Monday, April 29, 2013

College Fashion - 2013 Sunless Tanning Guide: How to Apply & the Best Drugstore Buys plus 2 more

College Fashion - 2013 Sunless Tanning Guide: How to Apply & the Best Drugstore Buys plus 2 more

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2013 Sunless Tanning Guide: How to Apply & the Best Drugstore Buys

Posted: 28 Apr 2013 03:00 PM PDT

Best sunless tanners 2013 - Tan girl on a beach
Photo Credit

Tanning has received a bad rep in the past decade – and for good reason. Prolonged sun exposure is incredibly dangerous, and can lead to everything from premature aging to deadly forms of skin cancer. It’s just not worth it.

Whenever my friends forgo their SPF 35 or step into a tanning bed, I can’t help but have a mini panic attack. But, I also get jealous of their glowing skin. Why does something so dangerous have to look so gorgeous? Not fair, guys. That’s where sunless tanner comes in.

I’ll admit, I’ve been terrified of self-tanner since I showed up to my ninth grade homecoming with Oompa Loompa legs. And don’t get me wrong, I love my pale skin. I can rock bold brows and a vampy lip like no other, but I also love experimenting. Sometimes, I just want to look like a bronzed beach goddess.

We’ve done lots of posts on sunless tanning in the past (see our guide to our favorite self tanners from different categories, and how to apply our favorite high-end tanner, St. Tropez) but since it’s a new soon-to-be-summer season, I thought I’d share my best tips for applying sunless tanner, as well as my favorite drugstore self-tanners with you guys!

If you want that bronzed glow on a budget, read on and find out how to do it the healthy way.

Application 101: How to Apply Sunless Tanner

  1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. This is by far the most important pre-tanning step. Dry skin is the number one culprit behind blotchy, uneven tans, because those rough patches absorb more color – hence that dreaded orange glow. Slough away dry skin with an exfoliating body wash – I like Olay’s Daily Exfoliating Wash – making sure to focus on rougher areas like the knees and elbows for a glowing, even tan.
  2. Shave. Shave before applying your tanning lotion to ensure you get the smoothest tan possible, as shaving afterwords can create blotchy patches.
  3. After you’ve shaved and exfoliated, let your body dry completely. Never apply self-tanner to wet skin – the streaks are a nightmare!
  4. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your entire body, again focusing on dry areas like the knees and elbows, to keep them from absorbing too much color. (I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for this.)
  5. Apply the self-tanner! Use broad, circular strokes and make sure the lotion is completely rubbed in. Don’t forget about places like your neck, behind your ears, and your mid-back. You can wear gloves if you want, but I think they make it harder to get the lotion to absorb.
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly. Grab your exfoliating wash again and scrub between your fingers and around your nails to keep them from turning that dreaded shade of orange.
  7. Wait. Ideally, you’ll need about an hour to prance around your room au naturale, but you should definitely wait at least 30 minutes before getting dressed to avoid staining your clothes. (Many girls apply self-tanner before they go to sleep – this works great, just so long as you wear dark clothes and don’t use your best white sheets!) After 20 minutes or so, apply another layer of moisturizer. This will even out your tan and help eliminate streaks before they’ve even formed. The color will start to show after 2-3 hours, so you’ll be bronzed and gorgeous in no time!

Best Traditional Self-Tanners

Self tanners come in two main varieties – traditional self tanners (which develop in a few hours), and gradual lotions (which slowly add color and require repeat applications over the course of a few days to a week). If you want to go from pale to bronzed in a few hours flat, traditional self-tanners are your best bet. Here are two of the best drugstore options:

1. Banana Boat Summer Color Sunless Lotion

Best self tanners 2013 - banana boat summer color
Banana Boat Summer Color Sunless Lotion, $6.54 at

This is definitely my Holy Grail sunless tanner. It takes me from ghostly pale to subtly bronze overnight, and the color is super buildable and completely natural. If you have a warm skin tone, this product is perfect for you. It’s yellower than most other self-tanners, which makes my skin look absolutely golden.

The best part is, I’ve had absolutely no streaks. The formula is tinted, so you can see where you’re spreading it, which speeds up the application process. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the smell. Although it’s not as heavy as most self-tanners, I can still smell it when I wake up the next morning.

2. Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Self Tanning Lotion

Best drugstore self tanners - Hawaiian tropic island radiance self tanner
Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Self Tanner, $7.99 at

This is a classically good drugstore buy, and comes in a few different strengths, depending on how dark you want to go. “Medium” is subtle and works great for super pale girls, but all other skin tones should opt for “Medium-Dark”. The color is natural, the smell is pleasant, and the creamy formula means no streaks.

