SUMMER OF HOTNESS VIDEO TUTORIAL #1: My Full Body Shave (Uh-Huh!) Double Dip Self-Tanner Technique -- REVEALED!

How do I live on vampire time yet remain glowy and sunkissed year-round? Answers below. LIVE! In a MOVIE!
Publish date:
May 23, 2012
shoppables, body, beauty, self-tanner, video tutorial, M

Me, my fab-always fake tan/messy lipstick and DJ Prince Terrence at Westway

First of all, let me say that the photo is totally unrelated to the video; it's just a picture of my usual good fake tan (and I've NEVER gotten a pro spray-tan -- all self-administered!). Hi Prince Terrence! He's the best. He hosts and DJs like every night in New York, and is especially known for his amazing summer afterhours parties. I. Cannot. Wait!

Second of all, let me say that it is a hot pink bathing suit bottom I'm flashing all over the place, not underpants, in the video; I was trying to self-tan as un-nakedly as possible but still do the full body for you all, you know? And bathing suits sort of nullify sexual energy. But then, it just looks like I don't have Charlotte's shorts buttoned, which I suppose is true.

Moving on.

OK! So the other night I was at the apartment of my ride-or-die fam BFF (even when I don't see her for months) Charlotte, who has taught me basically everything good I know over the years.

Or, it's like her little brother's apartment; it's a family apartment she is stuck living in and hates; she just moved out of her duplex one which I loved. Anyway, I know you care. My point is: She is moving out and so it's messy. Forgive us.

I met Charlotte when I was like 20 or 21 and applying for my first-ever internship at NYLON. Charlotte was the beauty editor there, and we've been best friends in a big sister-little sister way ever since.

She's incredibly glamorous with these famous parents and step-parents, but I didn't know for five years; she never mentioned it. When I found shit out, I was all, "WHAT?!" She's incredible like that.

And she has such good books it makes me sick; I can't look at them -- every rock and groupie book you've never heard of and then some. And she only wears Agnes B. (GOD, so chic) and beautiful nude patent Prada heels and has white-blond hair like models do; she drinks crazy-expensive champagne like we drink Coke Zero, and she grew up on the Upper East Side and went to Sacred Heart which I love; she has dirt on everybody.

We have an extra special connection because she was the first EVER beauty assistant at Lucky, when the magazine launched. Cute, right? She's been my mentor and sister for like almost 10 years now. I worship her. Oh, and she can't drive, just like me! We're going to run away to Europe together.

I try to be Julie's Charlotte, but I don't think Julie wants me a...lunatic sister. Who does? Certainly not my real sister, who once -- after I spent the night at the hospital after taking 40 pills and almost having my apartment door broken down by an NYPD swat team -- came to check me out from Bellevue -- as someone was required to -- and was so pissed at me that she wouldn't give me cab fare or money for coffee or ANYTHING!

Instead, she made me walk 30 blocks home in the same miniscule chiffon nightgown I was wearing when I was taken out of my apartment, finally, after a two-hour police stand-off, after being wrestled to the ground and strapped to a gurney.

And the whole walk home, everyone hooted at me! And I still felt sort of sick from all those pills, even though I'd retched them up all night in the hospital hallway (still strapped to the gurney; they never let me get up).

Yup, she's all about the tough love, that biological big sister of mine. What was I talking about?

Oh, Charlotte filmed this video of me explaining how I always have a really good self-tan. I discuss the products I've been using lately (it changes about every three weeks, when I run out -- so stay tuned; I have a bunch of other favorites on deck to share with you this summer).

By the way, I know a lot of you don't, but I LOVE self-tanner; I used to NEVER use it and now I couldn't LIVE without it; I promise I will make you a convert eventually. Enjoy the (crazy) video; ignore the mumbled Lindsay Lohan story which you probably can't understand anyway, and the products I mention in the video tutorial are below. XO


This is a nice little grainy scrub I’ve had in my tub/shower for a while. As I noted (rather manically, as is my custom), I am not the most disciplined with the ol’ body scrubs. I spend about 40 seconds total doing the whole thing -- scrubbing a bit; sloshing them off. But exfoliation helps.

My former boss at my old beloved home of many years Lucky, the goddess/beauty director Jean Godfrey-June, whom I WORSHIP and she knows it, mang, insists that exfoliation is unnecessary. I say it helps. You tell me your thoughts in the comments section.


Not unlike pancake batter on a griddle or sperm on a back not a second too soon, this stuff sprinkles in drops in a milky white liquid with barely any scent at all. It gives you the most lovely all-over even glowiness.

Like I say in the video, people don’t associate Kiehl’s with self-tanner, but it’s made by L’Oreal, the same company that makes Lancome self-tanners -- the best prestige self-tanners ever, in my opinion (and in the words of "Ab Fab", MY GOD IS ME) and, of course, L’oreal Paris self-tanners, the best mass market self-tanners (Playmate of the Year 2010 and buddy-buddy Hope D. agrees). (Yes I was too lazy to look up the spelling of her name.)

So, in other words, duh, Kiehl’s makes a killer self-tanner. One that's full of cocoa seed butter and vitamin E and swaggy emollients, son, so it goes on so easy you don’t need to think about it. And of course it stands on its own, but if you wanna get REALLY tan, you double dip. Apply a second self-tanner about 10 hours later, without bathing in between.


These bad boys are practically foolproof! Note in the "film" how I fling them from the package with abandon and then slather them all over myself with gusto like one might lubricate their own forearm in Pjur Body Glide just before nightfall in the western foothills of the Black Forest in Baden-Baden.

That’s in Germany where the orgies get hot and the fake tans melt right off slick sexed-up backs if they’re not double-deckered application-wise, my friends. That’s why I recommend the Cat Marnell technique, motherfuckers. No, literally in Germany you have sex with your mothers. I’m half German so I’m allowed to say that!

NEIN. I am joking. Well, not about being half German, but who cares. I only talk this way on the internet because men are allowed and my bosses know it. I dare them to censor me; I will throw a fit. A FIT, I say!

(You think I talk about this sort of thing in real life? Please. I’m a teenybopper. I literally stand around and chew gum and tug on my leotard and text my assistant things like, “Where can I go at 8:30 pm for false eyelashes honeeeeey?”)

Ooh, I am getting off topic again. Tan Towels rule. Please send me some Tan Towels, Tan Towels. Look at all of the attention I just got your awesome product! No, I'm a terrible person and you don't have to send me anything.

Anyway, you see the results from these bad boys in like three hours. Watch the video. I don't know why I keep writing! The whole point of the video was so that I wouldn't have to write! God, I am the worst.

Let's end this now. Tell me your self-tanner secrets, thoughts fears, desires, dreams, whatever, in the comments.

Cat's on Twitter and she thinks Twitter is cool and fun; people who hate on it are annoying! @cat_marnell