I am so good at covering up tan lines and faking tans in general that one Halloween I felt the need to put my skills to extreme and creative use by going out to a costume party dressed up as Tanning Mom. Unfortunately for me, my costume was immediately misinterpreted as a Beyoncé impersonation, which was then labelled things like “uncool,” “totally inappropriate” and “possibly racist,” and forced me to leave the party early. I took away a few things from that experience: 1) semi-obscure pop culture references don’t make for the best Halloween costumes; and 2) I’m really amazing at getting head-to-toe coverage when it comes to faking a tan.
This has come in handy for those odd occasions when someone’s asked me to be a bridesmaid, and I’ve had to cover up my bikini straps. And I know these skills are going to come in handy when Tanning Mom and I eventually launch our all girls singing group with Snooki called Destiny’s Tan. I will go by the stage name Bronzé, and then and only then will people understand that I was in no way trying to imitate Beyoncé for Halloween. But until then, I’m going to rock summer 2013 looking like a more subtly sun-kissed goddess who tans completely nude. Here are the top tan line mishaps, and how you can cover ’em up…
Nothing sucks more than not applying enough sunscreen, only to have your Ray-Bans brand your face like a prison tattoo. Even Lil Wayne would be like, “Sh*t girl, that looks drastic!” Fortunately, there’s an easy way to even out your tan that doesn’t involve strategically cutting your sheets with eye holes and lying in the park like a lethargic ghost (coincidentally enough, this was my back-up costume that unfortunate Halloween). Bliss’ A Tan For All Seasons is the ultimate light spray tan that is so subtle and top-notch that you can even use it on your face without any worry that it will streak. I can’t rave about this product enough. It’s so light that you can even use it on a daily basis if you want to work up to a darker tan. It will seriously work wonders on an accidental sunglass imprint.
The Sephora store clerks will tell you to spray it into your hands and work it into your skin in a circular motion, but I just spray this baby directly on my face from about 4 inches away and then work it into my skin like I’m applying moisturizer. You don’t have to put it just on the parts you want to darken either. Work it in all over your face, and your tan will even itself out.
Okay, let me start out by saying that some tan lines are ridiculously sexy, like when you’re dressed like a tomboy in boyfriend jeans and an off-the-shoulder T-shirt pretending to be all casual and cool while you secretly know that your string bikini tan lines are putting on a show of their own. All the people around you will be picturing you stripped down and nearly nude in a bikini, and you get bonus hotness points for not dressing like a sex kitten just to get attention. But if you insist on covering them up for, say, a wedding or, like, your first foray into adult film, then there are a few steps you can take.
First off, use a self-tanner that’s known for its amazing coverage. One of my favourites that you can pick up at the drug store is L’Oreal Sublime Bronze. Use an eyeshadow brush to carefully paint the self-tanner just on the places that need to be more tanned. The next morning, see how your tan’s evening out. I would then suggest using a light self-tanner all over your body, like Jergens Natural Glow, if you have about a week’s time to even it. Otherwise, if it’s an emergency, use a bronzing liquid (not an actual self-tanner) to even out your hue for the big day, such as Charlotte Ronson A Summer’s Kissed Face and Body Glow.
One Side of the Legs
I made the great Canadian mistake of spending the first sunny day in Toronto stretched out like a starfish in Trinity Bellwoods Park soaking in the rays like I was some kind of light-starved flower. My friends kept saying, “Dude, you should probably use some of our sunscreen,” but I ignored their concerns. When I got home, I looked like a piece of meat that had only been seared on one side.
I realized that I could either go to my next costume party dressed as a life-sized Mini Wheat, or I could take action immediately with one of my favourite products: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. This stuff is seriously amazing, but you’re going to want to either use a glove to put it on or wash your hands immediately after you apply it. This mousse doesn’t streak, but obviously be careful around parts of your body that naturally wrinkle, like your neck and knee caps. St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Tan Remover also comes in handy if you make a mistake or go too dark in one area. It’s great for covering larger parts of your body like legs and arms, and I often use St. Tropez Bronzing Spray on my face when trying to get a true head-to-toe tan. When I need to even out a tan, I honestly just cover my whole body with it and let, say, the back of my legs look a little darker than the rest. At least this way, you can make up some amazing story to explain your uneven tan, like you were partying on Jay-Z’s yacht in the Mediterranean and just didn’t notice how long you were lying on your stomach because Beyoncé was telling you this adorable story about Blue Ivy, and it’s so easy to let the time just slip away when you’re hanging with your bestie.