8 Tips For Self-Tanning Your Face So Your Glow Looks Totally Natural

You've finally gotten the hang of self-tanning your body. You hardly ever end up with orange wrists anymore. But when it comes to your face... well that can be a little tricky. That's where these tips for self-tanning your face come in. Because it's one thing to try and hide streaky ankles and elbows, but it's a little more difficult to conceal mistakes on your face. And it's not exactly good for your skin to go in and try to exfoliate away a bad tan on day one.

The good news, though, is that self-tanning your face isn't that much different from self-tanning your body. You'll generally take the same sort of precautions as you would tanning your arms and legs, just with a smaller, more detailed area. The real issues come with how dark of a color you should choose compared to your body, and what to do with those weird borders like your eyebrows and hairline. But fear not. There are ways to make a faux tan look totally natural. So you nail a self-tanned face every time, here are eight tips to keep you from ending up with a streaky, orange mug.

1. Choose The Right Formula

Tarte Brazilliance Self-Tanning Face Towelettes, $10, Amazon

First things first: It's important to choose the right formula of self-tanner for your face. Especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, it's good to go for a tanner made specifically for the face. Also be sure to check the ingredients list so you know if there are any that will cause irritation. As far as color goes, shoot for something slightly lighter than you think you need. Your face doesn't have to perfectly match your body, and it may even appear more unnatural if it does. If you're worried about over-doing it, try a gradual tanner so you can work your way up a bronze you love.

2. Finish Eating First

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $26, A mazon

You can mess up the tan around your mouth if you eat, drink, or brush your teeth right after applying it. So make sure you've taken care of everything you need to before applying your face tan so as to prevent accidentally rubbing any of it off.

3. Exfoliate

Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer, $8, Amazon

Just like you would your body, remember to exfoliate your face before applying a sunless tanner. A gentle exfoliator will help slough off dead skin cells and even the texture of your skin without irritating it so your tanner will go on more smoothly and evenly.

4. Use An Ice Cube

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals Self Tanning Bronzing Minerals, $45, Amazon

Celebrity skin-finishing expert, James Read, shared this (literally) cool tip with Imabeautygeek.com: Run an ice cube over your skin before starting your sunless tan. Even though it may sound a little crazy, the colder temperature will help temporarily tighten your pores so self-tanner doesn't settle into them and cause uneven spots.

5. Moisturize Delicate Areas

Clinique Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion, $31, A mazon

Just as you would apply moisturizer to dryer areas like elbows and knees before self-tanning your body, you should do the same with key areas around your face. Moisturize around your nose, eyebrows, and hairline so none of these places turn orange and so your hair doesn't accidentally become dyed from the tanner (which could happen if you have blonde or light hair).

6. Don't Forget The Ears

Tan Towel Face Tan 15 Pack, $30, Amazon

When you self-tan your face, you actually have to go a little beyond, say, where you might normally apply makeup for the tan to appear natural. Make sure to buff it into your hairline (after applying some moisturizer there first), down your neck, and even onto and around your ears so that everything looks seamless.

7. Blend, Blend, Blend

Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Face Oil, $50, Amazon

So you're not left with any weird, orange streaks, blend until your tanner is perfectly buffed into your skin, and then blend a little more. Especially if you use your fingers, be sure to wash your hands immediately after you finish applying tanner so you won't be left with orange palms. If you don't like using your hands though, try a face mitt or a foundation buffing brush to make sure everything is properly blended and streak-free.

8. Practice After-Care

James Read Self Tan Express Glow Mask Face, $38, Amazon

To make sure your tan fades evenly instead of looking splotchy, it's important to keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing every day. Also avoid using exfoliating treatments like topical acne medications and retinol. When you're ready to remove or touch up your tan, use a gentle exfoliator to help scrub away what's left of your tan.

No one will be able to tell you didn't just come back from a tropical vacay.

Images: Courtesy of Brands