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Question: I’m fair-skinned; how can I get the perfect tan?

Answer: Sometimes we fair girls don’t have it easy.  First, we’re too pale (we’ve all heard the “You look like a ghost!” comment), and when we do step into the sun, we come out red.  So, what’s a pale lady to do?

We’ve long since learned that staying out in the sun sans sunscreen just won’t work for us (not to mention all the dangers it carries).  Though SPF isn’t the answer to a gorgeous deep tan, it can minimize burning.  Because pale skin is so sensitive, pick up a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.  My personal favorite is Hawaiian Tropic;  it’s easy to apply and doesn’t smell like a bottle of chemicals.

Of course, a fair woman can not live on sun alone!  Sometimes we need some backup, in the form of self-tanner.

Self-tanner can be tricky business.  Because our skin has pink undertones, too much tanner can turn us orange.  Always apply a small amount to start, and work your way up.

If you’re shopping at a low price-point, try L’Oreal Paris’ Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer.  It instantly gives you a radiant tan that can last up to two weeks.  Once you’ve reached your desired shade of bronze, re-apply a couple times a week to maintain an all-over glow.  Just remember to watch out for streaks!

Sublime Bronze is mess-free, and will wash off hands easily.  In fact, you can even get dressed minutes later without worrying about your clothes staining.

If you don’t mind spending the extra dollars, invest in St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse.  This product is a favorite among shoppers and beauty magazines.  All it takes is an application once a week for a luminous, natural tan.  This is also a quick-drying formula, so you don’t need to worry about scrubbing self-tanner out of your bedsheets.

To avoid streaks, buy the St. Tropez Applicator Mitt along with the mousse.  It may seem insignificant, but it really does make a world of difference in the quality of your tan.

A final word of advice: exfoliate!  Always exfoliate your skin before applying self-tanner.  Dry and dead skin can lead to a patchy tan — a telltale sign of a fake tan gone very wrong.

Just because we’ve got alabaster skin, doesn’t mean we have to settle for it.  By staying safe in the sun and getting self-tan savvy, we can rock a gorgeous sun-kissed look with the best of them!