While we melt away during the hot summer work week, we find ourselves daydreaming at our desk of weekend getaways at the beach and rooftop cocktails shared with our best friends. After all, what says summer more than an ice cold margarita and a sexy golden tan (faux tan of course!)? We have found the best self tanners and bronzers that will turn you into an enviable bathing beauty in no time… St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse and Mitt, $36.50
This mousse formula is unique because you can use it for both your face and body; it’s a two-for-one. The application mitt ensures smooth coverage while protecting your hands from the orange palm syndrome that is so common with many self tanners. This formula is quick drying, in just 60 seconds! Shower just four hours after application to wash off any excess and you’ll be ready for that bikini. Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer, $7.49
Jergens is a great solution for a first-time self tanner. This product does double duty as a moisturizer and it even has built in SPF 20. What more could a girl ask for? Since the formula works as a gradual tanner, it is the perfect product to use during the week leading up to a beach trip. It even caters to a variety of skin pigments coming in fair, medium and dark. Duwop Clear Revolotion Tinted Body Moisturizer, $30
DuWop has outfitted their Clear Revolotion product with a blueish hue to offset any orange tendencies, leaving you with a fabulously realistic tan. Fortified with white tea and chamomile extracts, this gel helps to condition and smooth your skin while a hint of shimmer gives you a dewy glow. It dries in just 5-10 minutes and gives you the most natural, temporary glow. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Golden Perfection, $28
This silky lotion glides over the skin easily leaving no orange streaks behind and you will see your tan start to develop in just an hour. Since this product doesn’t come with an applicator make sure to wash hands after application to avoid orange palms to simply wear latex gloves. It dries within minutes so it’s a perfect product for women on the move. Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting, $45
This is the perfect product to have in your makeup kit for those impromptu invites for rooftop cocktails. It is essentially a tinted highlighter. Apply it to your arms, legs and décolletage for a sexy shimmer. For a more dramatic color, wet the body puff before applying. Toss this little compact into your clutch for the night to apply touch ups when needed.
It seems like every woman who has tried a self tanner has a similar story to tell…they don’t like the smell, they look orangey, the color came out looking unnatural, streaky or uneven. Before you begin your tanning, here are some insider tips to ensure you get your best glow on:
- It is important to exfoliate your skin before applying. Pay special attention to your knees and elbows.
- Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying.
- Apply a barrier like Vaseline onto your fingernails, toenails and cuticles to avoid discoloration in these areas.
- Remember to start at your feet and work your way up. This way you won’t crease the color by bending over.
Have a self tanning disaster? It happens to the best of us, no worries! If you see that your tanning application wasn’t as flawless as you thought there is no need to panic. To get rid of any streaks you may have you can simply combine a few tablespoons of baking soda and some fresh lemon juice until it forms a paste and apply it to the necessary areas. The baking soda acts as a light exfoliate while the acid from the lemon juice removes any excess tanner your skin may not have absorbed.
Summer is just around the corner and before you know it you’ll be showing more skin. If your skin is still a shade of winter white, self-tanner is the safe answer to achieving a summer glow before you hit the beach or pool. A smooth and natural application is easy to get at home if you exfoliate first. Here are some of my recommendations for soft and beautifully bronzed skin. All products tried and true!
Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
This Brown Sugar Body Polish is an all-natural scrub made with real brown sugar crystals and natural humectants that rid your skin of dry skin cells while preventing future moisture loss. The scrub blends four natural oils that deeply moisturize and nourish the skin. I am a huge fan of this product and have been using it for years to keep my legs from looking like the skin of an alligator. One of the best scrubs on the market.
Buy Now, $38
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ‘Soy Milk & Honey’ Body Polish
Nothing is sweeter than Milk and Honey, this scrub included. Made of pure Honey and Soy Milk protein, this body exfoliator will help your skin feel it’s softest! Kiehl’s body polish is also infused with Shea and Jojoba Butters, Sweet Almond Oil, and Luffa Fruit for a nourishing effect. It does not leave an oily residue on the skin so makes a great pre-tan scrub. I am obsessed with the amazing scent!
Buy Now, $28
Burt’s Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub
Burt’s Bees is becoming the go-to natural drugstore brand known for great ingredients like pomegranate. This sugar scrub smells delectable and leaves your skin oh-so-smooth. Really a two-in-one, there is no need to moisturize after use.
