Using Self Tanner to Even Out Tanlines?
September 27, 2016 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I've been wearing slide sandals all summer, and the tanlines on my feet are super obvious when I wear any other sort of shoe. Could I just like...paint that part of my foot with self tanner? Do you have any advice for making it not look stupid?

I just want my feet to be all one color!!!

I'm mixed race Mexican and Italian and have a lot of red AND yellow in my skin tone. Very here for brand recommendations, preferably ones that will actually match, not be super stinky, and last a while.

I'm pretty dark skinned and the area I'm trying to tan is pretty pale, so I think the "subtle natural glow" products would take forever to make a difference.
posted by Juliet Banana to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know about self-tanner but for a temp solution, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Spray is pretty good stuff. Your shade is probably Light Glow, maybe Medium Glow. They also have a cream which I've never tried but it might be worth a look.

Stand in the tub (makes overspray easier to clean up) and spray it on your clean dry feet, and use your hands to blend it up your feet to the ankles. It will both lighten your tan and darken your untanned spots, and overall even things out. Works well to hide scars or hyperpigmented knees, too.

Let it dry for 10 minutes or so and it becomes pretty transfer-proof- it'll transfer off somewhat if something is rubbing it for hours (like you'll see a bit of it on the inside hem of your pants, inside your shoes, on towels and slightly on your bedsheets), but overall it's surprisingly not-messy once it's dry.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:06 AM on September 27, 2016

...I'm not finding a foot photo in the Twitter feed?

If I did this I would definitely paint on one of those gradual self-tanners -- the Jergens "Body BB Cream" stuff is actually one of those and works quite well, slow but even and the colour is very natural-looking (on me, at least). But I think I would mostly just say 'eff it, tan lines are normal,' and roll with it with pride (or at least with cheerful 'IDGAF'). I think this falls under the category of 'way, way more noticeable to you than anybody else.'

Some companies do make leg make-up, though, so you could just paint that on the striped bits for special occasions? (On preview -- I was actually going to recommend the Sally Hansen stuff, but wasn't positive they still made it. It does stay put.)
posted by kmennie at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2016

How quickly do you tan? Because if quickly, what about temporarily masking the pale areas of your feet with tape (bear with me here), spf 30+ on all exposed skin, remove tape, and then get some good hours of foot-sunning in?
posted by zippy at 10:31 AM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just wear socks for a few days, and scrub the tops of your feet well, it will equalize. My tan lines are gone gone gone, just because of the change of light angle. I am still wearing the same sandals.
posted by Oyéah at 10:47 AM on September 27, 2016

...I'm not finding a foot photo in the Twitter feed?

You have to click on the linked photo, shows her shod feet.

Italian/Irish here, with lots of yellow and pinks in my skin, and feet that brown way faster than the rest of me. Rather than try to blend in, have you tried to lighten the tan? I have the exact same problem at the end of every summer, and scrubbing the tops of my feet with lemon juice and baking soda takes the tan off in a few days. Mine's flip-flop lines.
posted by the webmistress at 11:17 AM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've done this before with some luck. I'm Mexican and Irish, very pale until I'm exposed to the sun and then I get light brown pretty quickly. I currently use this to even out the tan on my legs from wearing shorts, etc. I like it because the color is super natural and true to my own skin tone, and it's super easy to apply. It is a little stinky though, but the smell is usually gone after a few hours. They also make tan "towelettes" like this that might be even easier to use just for your feet. I got them in my birchbox once and liked them, which is how I ended up buying the tanning mist to begin with.
posted by primalux at 11:19 AM on September 27, 2016

My former roommate used to take care of this by sticking just her legs or feet in a tanning bed. Of course, she worked at the tanning salon and didn't have to pay for the sessions, but anyway, there's an alternate solution if you can't find a product you like.
posted by vignettist at 11:59 AM on September 27, 2016

I used to have this exact problem. I can't really help you with brand advice (I believe I used a Loreal product, which worked well for me but it was the only one I tried), but through trial and error I figured out a couple of things about technique. The most important thing is that you need to exfoliate the area really, really, really well. Any dead skin you have will soak up and hold more color and it will look totally weird. Thing number two is that you should cut the tanning lotion with regular lotion. This does a few things: helps the color go on more evenly and without streaking, allows you to build up to the shade you want (instead of finding out too late that your new tan is darker than you want it), and it enables you to blend the fake tan into the real tan more easily. If I recall, I think I also would massage a little lotion onto my feet before applying the self-tanner, which also really helped get an even application. Good luck!
posted by kitty teeth at 2:34 PM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

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