This will be the easiest way to apply and enjoy self tanner that you've ever experienced, I swear.
So everybody hates those orange looking self tanners. Everybody hates how long they take to dry. Everybody hates how your fingers turn orange. Welcome to a new way of thinking about how to artificially tan your face and body with out pain and minimal effort on your part.
No. 1 - always exfoliate before your use a self tanner. This could be a scrub or your clairsonic.
No. 2 - If you want more color - apply right after washing your face. If you just want to dip your toes in the waters of self tanning and get a lighter look, apply over your moisturizers. If you use a serum, I suggest you skip it for that particular evening.
No. 3 - Protect your hair. Pull it off your face. If you happen to have light hair, such as a blonde, use a lip gloss and apply to your hair line to protect your hair from the self tanner. Trust me, your hair and your hair stylist will thank you in the morning.
This is what you'll need: a proven product that will give consistant results. I highly recommend Bare Escentuals Faux Tan - the one in the white bottle, currently $22. I use it in the manner I will describe to you and it has lasted over 8 months. Worthwhile investment for a quality product.
You need a little cup, such as a medicine cup - nothing large.
A medium size facial makeup brush - get a cheep one from the drug store.
I usually wear a tank to apply my self tanner.
After you have your skin prep done, put about a dime size portion of the self tanner into your little cup. Be careful not to put too much in and therefore wasting product.
Take your makeup brush, dip it into the product and apply directly to your face. It initially may look dark and streaky, but here is where your buffing abilities come into play. You need to blend, blend, blend the product until you can see no streaks or marks. I usually carry it down my neck.
Wash your brush and small cup.
How easy was that? No mess, no fuss.
I use a different method: I fell in love with the Body Drench Self Tanner Spray (aprox $20 through your local cosmetologist (I have not found it anywhere in a retail location other than Amazon.com).
During the winter months (yes, I am specifially talking to Seattle here), I only do my chest area and call it good, making sure that I have gotten my neck. No Mess. Done.
Easy enough? Let me know if you have any questions, but I do this a couple of times a week at night and love the results!