Jul 31, 2023
How to score the most natural faux glow, according to this celebrity
She got Sofia Richie ready for her wedding day, made sure Kendall Jenner and Jennifer Lopez were glowing on the Met Gala carpet and she regularly makes house calls for Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and
She got Sofia Richie ready for her wedding day, made sure Kendall Jenner and Jennifer Lopez were glowing on the Met Gala carpet and she regularly makes house calls for Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian, to name just a few of her high-profile clients.
Isabel Alysa is Hollywood’s most in-demand tanner these days and for good reason. She’s got a knack for making skin look naturally tanned without the sun. It’s no wonder celebrities go wild for her can’t-believe-it’s-fake tans.
The pro has been honing her craft for nearly two decades, pursuing a passion that goes beyond skin-deep. After surviving a traumatic childhood, Alysa left the foster care system at age 17. She began renting a room in a stranger’s house and working three jobs to make ends meet. Though money was tight, she decided one day to treat herself to a spray tan. It would go on to change her life.
“I remember the way it made me feel in that moment and how it immediately took me out of a dark place,” she says. “Everything looked and felt better and it was so weird to me that a small beauty treatment, something that affected my outer appearance, actually made me feel good on the inside.”
The experience inspired her to become a professional spray-tanner, a choice that has led her to more success than she could have ever imagined, from a glittering client list to her very own line of self-tanning products, Dolce Glow.
Here, Alysa shares her glow-getting secrets, including the nifty contouring tricks her clients adore.
A lot of people still associate self-tanners with the super-orange, fake-looking esthetic of the early 2000s, but Alysa’s work is the opposite. She’s all about creating what she calls a “soft tint.” “I want my clients to walk into a room and have people be like, ‘Something looks different about you. You look glow-y and pretty,’ but not necessarily have them say, ‘You totally got a spray tan,’” she explains. It comes down to a “less is more” approach. To accomplish this, she recommends starting with a shade close to your natural skin tone instead of going much darker. A gradual lotion is another foolproof way of keeping things natural. Just keep reapplying until you reach your desired shade. For a touch of barely there warmth, you can also try mixing a few drops of self-tanner with your daily moisturizer or lightly spritzing a self-tanning face mist.
It turns out a lot of those unwanted orange tones tend to develop as a result of having dry skin. So to ensure that doesn’t happen, Alysa recommends exfoliating regularly to remove dead skin cells and applying a good body lotion. But there is one caveat: You shouldn’t exfoliate or moisturize right before self-tanning. “I think that’s the biggest mistake people make,” says Alysa, noting that it can cause uneven results. It’s also best to lay off retinol or harsh acne products for about a week before self-tanning as these also exfoliate the skin. And avoid shaving (which removes a surface layer of skin) or using soap or perfume (because they can leave a residue) for at least 24 hours prior to application. If you want to shower beforehand, stick to a simple water rinse, she says, and then smooth your product of choice onto bare skin. “You can use a little lotion on your knees, elbows, hands, feet and behind your ankles because those areas tend to be drier,” she says. “Sometimes a self-tanner will adhere more to those parts, so hitting them with lotion will reduce absorption and help them blend in with the rest of the body.” Furthermore, if you’ve got sun spots on your face, Alysa suggests applying a little petroleum jelly on them with a cotton swab to prevent them from getting darker with the self-tanner.
When it comes to selecting a self-tanning product, Alysa suggests trying a lotion or spray if you’re new to self-tanning, as they’re super-easy to apply. You might also want to opt for a tanner with a guide colour rather than a clear formula, as it helps you make sure you haven’t missed any spots. Just as important as the products are the tools. “You definitely don’t want to use your hands when putting on self-tanner,” warns Alysa. Instead, reach for an application mitt to score a flawless, streak-free finish. Not only does it make blending a breeze, it also prevents your palms from turning orange. Alysa also always keeps a kabuki brush in her kit. It’s genius for buffing and comes in handy on tricky areas like the hairline (you can also apply a little product to your part with a smaller makeup brush), between the fingers and the sides of the feet. She even uses it to do some clever contouring on the cheekbones, chin, forehead and collar bones. Simply apply a little tanner on a kabuki brush or makeup sponge and layer in more product in those areas to add definition.
“Your tan is only going to last as long as you care for it,” says the expert. The most important thing you can do for this is stay hydrated. That includes a daily application of body lotion as well as drinking plenty of water. “The more hydrated you are, the longer the tan is going to last and the nicer it’s going to fade.” You want to avoid shaving for two to three days so as not to remove the tan in the areas where you’re using a razor. When coming out of the shower, pat yourself dry rather than aggressively rubbing your skin. And then on day four or five, when the tan has penetrated deeper into the skin, Alysa recommends starting to dry brush. Don’t worry, this won’t rub off your tan, it will actually extend its lifespan by getting rid of dead cells on the surface of your skin. Once the colour has faded and you’re ready to reapply a fresh tan, make sure to get rid of any last bits of your previous one by exfoliating your skin. Soaking in a bath with oils can also help soften the skin and loosen up any excess residue. Then, just repeat the prep steps listed above, apply your tan and keep glowing.
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Dolce Glow Des Nuda Self-Tanning Lotion (Light — Medium), $68, dolceglow.com SHOP HERE
Dolce Glow Kabuki Brush, $18, dolceglow.com SHOP HERE
Dolce Glow Lusso Self-Tanning Mousse, $68, dolceglow.com SHOP HERE
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Katherine Lalancette is the beauty and lifestyle director of The Kit. She writes about beauty and trends. Reach her on email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @kik_tweets
Top stories delivered to your inbox.Dolce Glow Acqua Hydrating Face Mist (Self-Tanning Water), $49, dolceglow.comDolce Glow Des Nuda Self-Tanning Lotion (Light — Medium), $68, dolceglow.com SHOP HEREDolce Glow Kabuki Brush, $18, dolceglow.com SHOP HEREDolce Glow Lusso Self-Tanning Mousse, $68, dolceglow.com SHOP HERE