Buy Now, $12.99
For the face:
A celebrity favorite, this gentle facial scrub is made of 30% minerals, bentonite clay, and moisturizing agents that scrub dirt softly away while toning and moisturizing your skin. It is extremely mild, treating your face with the utmost care.
Buy Now, $48
St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub, Oil-Free
This facial scrub uses 100% Natural Green Tea to enhance your skin with Vitamins C and E and an abundant amount of anti-oxidants, which help prevent aging. The scrub also contains extracts from olive oil and olive leaves. Dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic, this Green Tea Scrub clears away breakouts and reduces irritating redness too.
Buy Now, $5.99
Xen-Tan’s E! Live from the Red Carpet Perfect Blend
Other than a tan, nothing says summer more than a fresh scent –this tanner combines both with its sun-ready tone and summer sweet cucumber melon scent. What also makes it so special is that it has an adjustable dial that allows you to customize your tan from light to dark so even a self-tanning rookie can achieve a flawless application. Xen-tan is a favorite of the royal maid of honor, Pipa Middleton as well as Giuliana Rancic. I love this product big time, especially because it does not stain your clothing. Need I say more?
Buy Now, $43
Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Self-Tanning Emulsion
This self-tanner has a duel identity, moisturizing as it gradually darkens your skin-tone for a beach-ready bronze! If you don’t like applying self-tanners that are bronze colored because they can stain your clothes, this is the perfect product for you! It is a clean white cream that is dermatologist-tested and meant for both your body and face. Using it a few times a week will create the perfect sun-kissed skin.
Buy Now, $26
Melvita Pro Sun Tanning and Preparation Milk
This is the perfect self-tanner for fair-skinned tones and those of you who like or prefer using organic products. Made with active extracts from Carob and Sugar, this organic tanning milk gives your skin a healthy and gradual tan. Safflower and Coconut oils soften the skin while the Buriti oils protect it from dehydration.
Buy Now, $28
Sun Labs Self-Tanning Micro Mist
No need to get your hands dirty, this self-tanning spray let’s you apply the liquid evenly without ever having to rub it in. This product darkens your skin instantly, and works best after exfoliation. I personally love the shade of this tan that is created by using it. The spray smells great and your golden glow will stand strong for 5-7 days after application.
Buy Now, $16
L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist
The new mist is amazing and similar to what you would achieve from getting a professional spray tan. I like it because it’s super easy to get to those hard to reach places like your back. No more tell tale white spots! The scent is very light and nice. Affordably priced too.
Buy Now, $10.49
L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze
Another great drugstore find! This product is a clear gel and works very well on all skin types. The tan is bronze colored and very natural. It is important to make sure that all spots are covered when applying including ankles and knees, inside of arms and back of legs. If you miss a spot, just fill it in with the spray mist product.
Buy Now, $10.49
I have been putting this off as long as possible, but I’m afraid that with the crispness of the air and declining temperatures I finally have to admit that fall is rapidly approaching. For this sun-lover, that creates extreme anxiety about how to maintain my summer glow. Believe me, when it comes to self-tanners, I have tried them all and have always been disappointed—I end up too orange, too streaky, or smell like a tanning salon. While browsing Sephora the other day, however, I came across St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body. Since I had been in St. Tropez over the summer and ended up with a gorgeous tan as a result, I decided to give it a try. The results were fantastic! This everyday moisturizer not only gradually builds to a realistic and streak-free tan but is also infused with soothing aloe vera to leave your skin feeling silky smooth. Best of all, St. Tropez uses a special fragrance technology that erases the telltale smell of self-tanner, so you don’t have to worry about smelling like eau de spray-tan booth. Now that St. Tropez solved my healthy tan dilemma, I can concentrate fully on what I’m excited for this fall, like getting my hands on a pair of DVF lace-up booties!—Kate Bryan
Shop the Full Story:
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Golden Perfection Tinted Self-Tanning Gelée for Body: The Safe Way to Golden Perfection
I have always been a sun goddess of sorts—for me, there was no substitute for an authentic tan from the sun. That is, until I discovered Estée Lauder Tanning Gelée. The tan looks so real, I no longer need to spend time getting that golden glow from dangerous UVA and UVB rays. I instantly look sun-kissed without a carcinogenic threat.—Libby Henry
Buy Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Golden Perfection Tinted Self-Tanning Gelée for Body, $28.50, at esteelauder.com