Want to return from your holiday break looking as if you spent it in St. Barts?  There's no need to soak up the sun and do damage to your skin with all the self-tanning products on the market today.  From lotions and gels to foams and sprays, a vast array of options is available to anyone seeking a natural-looking tan. Though each type has its benefits, spray tanning products are often the most effective (and require the trickiest techniques) for achieving a flawless finish.  Here is a step-by-step guide to the sometimes daunting process of getting a tan from a can.

  1. Prior to using any self-tanning product, exfoliate skin and shave legs.

  2. Be sure to pick a sunless tanner in the correct shade for your skin.

  3. Shake bottle to ensure solution is thoroughly mixed.

  4. Leg application must be both swift and precise.

  5. Spray a steady stream starting at one end of the leg.

  6. Continue spraying around leg in a circular motion, not up and down.

  7. Use a steady pressure on the nozzle to create an airbrushed effect.

  8. Coat the lower leg completely and immediately rub in the dye.

  9. Blend any streaks for an even surface color.

  10. Avoiding the knee, spray upper leg region.

  11. Continue coating mist over upper leg.

  12. Stop spraying where tan should end.

  13. Rub in dye completely and wipe knee with a wet washcloth.

  14. Wash hands thoroughly and check for signs of your sunless tan after an hour.