With summer comes sun-kissed skin—except when you’re in the studio all day! When you find yourself months into peak sun season with no tan lines to show, reaching for a bottle of self-tanning lotion or spray seems like the perfect quick fix. It’s easy, cheap, safer than broiling in the sun all day and convenient—you just lather it on and go, right? Not exactly. From streaks to splotches, self-tanner can go very wrong. If you’re worried about overdosing on the orange, don’t sweat (that’ll only make it worse!): DS rounded up the best tips to tame your faux tan.
Problem: Streaks and blotches
How to avoid it: Make sure you’ve fully exfoliated the areas where you plan to apply product. The pigments in self-tanner cling to dead skin cells, so if you’re dry and haven’t (gently) scrubbed your skin, the color will be uneven and streaky. As you apply the tanner, be sure to distribute it evenly. Apply a little less to your elbows and knees, as these drier areas absorb more pigment and will become darker faster.
Problem: A too-orange shade
How to avoid it: If you’re unsure how your skin will react to a specific shade or brand of tanner, mix it with equal parts moisturizer to dilute the color a bit. If you want a darker hue, slowly blend more tanner than moisturizer into the mixture.
Problem: Orange palms
How to avoid it: Wearing gloves to apply your tanner is one solution, but sometimes the gloves’ rough material can distribute the color unevenly (and you can end up with an equally strange white-glove look). If you prefer to apply tanner bare-handed, make sure to wash your palms with soap and warm water afterward to get rid of any residual product.
If you do find yourself looking like an Oompa Loompa, exfoliate your skin in a warm shower to help even out the blotchiness and remove excess product. If the tanner is especially stubborn, add a squeeze of lemon juice to your loofah—the acidity will help break down streaks. For blotches that run down your legs, try shaving and moisturizing, followed by another round of exfoliating.
Makeup Brush Maintenance
Nationals season means tons of makeup. And even if you’ve mastered a skin-care routine to combat the hours your skin spends covered in foundation and powder, you may be overlooking one important detail: your makeup brushes. The tools of your trade need cleaning, too! Dirty makeup brushes can cause a lot of icky issues, including acne, skin irritation and infections.
Luckily, brush maintenance is super-easy—a little effort goes a long way. Try these tricks:
Gently shampoo your brushes every three weeks with warm water and a drop of baby shampoo.
Lay the brushes flat to dry on a clean towel (bristles can fall out of brushes left to dry upright).
Keep an alternate set of brushes in rotation to extend the time between cleanings.
Brushes have a pretty long lifespan, and don’t need to be replaced often if they’re cleaned properly. But if your brushes’ bristles are dry and falling out, or if they’re not applying makeup like they used to, it’s time to toss them in the trash.
Did You Know?
While olive oil will always be the old standby, there’s a new trendy alternative in town—avocado oil! The fruit has always been a super-food, and its oil is no different. It’s rich in immune system–boosting vitamin E, and loaded with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which help maintain your cholesterol levels and keep you full longer—crucial for those long summer intensive days. It’s perfect for sautéing fish and veggies, or as a dressing. Try drizzling a teaspoon on your salad, or over a bowl of popcorn in place of butter.
Sparkles? Check. Elegance? Definitely. Three of our favorite dancers? You bet.
There are a million and one stories about dancer style, but fewer opportunities to see dancers shine as models—a different undertaking altogether. In these glowing images from Allure, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II member Courtney Celeste Spears are almost unrecognizable—but in the best possible way. They all look like seasoned editorial models.
Of course, we're not surprised that a dancer's poise would come in handy during a bona fide fashion shoot, and we've already seen Boylston and Mearns in video campaigns. But there's something special about a great editorial shot for print, and now these ladies have us wishing for a tutorial to recreate their great looks.
Here's Boylston in a collab with Saks and Manolo Blahnik:
And of course, Mearns has slayed in two different Cole Haan campaigns.
Stage makeup is one of those things dancers are always trying to perfect—it takes a lot of trial and error to get those pristine eyeliner wings or that perfect eyeshadow/lip combo. Luckily, the Internet is overflowing with wonderful tutorials from some of the most seasoned dancers out there, and Martha Graham Dance Company's Lloyd Knight has a very worthy addition to the mix. Knight, a principal with the company, takes us through his makeup routine, which has tons of great contouring and eye-highlighting tips (something we could all use a little help with—tiger-striped faces are never in style!). Click here to watch the tutorial!
The stunning Knight bringing the drama. (Photo by NYC Dance Project)
Is there anything our friend Kathryn Morgan can't do? Besides dispensing advice in DS and on her own YouTube channel and website, she also provides makeup tutorials that are like small miracles to makeup-challenged people everywhere (Me!). Oh, and she also directs her own career and has tons of exciting projects coming up.
Need a look for a holiday party, or for attending The Nutcracker? Morgan's tutorial from last year, along with the one from this year, should give you plenty of guidelines to follow or play off of. Of course, we can't all have glowing skin and naturally captivating eyes like she does, but makeup helps.