen—and start your day with a healthy, bronze glow.

Have you stocked up on your self-tanners for summer? What will you be using?

[This post originally appeared on]

The self-tanners you need this summer

The countdown to Memorial Day is on, and the best accessory for a holiday weekend is a golden glow. I planned this installment of my pre-summer series for today because you’re self-tanning skills may be a bit rusty after the “off season,” but with a little practice this weekend you can get your glow on for next week—and the summer months ahead!

Tropic Spa
Yes, I have a spray tan machine in my house, and frankly, I couldn’t live without it. I’m sure my houseguests are a bit curious about this contraption (which lives in their bathroom), and more than one have asked to use it during their stay. The closest you can get to a salon-based spray-tan booth, the fine mist covers skin from head to toe as you follow the beeps and spin accordingly. Then with a bit of blending afterwards, you have a foolproof faux glow. As an added bonus, you get a touch-up spray with your kit as well, and it’s great for any spots that may get missed during your mist session. 

Xen-Tan Fresh Tanning Mousse
I’m a huge fan of self-tanning mousses because I feel like they’re the easiest to blend and control. Most of the time I like a tinted version so I get instant color, but not so much when I’m tanning at night and have white sheets on my bed. Enter Xen-Tan’s new Fresh Tanning Mousse. You get all the ease of a mousse without the tint so you don’t have to worry about staining your bedding or clothing, plus a light citrusy scent.

Ocean Potion EverGlow Xtreme Self-Tanning Lotion
If you have darker skin, or you just like to go deep (with self-tanning color, that is), this new Ocean Potion lotion (that rhymes!) is a fantastic budget-friendly option. You don’t get all the color at once (which is a good thing in my opinion), but after applying for three days you’ll realize that it might not be possible to get any darker. Of course you can stop beforehand if you achieve your desired color, and I get gorgeous glow after just one session.  

Selfie Tan’N Go Sunless Gradual Tan
Every self-tanning “wardrobe” needs a gradual tanner. Perfect when you have the time to build your bronze, these products are much more difficult to mess up and they also trick you into moisturizing when you otherwise might not. I love Selfie Tan’N Go not only because the name is so darn cute, but because this tanner (as well as their self-tanning spray and wash-off bronzers) has never failed me. And as far as self-tanner scents go, this one is tops!

[This post originally appeared on]

Have you tried Fake Bake yet?

My obsession with self-tanning knows no season, especially since I live in South Florida where a golden glow is a year-round accessory. Fortunately moonlighting as a beauty blogger enables my addiction, as there’s a steady flow of new products coming into my office every week. But new doesn’t always mean better, which is why I decided to introduce you to a line I fell for quite a few years ago, and with the weather warming up, you'll be happy that Fake Bake part of your life. From gradual self-tanners to intense deep tanning creams, here’s the lowdown on my faves...

Platinum Face: Apple stem cells are where it’s at for skin rejuvenation these days, and this facial lotion gives your skin a treat as it tans. We love the tinted formula that gives us instant color.


Bronze on the Glow: When time is of the essence and you just don’t have time for color to develop, this aerosol mist comes to the rescue. An instant bronzer that washes off easily, it also contains cucumber extract to hydrate the skin and antioxidant green tea to help ward off free radical damage.

Tantalizing Self-Tanning Butter: Perfect for dry legs, this super-hydrating cream is rich in skin-soothing shea butter and offers a light tan at the same time. Its sheer bronze color helps you avoid streaks and keeps legs (and anywhere else you use it) smooth and soft all day long.

How to correct common beauty mistakes

Fortunately Bronze Buffer offers a quick fix for self-tan disasters, and Miami dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann offers up these solutions for other common beauty woes in the Miami Herald...

Nobody’s perfect, and we’re all guilty of making beauty blunders on occasion. So long as they aren’t permanent (like silicone injections), here are a few easy fixes that will help you undo the boo-boos and get back on track.

