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July 8, 2011

Summer Skin Beauty Countdown

Whether you have one minute or a month to prepare for a tropical getaway, here's a guide to grinning and baring it in no time.

woman smiling

Photo Credit: Pando Hall

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With self-tanners stepping up their technology, you'll never have to worry about looking like you've been mainlining carrots.

Two Days: New, clear self-tanning gels like L'Oréal's Sublime Bronze allow for fast absorption and tidy application that won't stain your clothes or beloved Frette sheets (the formula turns bronze on contact with your skin's melanin). Just exfoliate a day prior to ensure streak-free results, and allow 24 hours for the shade to develop.

One Day: A few drops of Guerlain's Terracotta Serum in your favorite moisturizer promises a golden, longer-lasting bronze. Its secret: a Tan Booster ingredient derived from the carob tree that safely boosts your skin's melanin (unlike pills such as prescription Psoralen, which make you more sensitive to UV rays, says L.A. dermatologist Dr. Ronald Moy).

10 Minutes: For a quick color boost, opt for a mix of gel and powder bronzers. "The secret is to dust shimmer bronzer where the sun naturally hits," suggests makeup artist Lauren Cosenza, who preps the Victoria's Secret Angels for their fashion shows. That means applying a matte gel formula all over, then highlighting shoulders, the collarbones, décolletage, fronts of thighs, forehead, bridge of the nose, and cheekbones with shimmer. Look out, Gisele.

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