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]

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!