I'm about to go on a cruise and as I don't really sunbathe, even though I live near the beach in LA, I'm still a little pasty and a bit embarrassed to expose my white flesh on board for all to see. The answer lies in self tan, nowadays they give a really believable golden glow and with a few tricks can be applied easily.
I start with a good exfoliation all over, for this I prefer to use exfoliating gloves rather than a scrub as I think this does the job better for this and doesn't leave any grains behind to mess up application. I combine the gloves with a moisturising body wash like Dove and pay special attention to feet, elbows and knees. After your shower dry yourself thoroughly and lightly moisturise your feet, elbows and knees and give it a few minutes to sink in.
I now apply the tan using latex gloves to protect my palms from going orange, make sure you get tight fitting ones so you don't streak your tan. I start at my feet and blend upwards and outwards. If you don't have anyone to do your back I find the best way is to fold one hand up behind your back with the back of your hand against it and one over your shoulder palm down and do a kind of windshield wiper motion. Check in the mirror to see if you've missed any spots and then go back over them. I finish by doing my arms last and then after removing the gloves use a makeup sponge to do the backs of your hands. After applying to your hands, take a little body lotion and rub it in as hands tend to absorb more, then this way they won't end up too dark.
Use a separate tan for your face, one that has been especially formulated so it won't clog pores or cause breakouts and apply this with a makeup sponge too. I like to self tan last thing at night so that it can develop while I sleep and won't get streaky.
I have recently tried several tans and these are my favorites:
Mystic Tan http://www.mystictan.com/ is a 3 step process and has a daily moisturiser to maintain it. It takes a little while to do but is worth it for the lasting deep natural tan it gives.
Xen-Tan http://www.xen-tan.com/ is another great one, this has a gorgeous smell, not like the usual giveaway burnt cookie smell of most of them and is tinted for easy application.
Bronze Goddess Tinted Self Tan by http://www.esteelauder.com/ is my choice for an evening out. You can apply this transfer resistant gelee before going out for an instant golden glow that develops more within a few hours.
For the face I love Solar Tan by http://www.hourglasscosmetics.com/ this is also a makeup primer so again you can apply it before going out under your makeup.
If you'd like to have your tan applied for you and combine it with an amazing body scrub treatment try St. Tropez Self Tanning treatment at http://www.kinaraspa.com/ I had this treatment and not only is it relaxing but the tan was so good people asked me where I'd been!!
To maintain your tan mositurise regularly. I use Body Firming Creme by Estee Lauder, it sinks in immediately and you get the added benefit of the firming action.
I'm off to do my own now in preparation for my weekend at sea!