Picked pimples
So you picked a pimple and now you’re left with a scab. To get healing on its way (and prevent infection) apply a topical antibiotic like Polysporin twice a day, and cover the blemish with a good concealer. I like a lightweight formula that doesn’t get cakey, such as M.A.C Select Cover –Up.

Post-waxing burns
The only thing worse than being a hairy mess is getting burned by too-hot wax—but there are a few ways to soothe the discomfort and prevent discoloration. Ask your doctor for a prescription for Xclair. (This is good to have on hand for any type of burn.) You can also break open an aloe plant and apply the gel to your burn as well. Since many skin types are prone to discoloration after burns (or other injuries) heal, make sure to apply at least SPF 30 to the affected area to prevent darkening that can be difficult to fade.

Razor burn
Men and women alike experience uncomfortable irritation after shaving (albeit in different places), but the solution is the same. Wash the affected area with a gentle anti-inflammatory cleanser and apply 2.5% cortisone to soothe the inflammation. If razor burn is a chronic problem for you, consider laser hair removal—or Tria’s at-home system—to prevent the ingrown hairs that lead to irritation.

Streaky self-tanner
Sure, some self-tanners are better than others, but the end result is highly application dependent. Unless you’re a pro (and even professional spray tans can wind up with streaks if you put your clothes on too soon), odds are you’ll end up with color somewhere you don’t want it, like on your palms. Regular self-tanning can also lead to build-up on the knees, ankles and around the feet, and I never really had an easy solution until I discovered Bronze Buffer. Simply wet these little sponges and wipe away streaks—it’s that easy.

A bad haircut
We’ve all been there, but it’s possible to decrease the time you have to live with a bad haircut. Start taking Viviscal (I sell the Professional version in my office and I think it’s more effective than the original) as soon as possible, and pick up 2.5% minoxidil at the drugstore. (It’s sold under the Rogaine brand name, but it’s available as a generic as well.) This combination treatment helps your hair grow faster. 

Professional-grade spray tanning at home!

As the creator of Bronze Buffer, I’m somewhat obsessed with faux tanning--and I’m here to tell you that I found something that changes EVERYTHING. I reserve professional spray tans for special occasions since I’m always trying new products for my daily beauty blog, InsiderBeautyBuzz, but Tropic Spa has created a system that gives all of us the best of both worlds. This at-home mist machine is absolutely brilliant, and this is going to be my go-to for a gorgeous faux glow for the foreseeable future.

A game-changer.

I decided to experiment the same day it arrived on my doorstep, and set up shop in my guest bathroom just in case in turned out to be a big mess (fortunately it didn’t). After spending about 15 minutes putting it together and inserting the tanner-filled aerosol cans, I put a towel on the floor of the shower, hung it over the shower door and adjusted it for my height. Since it was my first time trying it, I committed to following the directions to a tee, hence the plastic gloves and shower cap (I had shower caps on my feet, too)—which are all included with the full system. From there, all I had to do was press the button a few times, and do a little “spin” to make sure the mist covered my entire body (face included). After 12 seconds of mist, I used my hands to rub in the tanner, waited a few minutes for it to dry before putting on my robe, and that was it.

It's not as complicated as it looks.

When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t believe my eyes—or my nose, because there was no self-tanner smell. The results were amazing, and there were only a few spots in need of a touch-up (Bronze Buffer to the rescue). The only thing I’d do different next time would be using one of those velour mitts that come with many self-tanners for blending, rather than the plastic gloves.

The system itself is cordless, but you do need to charge it before the first use. Each set of cans provides 10 tans, and refills for the system (also with 10 tans) will run you $100—a fraction of the price you pay at a salon or spa. The formula itself is only available in one shade, but it was perfect for me. The company suggests tanning every five to seven days, and says that it’s impossible to overdo it, since the color will be the same even if you use it four or five days in a row.

In a nutshell, this is possibly the easiest, most affordable way to rock a gorgeous faux glow year-round. If you’re even slightly into self-tanning, do yourself a favor and buy this system. I already have a list of friends who want to come over and try it out, and I’ll bet (and hope) they get their own after seeing the incredible results for themselves!