Casual Friday

Maybe She’s Born With it, Maybe it’s Self Tanner (My Self Tanning Routine)

April 8, 2022

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

At this point, it’s no secret that I’m a self proclaimed, self tanner. I can’t help it! I love a warm glowy look on my naturally pale-ish pink skin. It’s just my personal preference and when I’m bronzed, I feel a little more confident. Long gone are the tanning bed days (I’m seriously side-eyeing my younger self) so I thought I would share my tanning routine. It’s evolved a bit over the years, but now I’m to a point where I’ve found my favorite brands, my favorite shades, and products that don’t make my skin break out. Sharing all the deets!

My Self Tanning Routine

I always start with exfoliating in the shower using my fav Necessaire Body Exfoliator, and the Coco & Eve exfoliator mitt. The mitt is like a gentle sandpaper and it works the best. (This might start sounding like a Coco & Eve ad, but I swear it’s not.)

After the shower, I skip the lotion, because the tanner doesn’t absorb as well over lotion. I’ve tried many self tanners over the years and Coco & Eve is my absolute favorite tanner because of the evenness of the application, the tone of the color (warm, but not orange), and how moisturizing it is! It’s moisturizing enough that I don’t dry up like a dessert after exfoliating AND skipping the lotion. My preferred shade is dark, and I love the foaminess of the product.

Using the Coco & Eve applicator mitt, I pump directly into the mitt (close my hand around the foam to spread it), and apply in a circular motion starting from the bottom up. Here’s the thing about self-tanner: the dryer parts of your skin, like ankles, knees, and elbows are going to absorb the tanner more, usually making them darker. To avoid that, I never apply the foam directly onto those parts. Instead I rub all the way into the skin, then with the residual tanner, I move to the dryer parts with a lighter pressure.

Then I just move my way up! I do about 4 pumps per leg, 2 pumps per arm, 2 pumps on the front and 2 pumps on the back. I actually got this back applicator because I didn’t want to always have to ask Chris to give an assist. It’s kind of similar to the way you dry off your back with a towel! I always wash my hands after because it can leave colorful splotches. I would say if the paleness on your hands bothers you, you could always pump a tiny bit into a makeup brush and buff it into your hands.

The drying period is minimal, and I only do this about once a week. I usually finish getting my hair and makeup ready while it settles and by the time I’m done, I get dressed. Moisturizing the following day is key to making the evenness last and keeping my skin hydrated.

Now if I rub this onto my face I will break out! Why are faces so complicated?? Instead I use these Tan Luxe drops in medium/dark. Twice a week at night (the last step in my skin care routine), I mix two drops with my moisturizer and apply all over. In the mornings I do a little St. Tropez spritz after I wash my face, just to maintain the glow.

And that’s the routine! Here’s all the links to all the things!

My Favorite Self Tanning Products

Nécessaire Exfoliator $30

Coco & Eve Exfoliating Mitt $13

Coco & Eve Tanner Mousse + Mitt (in dark) $43

Back Tanning Applicator $8

Tan Luxe Drops (in medium/dark) $55

St. Tropez Bronzing Face Mist $30


Shop My Self-Tan Favs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. One important thing that you have to be aware of about outdoor tanning lotions is that they work in accelerating the process of tanning your skin while ensuring that it stays healthy and fully moisturized.

  2. Laurie says:

    I found this actually very helpful! I have “0” self tanning experience and have wanted to try. I just went for it and am giving your faves a try. Thanks for likely saving me much trial, error, and expense. :)

  3. Sarah Richardson says:

    How do you self tan without stripes?

  4. Magan van Tonder says:

    What body moisturizer do you like for days you don’t do this self-tanner routine?

  5. Harriet says:

    Maybe it’s my age but I no longer desire or worry about whether I have a tan.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I also love coco and eve! :) I’m curious if you experience the self tanner transferring to your sheets and if so do you have any tips on how to stop it?

  7. Anna says:

    So you don’t shower off the C&E? Just go about your day??

  8. Sunny says:

    Julia, I have a couple questions for you. One, does the self tanner smell? The ones I have tried didn’t smell very good at all. Two, how do you find the rub-off on your sheets and clothes? Is there any? And if there is how do you clean it?

  9. Rachel says:

    I also love Coco&Eve! How do you keep white sheets from getting stained when you self tan?

  10. Amber says:

    Hi! How often do you tan your body. I purchased the Cocoa and Eve foam and days 3-8 for me were pretty splotchy. I’m going to try exfoliate more and moisturize after day 1.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

A reader recently asked me if I’m starting to fully embrace traditional style and whether we still consider our house to be a “modern Colonial” and why. It was a really great question and so timely — I had really just been thinking about my approach to this home and how my style has changed […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations