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Staying In and Getting Tan: Everything You Need for That Sun-Kissed Look

We could all use a Sports Illustrated tan to up our quarantine selfies.

Working at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit teaches one many crucial life skills. High up on that list is the art of self-tanning. I can blend and buff like no other. I think I speak for the masses when I say, there is no better feeling than a streakless fake tan. While I’m not against throwing on a bikini and tanning out on my fire escape, my ghostly self will be getting some help from my favorite bronzing products.

There are many factors that go into perfecting the glow. I'm breaking down, step by step, how to achieve a tan worthy of the pages of SI Swimsuit.


Body - Dry brushing before the shower is best. Try this one from Amazon! I love it because the handle helps get all the hard to reach places. Don't feel like waiting for the 2-day shipping? Just give yourself a good scrub in the shower with a washcloth. 

Note: If applying a mousse, lightly moisturize dry sports, like elbows and feet after showering. This will help the product go on evenly. If using a gel or cream, no need to moisturize.

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Face - A Clarisonic will work perfectly. It is just the right amount of exfoliation and leaves your skin evenly buffed.

(Amazon, Clarisonic)

(Amazon, Clarisonic)

The Product 

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in the last few years formulas must have been updated, because they no longer make you smell like vegetables. Thank god.

My Holy Grail is Vita Liberata’s Body Blur. It's an instant cream self-tanner that's easy to apply and super moisturizing. It’s tinted, so you will see the tan as you apply. Mix a few drops with your moisturizer for a bronzed face too! I heard about this product from makeup artist Tracy Murphy and have never looked back. Our go-to on shoots is St. Tropez. It never fails. The tan is long-lasting and natural. James Read is great for a natural face tan. Apply a few drops with your moisturizer daily.

(James Read, Vita Liberta, St. Tropez.)

(James Read, Vita Liberta, St. Tropez.)


A mitt is really a non-negotiable, especially if you're using a mousse. Work from the bottom up, being sure not to apply too much product to hands or feet. Use even pressure and apply in a small circular motion. Use the buddy system - If you should be so lucky. Have them get your back. If you're going solo, just be sure to give equal attention to your backside. 


Staying moisturized is the No. 1 priority in keeping your tan. Take short showers and pat dry. After about a week, say your goodbyes and exfoliate it off. Then, repeat!