I’ve always been porcelain skinned, prompting nicknames both complimentary (“Snow White”) and cruel (“Casper”). While it’s taken me years to be comfortable with my ghostly pallor, muses such as Cate Blanchett and Dita Von Teese have taught me to embrace my creamy complexion. But at summer’s first warm weather blast, I long for a classic Slim Aarons photo moment, with those blissfully UV-rating-ignorant socialites basking under the holiday sun.
A tawny exterior is the necessary counterpart to my ever-growing wardrobe of punchy ’60s sundresses and vintage swimsuits. However, future crinkles aren’t so cute. It’s a good thing today’s subtler tan is available in a can (or gel lotion, or mousse). Just be sure to choose a faux-glower that won’t leave you orange; it should merely hint at a recent yacht jaunt. Scrub away rough spots before applying a single coat of tinted tanner the night before your beach- side debut, for an even bronze lite worthy of C.Z. Guest, Mrs. Don Draper and me.
From left: Dior nude tan paradise duo, $56. Guerlain Terracotta sunless tinted self-tanning gel, $65.
Hannah Shows You How:
1. Start with an exfoliator such as Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub for a New Skin, $45, in the shower, focusing on elbows, knees and ankles—spots prone to caking.
2. Apply instant tanning gel in long, up- and-down strokes (add a second layer if you prefer a deeper look). Wash hands in water for 30 seconds to avoid stains.
3. Sweep on powder bronzer in a “3” formation, above brows, along cheekbones and over the jaw line, finishing with a touch on the tip of the nose and chin.
Reel: Jessica Paré, Mad Men, Season 6. Real: Slim Aarons Photo, Circa 1958. Runway: Backstage at Issa, Spring 2013.
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