Hey, my glowing beauties! 😊

If you're anything like me, you're always on the hunt for that perfect sun-kissed glow, especially when our busy lives don't allow us much time under the sun (and let's be honest, harmful UV rays are a big no-no). I have become especially passionate about this topic after my advanced melanoma diagnosis. I used to go to the tanning bed all the time and I never used sunscreen. That has all certainly changed and self-tanner has become my best friend. Yes, those magical self tanning products that promise a natural-looking glow without any sun damage. But what about self-tanner and makeup?  Can we put on makeup after using a self-tanner?

Grab your favorite drink, relax, and let's dive deep into the world of faux tan and makeup routines.

The Self-Tanning 101: The What’s and Why's

Self Tanning the What and Why

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of makeup and self tanner, let's discuss why self-tanning lotions are a total game changer. The primary reason? They give a beautiful golden glow without exposing our skin to harmful UV rays. Plus, with the variety available, there’s something for every skin type. From the palest porcelain to the deepest ebony, there’s a self-tanning product out there that promises a flawless, natural-looking glow. Because of my love of being tan and my melanoma diagnosis, I can't decide if I should be embarrassed or proud of how many tanning products I have tried but I promise you, I have tried what feels like all of them. And just as a bit of proof, I included a picture of all the self-tanners that are still sitting in my bathroom (and these are definitely not all I have tried, just all I still have!).

I say all that to say, if you want a recommendation, I am your girl. My favorite, hands down, is definitely NuSkin. I tried it after seeing a social media post and loved it so much I became a distributor. I love that you get an even tan, you don't end up with a blotchy tan or streaking. I love that it does not stain your hands, sheets or clothes and you don't need a tanning mitt to apply it. I love that it gives a buildable glow with the perfect bronze shade for a beautiful tan. And I love that you only have to use a small amount. In my opinion, it is hands down the best self-tanner. If you want to give it a try, you can grab one HERE at a 20% discount just for my readers!

All my self-tanners

The Big Question: Makeup After Self-Tanner?

In short, YES! You absolutely can wear makeup after applying a self-tanner. I do it all the time! In fact, one of my favorite beauty hacks is mixing an illuminating primer with a little bit of self tanner and putting that on my face before applying my makeup! I also love to just put self-tanner on my face and then adding some blush and mascara for those no-makeup days. But, like any beauty regimen, there's a method to the madness. So, let's break down the do's and don'ts to ensure you get the best results.


Makeup after Self Tanner Do List

Wait for It to Dry: After applying your self-tanning lotion, give it some time. Patience, dear! Most tanners will need a few hours to develop. So, do your self-tanning at night, catch some zzz's, and by morning, you're ready to slay your makeup look. If you choose to try what I recommended above and mix in a bit of self tanner with your primer before wearing makeup or applying it to your face for a no makeup day, waiting a few minutes is enough time.

Moisturize First: A hydrated skin ensures your tan looks even and lasts longer. After your self-tanner has completely dried and developed, apply a lightweight moisturizer. It not only makes your tan look more radiant but also creates a smooth base for your makeup.

Opt for Lightweight Foundations: A tinted moisturizer or BB cream can enhance that sun-kissed glow. Heavy foundations can sometimes hide or unevenly distribute your beautiful glow, so go light! I love using my cream makeup over my self-tanning products and usually find that liquid makeup or liquid foundation is a little too heavy. You may even find you don't need a foundation on your entire face with a nice healthy glow from the sunless tan!

Bronzer is Your BFF: Enhance that tan with a touch of bronzer. Apply it on the high points of your face - the top of your forehead, cheekbones, and bridge of your nose. I love applying it with a big, fluffy makeup brush. It amplifies the natural-looking glow, making it perfect for your sun-kissed makeup look.


Avoid Exfoliating Products: Exfoliating can strip away your faux tan, leaving an uneven tan. When choosing a makeup remover or face cleanser, opt for gentle, non-exfoliating products. However, you DO want to exfoliate BEFORE you apply your self tanner to prep your skin and remove any dead skin cells so your tanner goes on smoothly and more even.

Skip Out on Alcohol-Based Products: Some makeup products, especially certain setting sprays, contain alcohol which can dry out the skin. Dry skin can cause your tan to fade faster, so always read the ingredients. We want to make sure that your tan not only looks beautiful but that your tan lasts.

Don't Overdo the Powder: A little setting powder is fine, but don't cake your face. We want that natural-looking glow to shine through, remember? Even translucent powder can be too much and really cake on your skin which defeats the purpose of that gorgeous glow!

Makeup after Self-Tanner Don't

Type of Makeup Matters

A little bonus tip for my ladies over 30: As our skin changes, so should our makeup. And finding the perfect beauty products and the perfect skincare products are so important in ensuring you look your best. Creamy blushes, hydrating primers, and liquid highlighters can enhance your self-tan and give that dewy finish. They blend effortlessly on tanned skin and ensure your makeup look is seamless. Cream is my favorite for over 30 because it moves more with your skin and doesn't settle into fine line and wrinkles keeping you looking younger, longer. The right makeup products will make you look and feel your best, will provide hydration, will last a long time and you won't have to wear a lot to achieve your desired results. Once you apply your face makeup, make sure you blend with a stiple motion or a circular motion for best results. When it comes to eye makeup, I love a subtle shimmer on the lid and a medium tone in the crease. If you want to amp up the glam, you can add a darker color on the outer corner. While any eye shadows will work, bronzes and golds and warm browns always look great with a tan. You can also choose eye shadow colors that compliment your eyes. With your lips, you can play with what makes you feel comfortable. I love a great tinted lip gloss but you want to rock any lips that make you feel confident! Hands down, my favorite makeup is Seint (which is why I became a Seint artist), if you would like a free color match to see what a palette would look like, you can complete this form and I will be happy to do a color match for you!  Please refer to the picture at the bottom of this blog post for how to take a picture for color matching and please don't hesitate to email me (kalii@kaliisue.com) with any questions!

Go Put Your Makeup On!

Makeup after Self Tanner

There you have it! Your guide to pairing self-tanner and makeup. Remember, the key is to let your beautiful glow be the star of the show. By following these do's and don'ts, you're sure to turn heads with your radiant, sun-kissed glow.

So, the next time you reach for your self-tanning lotion for that perfect glow, know that you can absolutely rock your makeup routine afterward. Because who said you can't have the best of both worlds? I can't wait to see how great you look with your beautiful tan and your flawless makeup!

If you love to be tan like me and want to do more research on how to get the best tan, check out this blog post I wrote comparing Self-Tanner and Spray-Tan.

Stay glowing, lovelies! 💖

With Love, Kalii

P.S. Do you have any self-tanning or makeup tips? Drop them in the comments below! Always love hearing from my beauty community. 💋

To Do a Makeup Color Match:

Seint Color Match

Kalii Sue
Kalii Sue

I help busy women look and feel their best without wasting time and money.

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