Happy Friday Eve, my loves! And thanks for stopping on by :)

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Oh, the art of self-tanning. I call it an art, because you really have to have the right formula of lotion/mousse and supplies for it to turn out flawlessly. Self-tanning intimidated me for many years, but I think I've finally mastered it. I wanted to share a quick review of my favorite self-tanners to keep you bronzed through the upcoming fall/winter months.

Over the past few years, I have become a strong advocate for sunscreen and protecting your skin. Growing up, my parents always told me how important it is to put on sunscreen, but we all know we want that beautiful summer "glow". Me and my girlfriends would have contests to see who could get the darkest tan each summer, and looking back, I was the winner more times than I would prefer now. SUN DAMAGE CENTRAL. 

Speaking of sun damage, a few years ago, Carl Michael took me to the spa for my birthday. I went in to get my facial, and I was shocked with what I left knowing. During my facial, the facialist put a special light on my face so that she could see spots where I wasn't moisturizing enough, that were sun damaged, etc. She gave me a mirror to take a peek and I was amazed (in a bad way) by what I saw. There were sunspots literally covering my face. The sun spots weren't visible to the naked eye, but they were definitely there. I left there promising myself I would never lay in another tanning bed again and that I would lather up with the SPF if I were to be in the sun at all. 

So I stopped for a while. I cringe even saying this, but I had been using tanning beds on and off since my senior year of high school (so about 8 years.. ick). When I got engaged, I obviously wanted to look my best for the wedding, so I started up with the tanning again for a few months, but promised myself again that I would quit after the wedding. So after my wedding in 2016, I cancelled my membership and quit "cold turkey". I was just fine with it for a few months - I didn't have the hassle of going, I was saving money, and I was treating my skin better. But then winter rolled around, and y'all, I swear I was transparent. Never in my life had I been so pale and I just couldn't stand it. I tried spray tanning a few times and for some reason, that always ended up in a disaster. My boss even told me I looked like an orange "oompa-loompa" from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory once... hahaha! So yeah, you get the picture. 

I had never used a sunless tanners before besides this Jergen's Gradual Tanner, and honestly, they intimidated me . I tried the St. Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan first, but wasn't impressed. I then decided one day to run to Sephora and grab the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse and the St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt and just go for it. I mean, what's the worst that could happen... I turn orange like an oompa loompa again?! At least it fades after a few days...right? The sweet lady who helped me at Sephora told me that using a mitt is key to getting the even, streak-free tan you want, and she was right. The mitt is KEY, y'all! I personally prefer the mousse because I think that it's easier to apply without getting that streaky look. I also love their express formula - you apply, leave for 1-3 hours depending on the color you desire, and rinse it off in the shower. It gives me the perfect glowing color without looking fake. Simply put, I'm in love with this product.

Tanceuticals gifted me with their Body + Face Self Tanning Kit this summer, and it's also become one of my favorites! The formula smells like summer - I could smell it through the box when it arrived on my doorstep. This is a big deal for me, because I cannot stand that self-tanner smell that so many products have. This one is in a lotion formula that you leave on overnight, but they also have a mousse formula. The color turns out really pretty without the orange look. I definitely recommend this product, and they're currently having a sale, making the kit $46 (normally $68). 

As far as sun damage on my face, I have had a few sessions of the SkinPen Microneedling procedure done by my dermatologist. I could definitely see an improvement in the overall smoothness of my face. It helps with fine lines, wrinkles and scars. I was honestly trying to get rid of my acne scars more than anything, but was very please with the overall results. Moral of the story - PROTECT YOUR FACE! You should be wearing sunscreen under your makeup every single day. Once the damage is done, it's very hard, if not possible, to reverse. Not to mention you're putting yourself at risk for cancer.

Alright, I'm done preaching :) I hope you are all having a great week so far - and we're almost to the weekend! Happy Thursday!