Executive Beauty Director

If you go on vacation to a sunny place, you must self-tan first. That way, you’re not tempted to lie in the sun, SPF-less, trying for a tan­—and end up sunburned and ridiculous. I went on the most fantastic, enchanting vacation ever to Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos (there is nowhere more relaxing, beautiful, simple, delicious …). The president of a sunscreen company (!) happened to be there too—at least for the first day, which he spent in the sun. The rest of the time he was inside, recovering, except—swathed in unguents and gauzes—during brief, painful-looking lunchtime appearances.

Self-tan the day before you go, and pile on the SPF (all-natural, to avoid poisoning the coral reefs) once there. Then lounge, tanned and gorgeous, in the shade between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm.

The perfect dusky-sexy-subtle shade of tan is hard to find, especially in a quick-dry mousse. (Anything quick-dry terrifies me: I envision irreversible streaks, a lurid stained hand. Also your skin feels tight after a quick-dry, no?) But the new, airy mousse from L’Oréal all but blends itself, goes on truly in seconds and dries in a way that does not leave you feeling shrink-wrapped. The color is gorgeous. And there is no self-tan scent. Devote your vacation to lounging, not tanning.

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Mousse, $11, drugstore.com

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