Q: "What are your best tips for achieving a camera-ready tan?"
A: "Stay clean, smooth out, get golden for a natural and healthy glow!"
I’m having my first professional fitness photos taken in a month. Can you give me some advice on tanning so I look even and natural? When should I start? How can I make sure I don’t get streaky or overdo it and look like a pumpkin? Thanks!Ellie B., Newark, NJ, Oxygen reader
Stay cleanFirst and foremost, the base for a good tanning experience is a great diet with plenty of water, nutritious food and healthy fats. But, I am assuming you have been all over that!
Smooth outOne to two weeks before your shoot, start using a light loofah and/or a good moisturizing scrub every time you shower. Be sure to gently scrub your back, ankles, neck, chest, knees, belly and elbows well, as these are the places that absorb extra tanner. Don’t forget to apply a good lotion every day up until your shoot.
Getting goldenThe application process does not need to be scary if you have the right tools. It may sound silly, but I swear by using a round, microfiber car wax applicator to apply my tan. TIP: When applying tanner, wear rubber gloves so you down have orange hands for a week!
My Personal Faves: Jan Tana's Hi-Definition Color Collection and Dream Tan’s Bronze Angel.
Step 1: On the day of the shoot, shower, exfoliate, moisturize lightly (make sure you’re using the same brand as your self-tanner) and make sure the lotion is completely dry before applying the tanner.
Step 2: Put on your rubber gloves. Take the microfiber applicator and spritz a few sprays of your product on there.
Step 3: Start applying the product to chest and arms in a circular motion, until all streaks and lines are gone. Continue this process until your entire body is covered. If you have any dark spots, take a pea-sized dollop of the moisturizing lotion and apply it to the area. This should also take care of any streaks or blotches. Do not do this after the tan is dry! When you are satisfied with your application, let this coat dry. At that point, assess if you are dark enough. If not, apply another coat. Remember that the lights for a shoot are very harsh, so you will need to look nice and bronzed in order for it to pick up on camera.
Helpful hints:Do not apply tanner to your face. You must only use makeup for your face, and for this, you can go to your local makeup store and have them match a color to a “test patch” on your arm.
Do a test run. Practice applying your tan in advance to make sure the color and product works for you.
Good luck Ellie, and remember: the most important part of a great photo shoot is to let go, relax and enjoy every minute of your hard work!
Expert answer by:
Personal Trainer/Nutritional Consultant and Oxygen Cover Girl
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. Oxygen magazine, Robert Kennedy Publishing and it's related properties are not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.
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