Exfoliating allows all of the subsequent products you use to absorb much more effectively. And it's a necessary step if you plan to self-tan (more on that to come). Try the Ole Henriksen Loofah Body Scrub because it has this super-invigorating, cooling effect that makes you feel all tingly. It’s gentle, but it does what you need it to do, which is remove dull skin and reveal the beach-ready skin that’s been hiding there somewhere.
This cream from Ren is quite hydrating and it absorbs faster than most. There's nothing worse than walking outside on a hot day only to see your moisturizer drip off your body.
Ren Osmotic Infusion Ultra-Moisture Day Cream, $55, Sephora.com
Good news: You don't need to spend too much to get one of the best streak-free self-tanners on the market. After exfoliating and moisturizing, apply VERY generously. If you can manage not to miss any spots and if you rub it in properly you'll be several shades darker in a natural look, not at all reminiscent of a Jersey Shore character kind of way. Trust us, self-tanner has come a long way since you last used it and were appalled by the orange, streaky outcome.
This last step may strike you as being a tad bizarre, but think about the sheer proportions of it all. If you have a huge mop on your head it'll make your body appear smaller. So this is the one place that you'll really want to do it up—and by up we don't literally mean up, we mean go big or go home! Think big sun hats or large messy buns, or wear your hair down with extra volume. A nice root lifter should do the trick.