It occurred to me during my trial and tribulations through endless self tanner products that so much of your experience comes down to the application.
So while I always recommend following the directions with any given product your trying, here are some general application tricks for a flawless (and longer lasting) finish:
Always apply products to freshly cleansed skin –as in it’s best right out of the shower (otherwise you’re asking for an uneven application and streaks!).
Do a patch test 24-48 hour in advance – See how you like it before you put it all over your skin. Better safe then sorry!
Wax at least 24 hrs in advance, shave at least 12 hrs in advance – It’s not advised to apply self-tanner on red or irritated skin.
Avoid deodorant, perfume, or essential oils during application – it can interfere with your self-tanner!
Apply a body lotion to dry areas such as knees, elbow, and heels – that will help keep the tan consistent.
Use disposable gloves and wash your hands between applying each section of your body
Do not shower, bathe, swim, or seat for at least 6-8 hours after you apply the product.
Exfoliate before and about 3 days after you’ve tanned. Exfoliating removed the dead skin cells and helps the tan fade evenly (you can reapply self-tanner as needed).
Try to avoid tight fitted clothing and dry-clean only fabrics right after applying your tan (dark, loose fitting clothing is recommended).
If you mess up and want your tanner off, the quickest way to remove it is by taking a bath (soak that skin for 15min+) and then exfoliating it off.
Beautisol (one of my favorite self-tanner brands!) is also a wealth of knowledge in this category and offers a lot of great resources in the education section of their website (which includes How-To videos and Tips & Tricks). Actually, if you’re reading this and looking for a more comprehensive list (that far succeeds this basic tanning 101 guide), I somewhat insist you check it out!