Glow Baby

    Summer is right around the corner. We're pulling out our swimsuits, flip flops, maxi-dresses and summer wear from our closets. We're lightening our hair, making sure our toes are in tip-top shape and getting rid of those pesky body hairs we ignore in the winter months (all you girls know exactly what I'm taking about). We're even upping our work outs in the gym to flaunt the fruits of our labor on the beach. To be sun-kissed and tanned with a healthy glow is what we dream about leading up to those summer days. But those harmful rays, while providing a beautiful color to our otherwise non-tanned skin (unless you're from the Jersey Shore), can cause damage to your skin down the road.

    I have here some beauty tricks to get the look of sun-kissed beautiful glowing skin without having to suffer the lobster burns of the glorious sun. It involves exfoliation, sun-less tanning products, and makeup highlighters and primers to provide a gorgeous healthy glow.

    1-Start with exfoliating your face and body in the shower. Use a different exfoliant for your face and body as body exfoliants are often grainier in texture and too rough for the face. Some suggested exfoliants are: Face- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($$$), Kiehl's Pineapple Papaya Scrub ($$), St. Ives Apricot Scrub ($). Body- Chanel Body Excellence Revitalizing Scrub ($$$), The Body Shop Coconut Scrub ($$), Dove Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash ($). Exfoliating will provide a smooth surface and assist in an even application of sunless tanning lotion all over. Pay close attention when exfoliating your elbows and knees!

    2-Do not moisturize your skin prior to applying your sunless tanning lotion. Moisturizer will not allow the lotion to adhere to the skin properly and can cause streaking. Make sure you follow the instructions when apply self-tanner (sunless tanning) but key points to remember are : a) give yourself time for the self-tanner to dry (depending on which you use, there are different drying times) b) even strokes will allow for an even tan c) less is more on your hands and feet d) you face should be 1 shade lighter than the rest of your body if not evenly dispersed, not darker. Some great self-tanners are: Lancome Flash Bronzer ($$) St. Tropez ($$), L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ($). It's suggested that you give yourself ample time to dry and set the self-tanner. Once set, then you can moisturize gently but remember, if you exfoliate again or wash with a loofah, the self-tan will not last as long.

    3-To prep your makeup for a gorgeous glow, start my applying an illuminating primer. Benefit's Girl meets Pearl will give your skin a gorgeous all over glow. If you want to forgo the primer but still achieve that dewy look, Lancome's Eclat Miracle can be used as both a primer and as a highlighter for the face. Apply to the temples and down towards the cheeks, down the bridge of the nose and even on the apples of your cheeks to get a luminous glow.

    4-The next step would be your makeup application. You can do what you normally do or if you'd like further continue with your bronzed goddess look, make sure you apply a highlight shade of eyeshadow on your eye : MAC's Shroom is gorgeous. Line your eyes with a bronze-brown pencil, try Lancome's Le Stylo Waterproof in Bronze, two coats of a volumizing mascara, try L'Oreal's Voluminous ($), Covergirl Lash Blast ($), Lancome Hypnose Drama ($$) or Dior DiorShow ($$). If you're going to be poolside and possibly get thrown in the water, make sure you buy waterproof formulas! Add a bit of cheek color, here you could add a cheek stain ( Tarte), a cream blush (Stila) or a bronzing powder (Nars). I would suggest do your cheeks based on how you're feeling...if you feel fun and flirty, apply some color, if you're thinking sexy and smoldering, apply some bronzer, or if you're feeling fun, flirty, sexy and smoldering, apply a cheek color and bronzer! And finally we end with our lip color. This is where you have tons of choices. You can do a lipgloss, a lip stain, lipstick, nude lip, anything goes. I also like to end with a bit of gloss so here are some of my favorites: Nars Lipgloss in Orgasm ($$), Stila Lipglaze in Apricot ($$), and Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer ($$).

    One extra bonus step to give that touchable shimmery skin: Benefit's Bathina Take a Picture it Last's Longer gives a hint of shimmer with a beautiful scent that leaves your skin supremely soft.

    Some tousled hair, a maxi dress, gorgeous espandrilles or flip flops and're a sungoddess with glowing skin without suffering in the sun.

    **no endorsements implied**

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