xen-tan self tannerRight about now you're probably feeling about as pasty and wan as possible. Cold weather has sapped all moisture out of your skin, and dark days left you down and dreary. You know what you need? Fake bake.

But wait! Nothing is worse than blotchy, poorly applied self-tanner. Follow these tips from Dera Enochson, Tanning Expert and creator of the Xen-Tan, and you will have the best faux-glow in the office.

1. Your Face and Throat
  • First, remember to do your neck and throat!
  • Exfoliate with a scrub or a cleanser and a washcloth to slough off dead skin cells
  • Use a circular motion to skin on face and throat
  • To blend self tanner into your hairline, use your fingertips in an up and down motion to feather into hairline
  • Get instant bronzing and cheek contour by adding a little extra tanner to cheek area

2. Your Body
  • Yes, a tan makes you look slimmer
  • Exfoliate! This makes your tan last longer. Really focus on dry spots like knees and elbows, because self-tanners are absorbed more by drier skin
  • Apply to clean dry skin and always work from the bottom up,
  • Wash hands with soap and water in between applications
  • Use a circular motion to blend
  • Remember your back! Here's an easy way to get those hard to reach spots: take a long flat folded strip of saran wrap, dot self tan lotion in the middle, and while holding the ends, smooth over areas on your back that are out of reach
  • Did you apply too much to wrists or hands? Rub a bit of moisturizer to those areas and blend with arms

3. Tips for Swimming
  • Apply self tan at least one hour before you leave -- the night before is better
  • Apply sun block as soon as you get to the beach, self-tanner doesn't protect you from burns
  • Give your self tan time to develop before you jump in the water
  • Your tan will fade in the water, so keep dips in the pool or ocean to fifteen minutes or less, and gently pat dry instead of rubbing to preserve your tan

4. Flabby buns or tummy?
  • Create the illusion of toned buns or abs by adding a little extra tanner to add depth
  • Fake a fuller bust line by applying more self tanner in your cleavage area

5. Get Your Feet Ready for Sandals
  • Start light and and blend carefully
  • Blend some of your regular body moisturizer around the edges of toes and ankles to prevent dark spots
  • Did you go too far? Just apply a little moisturizer to those areas and blend with legs

Any Mistakes?
  • To rescue orange palms, put a little dishwashing liquid is a bowl of warm water and soak hands for 20 minutes. Dry hands and use rubbing alcohol with cotton balls to see if you can get any excess off. Then use a scrub.
  • For missed spots, use a self tan with dark instant color to fill in.
  • Apply SPF every day - self tanning products do not take the place of sun protection

Want to give these tips a spin with Dera's Xen-Tan line? You can find Xen-Tan at Nordstrom stores, or buy it online from the Xen-Tan site. It comes in liquid, mousse or mist, making it about as easy as possible for you to apply.

Happy "tanning"!