HTLYT How-To: Apply Sunless Tanner

I’m firmly into 25 now which means my life is comprised of exhaustion, existential panic, and riced cauliflower substitutes for all the foods I love. The riced cauliflower is part of my increasing need to ‘be healthy,’ something that seems to grow with every passing year. It’s compounded by the fact I now have two small people who rely on me for basic things like shelter, sustenance, and Snapchatting dog ears onto them.

Like it or not, we’re all getting older. Even you, dude. And while your twenties is by no means old – we’re the youth, we’re still the future, we are the tastemakers and Millennials and closeted Directioners your parents warned you about – it is still brushing up on thirty, which is one step closer to forty, and after that is fifty and, well, you’re basically sitting in Death’s lap at that point. That’s why we’ve got to start taking care of ourselves now, so we can live to be 180 and maybe then see our first female president!

There are dozens of simple ways to better your health such as cleaning up your diet , exercising regularly, or unfollowing the Jenners on Instagram. The one I want to focus on today is tanning – specifically, how you shouldn’t lay out in the sun for hours at a time because cancer, or how you absolutely shouldn’t use sunbeds because supercancer.

This is why I finally gave sunless tanner a try, and here is what I learned.

1. Don’t cheap out on your tanner

I’ve tried sunless tanner before but never properly – it was always little test streaks on my upper thigh where they’d show up super orangey and gross. That was because I was in college and all I could afford was dirt-cheap nonsense. Now that I’m a grown up (and I got a gift card for Christmas, holla) I was able to buy a more high-end brand, and it makes a humongous difference.

I used St. Tropez sunless tanning, specifically this kit which it has everything you need from prep to upkeep. Not only that, but the color came out super bronzey and natural on me – it legit looked like I’d been in the sun for a week as opposed to what had actually happened (me, tearfully contorting my body under unflattering fluorescent lights for a full hour).

I looked just like this, except with twenty more pounds and two hundred percent more rage.

2. Don’t go it alone

Maybe you’re more flexible than I am. Maybe you just have unfairly long arms. If that’s the case, ignore this tip – you’ve clearly got this handled.

If, however, you’re a Regular Person, wait until you have help. I say this only because I still have a large pale patch on the very center of my back sort of shaped like Texas. No amount of twisting, bending, or even lying the mitt on the ground and attempting to lie down on top of it could reach it. And on that note –

3. Use a mitt

If you do it with your naked hands you’re gonna look like you’ve got vitiligo, and not the hot kind. Just buy a damn mitt, you cheapskate. It’s 2018, we’re treating ourselves now.

4. MOISTURIZE

MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE. Everything, preferably, but make sure to get your knees and elbows and all the other weird, knobby parts of your body that tend to get all flaky and gross. Also, if you have other weird knobby parts on you besides your elbows and knees, please keep that to yourself.

5. Pay attention to hands and feet

I’d give my first-ever self-tanning experience a solid 4/5, with a whole point docked for hands and feet. I didn’t really think about how I should get in between my fingers and toes, so now my hands and feet look hilariously multicolored, with pale strips in between my digits and then like, a casual dusting of brown along the tops.

ALSO – as you put the self-tanner on your hands, BEND YOUR FINGERS. The creases in my knuckles are so pale and it looks so dumb and oh my god honestly, abort, abort, it’s just so bad. Learn from my mistakes. Be better than me. Glow forth and tan.

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