Step 2: Plan Ahead We all want a tan for different reasons and occasions. You might want an even, subtle glow for one evening, a darker shade for a day at the beach or a perfectly pretty tan all summer long. Either way - you need to plan accordingly. Most self-tanning lotions take 6-8 hours to develop on the skin and you want to shower off excess product from the surface of your skin before a big event. You also want to make sure you're happy with the color and coverage before you walk out the door. Locke says that if you're going to the beach tomorrow, tan today, but if you're self-tanning for a big event, give yourself at least 2-3 days so you can increase the color, if desired, or fix any mistakes you might make.
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