9 Clever Self-Tanning Tips You’ve Never Heard

Where would we be without the beauty godsend that is self-tanner? Pale, pasty, and possibly sickly-looking, that’s for sure. But like many beauty products, self-tanner can be a double-edged sword: Those skilled in application can achieve golden goddess status with one sweep of a self-tanning mitt, while others less apt are left with streaks and blotches (and—worst-case scenario—a telltale orangish hue). The whole point of self-tanner is to look like you aren’t wearing any, after all, yet so many variables (lack of time, lack of skill, and lack of patience) can contribute to a less-than-stellar final result. Cue the resigned sigh.

With this in mind, we recently caught up with charming and knowledgeable self-tanning master James Read at Violet Grey. As he filled us in on the latest launches from his eponymous bronzing line (the Tan Perfecting Enzyme Peel Mask, $22, and Tan Extending Sleep Serum, $45, sounded especially intriguing), we realized our opportunity and issued him a challenge: to go beyond the “exfoliate beforehand” guidance and surprise us with self-tanning advice we’ve never heard before. Well, Read delivered—and then some (no surprise, considering Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Ellie Goulding turn to him to get their glow on). From frozen peas to electric shavers, keep scrolling for nine life-changing self-tanning tips!