Achieving a streak-free sunless tan? It’s no easy feat. We’ve all made the rookie mistakes that result in orange hands or splotchy knees. But, as an avid collector of these products – with a strict UV-free policy – I have created a system to swear by. For best results, start the process before you head to bed and then shower in the morning.

BLG-Sun

1. Exfoliate. Shave your legs. Then scrub with bath salts. A smooth surface is essential.

2. Moisturize. Any lotion will do. Dry skin will cause your sunless tan to flake sooner rather than later. Wait 5 – 8 minutes for the lotion to dry.

3. Apply tanning lotion with gloves. (If you choose not to use gloves, be sure to wash your hands with scrubbing salts when you’re finished.) Using both hands, massage the lotion in a circular motion. Start above your ankles and work your way up. Ask a friend to help with your back. Areas to skip for now: feet, ankles, knees, elbows, neck, face. Let the tanning lotion dry completely before continuing.

4. Once the lotion is dry, use a tanning spray held 4 – 6 inches from your body to lightly sweep over your legs, midsection, arms, back, and the areas you skipped in step 3 (except your face). This will cover any spots missed by the lotion. Let it dry for 5 – 10 minutes before bed.

5. To add a little color to your face, incorporate bronzer into your makeup routine. Or, use a dab of face tanning lotion and mix it into your moisturizer or liquid concealer.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Questions? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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May 29, 2013