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How to Be a Bronze Goddess on Your Wedding Day

Don't ruin your all-white wedding with tacky orange skin. Check out these tips to get the best bridal glow possible
If you've ever seen the movie "Bride Wars," you're probably familiar with the hysterical scene where Kate Hudson's character switches out the color in her frenemy, Anne Hathaway's, spray tanning booth. What happens? Hathway's character steps out only to realize she's become Manhattan's first Oompa-Loompa.

Now that example certainly took bad spray tans to the extreme, but the truth is we've all had an awful spray tan at least once in our lives (or know someone who has). So here is the dilemma: You want to have a radiant glow on your wedding day, but you don't want to risk looking like the newest cast member of the Jersey Shore. What to do? Here are a few tips that cover all the basics on what to do pre-, during, and post-spray tan. Follow these easy tips, and you'll have a bridal faux glow so natural not even the pros will be able to tell.

1. Prep skin

Take a hot shower to open up pores and use a body scrub to slough off dead skin cells. Be sure to shave as well to create a super smooth surface. You can lightly moisturize the driest parts of your face, elbows, knees, etc., but don't slather on thick lotion, because that creates a barrier between your skin and the spray tan.

2. Select your shade

Here's the logic that you don't want to follow: "I want to be super tan for my wedding, so I should pick the darkest shade possible." Wrong. So wrong.

There are plenty of times to experiment with spray tan hues, but your wedding day isn't one of them. As a rule, select a shade that is two shades darker than your natural skin tone for a tan that is noticeable and natural.

3. Pick a tan type

Half the battle for a flawless spray tan is knowing what options are available. There are three major types of application: at-home products, spray tan booths, and spray tan professionals.

The best at-home options are gradual self-tanning lotions and mists. Regardless of which version you're using, wait five to 10 minutes after you've gotten out of the shower before applying and give yourself a full five minutes to dry. Be sure to start two weeks in advance in preparation of your wedding day, applying a new coat every day.

4. Post-application tips

Here are the basics of maintenance: wear loose fitting clothes and flip flops post spray tan, don't come into contact with water for 12 hours, wait one to two days before shaving, stay away from scrubs and exfoliators, and moisturize daily for long lasting results. Also, if you have white sheets, switch them out for a darker color the first night of your tan.

Now, should you end up with blotches or orange skin, don't panic. For small blotches and streaks, gently exfoliate with hot water and a scrub. I recommend an at-home concoction of lemon juice and brown sugar; the acid from the lemon will fade the tan and the brown sugar will gently remove skin and moisturize.
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