Three bottles of Chocolate Sun tanning creams and gels, white, brown and pink, with a Board Editor-Approved stamp

Summer is nearing it’s sweet end. But who says your golden glow has got to go? We’re obsessed with our results from a recent visit to the Chocolate Sun studio here in Santa Monica, California. If you’re not an LA local, good news: Chocolate Sun bottles their pure and simple sunless tanning formula so folks can get their hands on it anywhere!

We asked the ladies of Chocolate Sun to share their secrets to a perfect sunless tan application (heading into the studio for their custom, hand-sprayed application is our first choice!) and we’re sharing their response. Warning: these girls mean business when it comes to the perfect tan. We’re sharing every last one of their over 20 tips, leaving nothing out! Pick and choose the pointers you need and get to glowing!

Applying a sunless tanning product takes practice. The following techniques work no matter where you find yourself: home, hotel , dorm, or your best friend’s bathroom!

The Prep: Here’s what you’ll need…

  • A dry environment
  • 3 wash clothes: 2 dry, 1 moist, not wet
  • Chocolate Sun sunless tanner, shaken vigorously prior to application
  • Clean, exfoliated skin free from all product. Complete all other treatments like manicures, hair color, etc before tanning.
  • A little patience!

Prepping Hands and Feet Prior to Application: Before beginning your application it is a good idea to apply a thin layer of your favorite moisturizer onto your hands and feet. Be sure to cover thoroughly the tops and sides of your hands and feet, in between and on tops of your fingers and toes. Feather a thin layer of lotion onto the inside of the bend of each of your wrists and down the sides of your ankles and heels. Now you’re ready!

The Application: Take your time with the application. When done with care, the sunless tanning treatment becomes the single most coveted beauty treatment.  Our botanical sunless tan will naturally perfect skin flaws, put at ease sensitive weight issues and will become the single best  accessory to any and all outfits.

  • When applying to the body: use gentle, broad, circular strokes.
  • Strong start: application should start at the ankle. Work your way up to your back, moving on to your sides and around to your stomach. Continue application onto your chest, around shoulders and finishing on your arms.
  • Applying to face, neck and décolleté: the application should be similar to applying foundation.
  • Blending in: pay close attention to blending from face, neck to décolleté and be sure to blend well at the hairline. If you have light hair, avoid getting product into hair.
  • Wax on, wax off: Overlap each stroke to avoid streaking and missed areas.
  • Be gentle: as you apply the product it may take some time to absorb into skin. It is best to let the product absorb into skin, rather aggressively rubbing into skin.
  • End zone: face, hands and feet require a little extra precision so save these parts for last.When applying product to hands and feet, it’s a good idea to mix your favorite moisturizer, in equal parts, with the Chocolate Sun treatment. This will dilute the product enough to achieve a natural looking tan on these areas and prevent the treatment from developing too dark.
  • Great gams: Product should be applied starting at your ankles. Work one leg at a time, front and back. Remember you are saving feet for last.
  • End zone: Remember to work product onto buttocks while working on the back of the legs, blending on to lower back.
  • Back up: Continue applying product onto lower back, working your way up to the midsection of your back. Next move to your upper back which may require some extra reaching or assistance. Helpful hint: you can put the product on the back of your hand for the area between your shoulder blades, working your hand in a circular motion.
  • Take a break: After completing the above areas take a break and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water. Before beginning again use the dry washcloth you prepared to remove moisture from hands.
  • Tummy tuck:  Next apply product to the stomach. Remember to blend around the sides of your body and into the application already completed on the back.
  • On your heart: Apply to chest area blending onto the neck, and over the tops of the shoulders until you have blended into the application done on the upper back.
  • Strong arm:  Starting at the top of the front of the shoulder, apply product working down to wrist. Apply a lighter coat of product to the inside of arms. Be careful to blend lightly around the armpit. Do not apply directly on the armpit.
  • Get handy: Finally, apply lightly, but thoroughly, to the tops of hands, blending onto wrists. Helpful hint: The hands tend to tan easily. You may want to mix your favorite moisturizer in equal parts, with the Chocolate Sun Treatment. This will dilute the product enough to achieve a natural looking tan. Use your prepared damp cloth to thoroughly wipe the palms of your hands and inside of your fingers. Do not submerge your hands in water after applying the treatment to this area.

Post-Application tips:

  • Roll a small soft hand towel and using the smooth side of the rolled towel, very lightly sweep over outer edges of armpits, wrists, ankles, hands, feet and the inside of arms. This will help blend application.
  • Wear loose fitting, dark clothing, while product develops.
  • Keep skin dry for 6-8 hours. No workouts, no swimming, no showers, no bathing, or doing dishes, until application time is complete.
  • Be especially careful to not submerge hands in water. It is best to wipe palms of hands only with damp cloth.
  • If you brush your teeth before the development process is complete, do not allow water to splash on your chin.

Trouble-shooting tips:

  • If you missed a spot: reapply the product to the missed area to fix the area or darken the original application. Blend well!
  • If you do not clean your hands thoroughly after application: use an emery board to gently exfoliate the mistake. This will at least lighten the area and assist in the fading process.
  • If you accidentally apply too much product: gently exfoliate the skin with appropriate face or body scrub. This will assist the fading process and lightening of the sunless tan.
  • If your skin gets wet during development time: gently blot the affected area dry and leave alone, allowing product to continue to develop.

Keep your skin moisturized after development time is complete and you have washed the application area for the first time. This will help the tan last longer and fade evenly!

Ready to glow?

There are a lot of tips here! Could it be the perfect tan is within reach? Win a bottle of Chocolate Sun’s award-winning formula by leaving us your own comments below and find out for yourself!

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