This product is great for those with dry skin – the lotion is ultra-moisturizing and has ingredients that help lock in moisture to keep skin soft for hours. The downside, however, is that this lotion can feel sticky for a few hours after you apply, so it’s not the best if you need to put it on in a hurry.

Best Gradual Self-Tanning Lotions

If you’re super pale, a regular self-tanning lotion might make your skin too dark, too fast. If that’s the case, (or if you just want to ease into self tanning), then a gradual self-tanning lotion is the way to go! Here are my two drugstore faves in this category.

1. L’Oreal Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer

Best drugstore self tanners - loreal sublime glow
L’Oreal Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer, $11.49 at

You’re about to call me crazy, but I promise you, this stuff smells AMAZING. The active ingredient in most sunless tanners, DHA, smells… bad. You know what I’m talking about. But this wonderful moisturizer smells like oranges and tea, and it gives my skin a beautiful, buildable glow.

Of all the self-tanners I’ve tried, I think this one gives the deepest base tan, but you have to apply it more often – at least 3-4 times a week. It’s worth noting that this moisturizer is not meant to be used on your face. Additionally, it does contains a subtle silver shimmer, and although I’m not a huge fan of that, if it doesn’t bother you I definitely recommend this product.

2. Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer

Best gradual self tanning lotions - jergens natural glow
Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, $6.79 at

Let me start this by saying Jergen’s formula has vastly improved over the years. I remember borrowing this lotion from my mom in high school, and it turned my skin into an orange, streaky mess. But, after giving this newly reformulated brand another shot, I’m impressed!

This is one of the many gradual tanning lotions that claims to zap away cellulite like magic. While no lotion, drugstore or high end, is really capable of that, this product does have some firming qualities. It doesn’t give me supermodel legs, but it did temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite while giving my skin a healthy, warm, brown glow.

Compared to other drugstore brands, the self-tanner smell is minimal, and it even gives your skin a bit of sparkle. Definitely one of the best gradual tan products on the market.

Your thoughts?

How do you get your spring glow? Which self-tanners do you swear by? Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


Top 5 Things to Do on the Quad

Posted: 28 Apr 2013 11:30 AM PDT

college quad
Photo Credit

It’s finally — and thankfully — spring time! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you are almost done with the school year. Now that exam week has arrived (or, for some of you, is a recent, horiffic memory) there are some times when you just need to relax and enjoy the beautiful day outside.

With that in mind, why not spend time on your campus quad? Below, I’ll break down my top five ideas for successful quad frolicking in the spring:

1. Study

The quad is a great spot for your and you study buddies to meet up and enjoy the weather between quizzing and flashcards. Those florescent lights in the library can be a real drag, so picking out a nice shady spot on the quad can help your eyes and brain absorb all that material.

Studying in a fun environment also helps you retain that knowledge, that’s why games always seem to be the easiest way to study. So even if you’re just staring at your flashcards, just being outside and with friends will do wonders for your peace of mind… and your memory!

Girl playing frisbee
Photo Credit

2. Play Frisbee

…or any other kind of sport you can play. (Quidditch, anyone?) There’s no better way to relieve your worries about that Microbiology Chemistry final than to get the blood pumping. It doesn’t need to be anything serious – this isn’t The World Cup on the Quad – but you want to get moving enough to release those endorphins.

Endorphins are chemicals released in our bodies that make us feel happy, and even laughter can release them. (Though exercise seems to be one of the best ways to get them going.) During a stressful week, it’s more important than ever to get your endorphins pumping to keep your peace of mind!

Just make sure to respect other people’s quad space when playing games — you wouldn’t want to hit a passerby on their way to their dreaded Microbiology Chemistry final.

3. Have a Picnic

There’s nothing better than grabbing a bunch of friends, some blankets, and some refreshments, and heading down to the quad on a sunny day for a picnic lunch. Get tasty treats from a grab-and-go place on campus or make your own lunch ahead of time! Bring some iPod speakers and create a fun playlist, then hang out, eat, people-watch, and enjoy. Bliss!

While being tons of fun, hanging out outdoors and eating a lovely lunch with friends can also help you de-stress before you feel like finals will eat your soul. It’s pretty much a win-win.

Photo Credit

4. Take a Nap

Take this time that you have made for relaxing and take a snooze on the quad. After all, if you just finished finals week, you are undoubtedly behind on sleep.

Just imagine lying under a tree or in the warm sun and just taking a nap. No worries, and a slight breeze keep you cool. Take the lovely day that you have been given and just relax. Listen to some good music, drown out the negativity and extra noise, and let your body release all the tension that you have been holding up since the beginning of the semester, waiting for these last few weeks to come.

You can even doze off reading a good book, just make sure you don’t follow a white rabbit – those things never end up well.

