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"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer," the French philosopher Albert Camus once said. By which he really meant: "Damn, I look hot with a tan."
We all know that a little sun is a good thing. "When taken in moderately, an increase in vitamin D stimulates collagen production in the skin and can have a lasting effect on the way we look and feel," says Joel Marriott, a makeup artist and groomer for Sisley. But how can you retain that luminous, summery aura as the days get shorter and cooler?
Marriott recommends investing in products formulated for after you've soaked up the rays, like a tan extender or a restorative facial cream or serum that helps fight against the harmful effects of environmental stress. If you're a bit more daring, you can take the tinted moisturizer route. "I tell all my boys to use a BB tinted moisturizer with SPF to instantly improve any redness from sun exposure," says Jodie Boland, grooming director at Lab Series. (BB stands for "beauty balm" and roughly means a moisturizer with some pigment.) Just be sure to keep reapplying if you're outdoors and avoid long spells in direct sunlight between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The key to a nice, healthy complexion is keeping skin hydrated and avoiding overexposure that can damage your dermis.
Of course, an easy, though sometimes messy, way to emulate that summer glow is to use a self-tanner. Boland prefers the mousse-like formulas, as they prevent streaking and spread more evenly. She suggests starting lighter and then increasing how much you use once you've developed a base tan.
And then there's the oldest trick in the book: bronzer. Marriott's tip is to apply some to the areas of your face that the sun would reach naturally (nose, forehead, cheekbones). Just use it sparingly, or risk looking like an Oompa Loompa or a certain crappy president. Finish off with a little beach spray, and you'll look like you just returned from a long, languorous weekend in Fire Island -- even if it's time to start building bonfires and breaking out the Baja ponchos.