Brought to you by Bright Bar.
This week, I'm all about CONFIDENCE! I'm focusing on believing in myself and doing all that I can to be the most confident version of myself. High on my list of confidence boosters are SPRAY TANS! While I'm a big advocate for do-it-yourself tanning (helpful hints here), I've found something very special in Boston's newest spray tan boutique Bright Bar. Alex Post and her group of spray tan experts do an amazing job at customizing your glow just for you, and take the time with each client to make sure your spray meets your needs - once, Alex even sent me home with a bottle of tan eraser (for months of orange buildup) the day before a tan to ensure my tan the next day was flawless.
Alex provides each clients with tips and tricks for prepping and maintaining a flawless spray tan for weeks. I'm excited to share them with you today!
preparing for a spray tan
The Night Before:
Going to your appointment:
post spray tan
Spring Break is here! I had the most fab spring break trip to the Caribbean (read about it here!). When I was planning my trip, one of the things I was most excited for was shopping for and wearing new bathing suits :D I’m excited to share my top picks from my trip, especially because I consider myself to be a budget shopper and was able to keep my swimsuit purchase total under $200. Where do you shop for bathing suits? Let me know in the comments below.
Top Pick: ASOS Accesorize Glitter Thread Bikini ($29 USD) and Tie Bottom ($27 USD) in Cinnamon
This was one of my favorite bathing suits of all time! This cinnamon color is truly universally flattering and the material has gold threads woven into it. It’s an adjustable bikini, which lends to it’s perfect fit, and is super soft. I love the gold beads and tassle ties, which give some added spice to the bathing suit. This is a must-buy!
ASOS Design Recycled Wrap Bikini ($14 USD) and Hipster Bikini Bottom ($16 USD) in Tropical Fruit Print
Nothing screams VACATION like a bathing suit covered in tropical fruit. This is one funky bathing suit with an ultra-flattering adjustable wrap bikini top and hipster bottoms. The price is the sweetest part of this deal, coming in at just $30 for the set.
ASOS Design Recycled Mix and Match Underwired Bikini ($23 USD) and V Front High Leg Bikini Bottom ($13 USD) in Black
To me, there is nothing sexier than a gorgeous, classic, black bikini. I love this top with underwire because it gives me a little bit of a lift. The bottom was completely out of my comfort zone – super high legged in the front and the back with a V waistline, but it totally worked. The V front is very flattering and hides the stubborn lower belly fat, and the back shows off that perfect bum. I highly recommend this mix-match duo.
Target One Shoulder Bralette Bikini ($15 USD) and High Leg Scoop Bikini Bottom ($15 USD) in Red
This bikini is an elevated version of your high school lifeguard bikini. The red is super bright and looks great against sun-kissed skin. I love the one shoulder top, although it leads to non-ideal tan lanes, and the high leg bottom perfectly extenuates curves. I was surprised (in a good way) at the quality of the material and loved wearing this buttery-soft set all day.
Target Clasp Front Triangle Bikini ($15 US) and Hipster Bottom ($15 USD) in White
This set from Target is another timeless piece to add to your vacation wardrobe. White looks good in all settings, but it looked especially chic on a catamaran surrounded by turquoise blue waters. This suit was not the most flattering piece I purchased, but stayed in place well as I snorkeled, swam and lounged all day. I recommend it for a versatile piece to keep in your closet.
I love wearing makeup and wear it almost every day of the week (I always make a point to go makeup free one day a week!). I use the same staples every day because I've found some products I really love, and find they can be used to create both casual and fancy looks. What are your staples? Let me know in the comments!
I love Urban Decay's eye products. I love all their Naked palettes but have been using the Born to Run eye shadow palette lately because of the range of shades and textures. I find the shadows to be extremely durable and blendable. Any shimmery shades stay on your eyelids and doesn't run down the rest of your face like many other eye shadows I've used.
I also love Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black). It goes on super creamy, is easy to blend and is truly long lasting. I refuse to wear any other eye liner!
I don't use mascara because of my fab eyelash extensions, thanks to CRK Beauty. I swear by them, but more on that to come later.
I love Make Up For Ever products for my face. I use their Ultra HD Foundation in Y325, which matches my self-tan perfectly, and the Full Cover Concealer in Vanilla 5. I apply both products with my fingers to make sure i'm filling in all crevices and covering all blemishes. I use the concealer first on my under eyes, bridge of my nose, middle of my forehead, top of my lip and middle of my chin and then blend the foundation over it. I find that it lasts on my skin all day but doesn't cause breakouts, which is really important to me since I wear heavy makeup 3-4 times a week. My go-to skincare lady has even recommended them to me as the best products to use for your skin!