5. Go Streaking!!

Okay, not really. But this bullet point is a good excuse to link up these funny .gifs from Old School because, well, it’s Sunday. (You’re welcome, readers!)

Final Thoughts:

You all are so close to being done, and so close to being able to throw off your backpacks for the summer. By taking some time during your finals weeks to regain your momentum and mentally regroup, you will find that you can concentrate more on studying, studying, and, well…more studying.

Rest your mind, body, and soul before trudging through finals week and everything that comes with it. You can do it! P.S. — Good luck with finals and happy end-of-the-year!

What do you think?

What happens on your campus quad? Do you participate? Have you ever done any of these activities on the quad? How to you spend your time outdoors? Tell us by leaving a comment below!


TV Fashion Recap: The Rachel Zoe Project and Psych

Posted: 28 Apr 2013 07:00 AM PDT

TV Fashion Recap is a biweekly column featuring the best of TV fashion. Every other week, we recreate our favorite outfits from the most recent episodes of all of the hottest shows. Stay tuned; we may feature your favorite show next!

TV Fashion Recap
Photo: 1, 2

Every other week, I break down the best of TV fashion, featuring my favorite looks from the last two weeks. This week, I was inspired by The Rachel Zoe Project and Psych. Read on to check out the outfits!

1.  The Rachel Zoe Project (Season 5, Episode 7): The Models’ Bohemian Style

The Rachel Zoe Project
(Photo Credit – Screenshot)

Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project stars celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe in a reality show about her life and business. It’s very interesting, especially if you want to get into the fashion industry, and the clothes are obviously fabulous.

In case you didn’t know, Rachel’s client list has included names like Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Richie, and Keira Knightley. This week, Rachel was tasked with styling a photo shoot for Glamour magazine, focusing on her trademark boho-chic vibe. However, in the Zoe universe, nothing ever quite goes as planned, so Rachel has more than a few obstacles to face on her way to photo shoot perfection.

Rachel zoe project inspired outfit
(Product Information: Eyeliner –, Highlighter – theBalm, Top – H&M, Chain Necklace – Modcloth, Feather Necklace – Forever 21, Ring – Monsoon, Skirt – New Look, Sandals – Wallis)

The ensembles worn in the photo shoot Rachel styled were chic, relaxed, and absolutely perfect for spring. To recreate that boho vibe, start with a loose white blouse, an essential that Rachel likes to mix with more feminine pieces for a casual, cute look. Tuck the shirt into a pink skater skirt, which cinches you in at the waist to create an hourglass shape.

No Zoe-inspired outfit would be complete with out some MAY-JOR accessories! Layer several necklaces of different lengths around your neck and slip on a bright ring for a fun pop of color. Add a pair of strappy wedges – these mint ones are very on-trend this season. Lastly, add subtle winged eyeliner, along with highlighter and bronzer to give your face a sun-kissed glow like all of Rachel’s models.

2. Psych (Season 7, Episode 9): Juliet’s Hi-Low Tank and Blue Jeans

Psych Screenshot
(Photo Credit – Screenshot)

USA’s hit crime comedy, Psych, is about a hilarious, adorably scruffy guy named Shawn. He is a fake psychic who consults on difficult cases with his more conservative, food-obsessed sidekick. The duo often have a strained relationship with the police department because of Shawn’s creative and often dangerous hi-jinks. It’s one of the funniest and wittiest shows on television, and I highly recommend you check it out!

Juliet, a detective who works with Shawn, is incredibly smart, savvy, and tough. She and Shawn have the cutest relationship, even though they’ve been going through a rough patch ever since Juliet found out Shawn is not a real psychic. I hate that they aren’t together right now, but I’ve been waiting seven seasons for Juliet to find out about Shawn’s investigative talent, so I’m just glad it’s finally out in the open.

Outfit Inspired by Juliet from Psych
Outfit Inspired by Juliet from Psych by collegefashion featuring a kates spade

(Product Information: Jeans – Old Navy, Top – Tilly’s, Earrings – Kate Spade, Bracelet – Lucky Brand, Lipstick – NYX, Bandeau – Tilly’s, Sunglasses – Steve Madden, Sandals – Piperlime)

To recreate Juliet’s colorful, summery outfit from this episode, start with a loose hi-low teal tank top. Since this one is slightly sheer, layer a cute bandeau bra underneath. Tuck the front of the top into a pair of bright blue skinny jeans. Add some strappy gold sandals and put on a pair of Aviator-style sunglasses as a stylish nod to Juliet’s career as a cop. Accessorize with a beaded wrap bracelet and pink stud earrings which continue the casual vibe of the look. For the finishing touch, add a coat of pale pink lipstick.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of these looks? Did we miss any amazing outfits from the past week of TV? Which shows do you think deserve a spot on the next TV Fashion Recap post? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!


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