Beauty / Be The Bombshell: Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners

Be The Bombshell: Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners

Beauty Aug 06, 2019

Looking bronze is a natural extension our natural brown beauty … forget what your aunties are thinking, this is the perfect time to really embrace the sunkissed look. We found that these self tanners are perfectly suited to enhance what we already possess in beautiful abundance (our gorgeous brown skin!).

 

THE AUNTIE’S DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT

While Coco Chanel taught the world to embrace the bronze goddess look, our aunties taught us to fear the sun. Apparently looking tan, i.e. dark, is unattractive and should be avoided at all costs. I find the concept equal parts sad and odd because South Asian women are renowned for their lovely skin tones which tend to lean more towards tan than not, and to not embrace our shades is to deny our own beauty.

MY PERSONAL BATTLE WITH UNEVEN SKIN TONE 

As someone whose medium-olive skin becomes itchy and red  in the sun, the idea of having a tan body was always an alien concept. Like many South Asian beauties I was admonished from playing in the sun lest I become too dark. However past childhood, the excessive tanning concern gave way to my skin just not reacting well to the sun.

Each summer, I lament the uneven skin tone of my body. I used to avoid wearing skirts because my knees are hyper pigmented. Consequently, by the end of summer, I would have darkened feet, which resembled brown socks on a pair of pale legs.  The contrast is strikingly unattractive because my legs have a few spider veins, and the line of my legs are broken first by my knees and then by my feet.

I face the same issue with my face and neck which sit atop my cleavage area which is significantly paler. The contrast is such that you can cordon off sections of my body between tanned and no sun.

Recently, I decided to embrace wearing skirts again but I do not have the patience to apply full coverage makeup to my knees every morning. I also want to wear more open tops because I am tired of being self conscious about my body’s variety of skin tones. I reflected on what a South Asian beauty can do to create an overall more even skin tone with minimal effort, and then I realiZed that self tanners are the answer.

SELF TANNERS TO THE RESCUE

Self tanners have the ability to darken the skin ever so slightly so that you looked sun kissed overall.  The technology has come a long way from the smelly, orange liquids of the eighties and I am pleased to report that there are products that work on South Asian skin tones.

EXFOLIATION—HOW TO DO IT RIGHT 

To achieve an overall uniform skin tone the first step is to exfoliate the skin (check out our exfoliation tips right here) so that the product is absorbed by fresh skin and will not pill off or create a splotchy pattern. Remember that if you shave your legs, that is the equivalent of an intense exfoliation, so you can forgo the dry brushing or scrubs for that area.  For the chest, even though the skin is delicate, I recommend using a dry brush to lift away the dead skin cells.

MOISTURIZE THE BASE

The next step is to build a moisturized base because having dry skin that is also tanned is an unflattering combination.  I suggest using a hydrating body wash such as Arbonne Botaniques Papaya Body Wash.  The scent evokes the tropics and its combination of  shea butter extract, lavender, and cocamide mipa (created from coconut acid) leaves the skin soft.

 

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: Arbonne Botaniques Papaya Body Wash. Photo Credit: www.arbonne.com

 

THE TRUTH IS—SELF TANNERS ROCK

I then build atop this moisturized base by massaging in a dry oil such as Avène Skin Care Oil because it is gentle; rapidly absorbed by the skin; and creates a silky finish.

 

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: Avène Skin Care Oil. Photo Credit: www.eau-thermale-avene.ca

 

I wait for a few minutes and I then make my legs match my feet by applying a self-tanning mousse such as St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse Classic using the specialised Tan Applicator Mitt.

 

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse Classic. Photo Credit: www.sttropeztan.com

 

After vigorously shaking the bottle, I place the mitt on left hand and pump a dollop of product onto it. The mousse comes out a soft coffee brown, and the mitt is instrumental in my being able to massage it evenly into the skin, using broad strokes from the ankle up to my hips.

 

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: Tan Applicator Mitt. Photo Credit: www.sttropeztan.com

 

I make sure to apply one layer to each section of my legs (I avoid the knees), which requires a few dollops of product. I stand for 90 seconds, making sure that the mousse dries and then put on my pyjamas.

I confirm that my favourite pyjamas and bed sheets did not have any self tanner stains after my first attempt.  I was delighted when I woke up the following morning and observed that my feet and legs looked more similar in skin tone, and I gladly wore a skirt.  I was also happy that my spider veins were somewhat disguised by the mousse..

I was a tad nervous about doing a hot yoga class because I thought that the product would sweat off. My nervousness was unfounded as my legs looked tan and chic while my mat looked sweaty, not brown.

I noted that after two days, I needed to apply another thin layer of the mousse because when you shave your legs and wash your body, the skin cells are removed and fade the colour. The second application was as successful as the first one, and I truly feel more confident  wearing skirts.

Another means of building up a “soft tan” is to use a spray such as the Guerlain Terracotta Sunless Heavenly Bronzing Mist.

 

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: Guerlain Terracotta Sunless Heavenly Bronzing Mist. Photo Credit: www.guerlain.com

 

I prefer this method for the chest area because the product’s Tiare flower  and vanilla serve as a perfect fragrance; and the spray method is subtle.  I will never forget my friends’ mothers who baked their skin to achieve a uniform tanned look, and it was equal parts unnatural and unforgettable.

The reality is that the body, like the face, is not a uniform colour, so creating an overall sun kissed glow is achievable and looks real, versus baking the skin or drenching it in product to achieve a single shade.  The cleavage is a delicate area and demands gentle treatment.  I love how the product lands evenly on the skin and within a few minutes what is an expanse of skin the colour of dry hay, is transformed into a soft, light caramel.  I am amazed by my confidence because when I apply my make-up, and wear an open top, I do not perceive the tan versus no sun area.  What I see is a natural gradation of colour, and it is the perfect sun kiss.

 

NEVER FORGET THE HIGHLIGHT

For evenings, I like to enhance my body beauty by playing with highlights on key areas of my sun kissed body.  I take a shimmer cream such as Charlotte Tilbury Super Model Body and use the roller applicator on areas such as the clavicles to attract light to the area.  I then tap the product using my fingers to make it diffuse and to create the illusion of lit-from-within-skin.  I repeat this trick on my shinbone which brings my legs into a nice focus while drawing attention away from my knees.   Shimmer, like  the pale highlighter for the face, can be strobed to bring out the parts of the body that you love.

Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners
Ignore The Aunties And Let Your Brown Hue Glow With These Self Tanners: Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body shimmer cream. Photo Credit: www.charlottetilbury.com

 

BRONZED THOUGHTS

Going forward, there is no way that I will ever overlook self tanner when considering how to make my body glow like that of and  bronze goddess. The steps are simple: exfoliate, hydrate, apply, wait, highlight if you wish, and then go celebrate your brownness.

 

 

 

Meena Khan

Meena Khan

Author

Meena (@meenalaregina) always loved the idea of exploring the non-conventional idea of beauty. Having grown up as a pimply chubby teenager, she wanted to see the change in the world that best reflected your uniqueness as well. Her well-received collection of blogs where she tries on various beauty p...

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