I am obsessed with Bite Beauty's Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glace and wear it almost every day. It stays on perfectly for hours, and also plumps and moisturizes my lips. Sometimes when I wear it, people ask if I've gotten my lips done because it does such a great job at making them full :D It doesn't crack or flake like other matte lip products I've used, and matches my skin as a bold neutral color. I couldn't recommend this more.
Winter is here and it is here to stay (yuck!). For me, there is no better or quicker mid-winter confidence boost than a gorgeous, bronzed tan. As a dancer, I don’t like performing without a tan and I’ve tried so many products and methods over the years to stay a consistent golden color during the winter. Below, you’ll find my top three picks for sunless tanning.
best organic self-tan: Isle of Paradise products
Isle of Paradise Self- Tanning Mousse ($29 at Sephora) Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water ($28 at Sephora) and Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops ($29 at Sephora)
God, I love this stuff. I use Isle of Paradise products two-three times a week. I love them because they are cruelty-free, 100 percent vegan and organic, and are made using certified organic, non-sensitizing and hypoallergenic ingredients. And the best part is that this product doesn’t leave you feeling sticky or with that awful drugstore-brand tan smell.
I like to have a deep tan, so I use the purple/dark products in both of these. For a more natural tan, I recommend using green/medium or peach/light products.
How I apply:
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Mousse
The night before game days, I shower, shave and dry off. I typically start the process with my back. I put two pumps of mousse on a tanning mit (like this one) and rub the tanner in gently, in circular motions. I move to my arms, torso and then down to my legs. For each part of my body, I use two more pumps of tanner. This stuff is great because it's pigmented so you can see any spots you've missed. Make sure to pay special attention to any crevices (hate that word) to ensure the tanner is applied evenly - this includes elbows, armpits, under-butt, etc. I don't usually put this on my face and instead use the self-tanning drops (below) mixed with my moisturizer. Once it's fully applied, I wait 20-30 minutes to put on loose PJs and then hop into bed. When I wake up the next morning, I typically apply lotion mixed with Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops to make sure any streaks or spots I've missed are fully blended.
This bottle tends to last about 10-15 uses for me.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water
The application process for the self-tanning water is very similar to mousse. I spray the water all over my body until it is really saturated, and gently rub it in, in circular motions with a tanning mitt. It is possible to spray your back on your own, but it’s easier if you have a friend help you. I do not spray this on my face. After it’s on, I usually wait 20-30 minutes to put my pjs on (wear loose clothing!) and then hop into bed. I never have problems with it rubbing off in my sleep, but do notice an occasional spot on my sheets. They always come off in the wash and are never permanent.
This bottle tends to last about 8 uses for me.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops
I love to use Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops on my face to keep up a bright complexion. After I wash and dry my face, I’ll drop about 5 drops into my moisturizer and massage it into my face. I always avoid my eyelids and lips. Don’t forget your neck too!
I also use Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops to maintain a self-tan or an airbrush tan. 1-2 days after I’ve used the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water, I will mix 8-10 drops into every pump of lotion and moisturize my entire body with it. This will ensure that your tan does not crack or fade over time.
This bottle tends to last about 10 uses for me.
Best Custom Airbrush TaN: nATURAL gLOW
Natural Glow, 142 Commercial Street, Boston’s North End
This is my love letter to Natural Glow. The ladies at Natural Glow will give you the perfect tan for any special occasion or event you have. They customize the color and richness of your tan based on your natural skin color and desired tan color and will contour your body with the spray (hello abs!). I’ve used them for every audition, pageant, wedding or just-because event I’ve had in my life, and you should too.
Full Body Spray: $50, with free face touch ups within 1 week
Natural Glow’s recommended tanning tips:
Best “I have 24 hours to get tan” Tan: St. Tropez Self-Tan Extra dark bronzing mousse
St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse ($45 at Sephora) and Tan Applicator Mitt ($6.50 at Sephora)
This has been a staple of mine for years. Any time I need to get really tan, really fast, I turn to St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse. I use it very similarly to the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water spray and am able to get a "one week in the Caribbean" tan by the next morning.
How I apply:
As I mentioned above, I always shower, shave and dry off before tanning. I put two-three pumps of mousse on a tanning mit and rub it over my body in circular motions. Because the mousse is really dark, you can see all the spots you’ve missed. I do not apply this to my face, but instead use Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops and darker foundation to match the tan on my body.
Warning: If you are using this product before bed, give it extra time to dry as it will transfer to your sheets. Always wear loose clothing after tanning regardless of the activity you’re doing.
This bottle tends to last about 10 uses for me.
Which self-tan do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!