If your self-tanning experiences are anything like my past ones, instead of looking like a golden goddess, you end up achieving more of an Oompa-Loompa look (queue up the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory music now).
To date, I’ve been anti self-tanners as they always fall short (make that streaky). But in my recent quest to avoid looking like Casper the Ghost this summer, I decided to embrace the sun-in-a-bottle option. I rigorously researched the best self-tanners that provide an even, bronzed hue sans the orangey, streaky body parts.
So on behalf of all skin enthusiasts out there who want to avoid looking like leathery-skinned, overly-tanned Magda (There’s Something About Mary), these worthy self-tanners will deliver the golden goods! Who’s ready to be a bronzed beauty sans the sun? Ready…set…glow!
Fake Bake Self-Tanning Mousse ($28): This “tan in a can” truly is a smart way to achieve a golden bronze hue, and is as easy as pie to apply due to its foam texture. And because it’s a light-weight mousse, it dries a lot faster than a lotion or spray. (Can be used for body and face.)
St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion ($18): For those who have secretly always wanted to indulge in a one-night stand, St. Tropez One Night Only self-tanning lotion is the perfect option! This self-tanner gives a bronzed glow for a single night, less the commitment of long-lasting color. (Can be used for body and face.)
Intense Bronze Self-Tanning Tint ($32): For those who prefer to keep their face and chest sun free, Clarins Intense Bronze Tint is designed for the face and décolleté and provides instant bronzed color. Apply the tinted liquid to a cotton pad and then rub evenly over your face and neck/chest area (like you would a toner or astringent). Voila…instant color on that pretty mug of yours! (Now you can avoid beauty faux pas #17: sporting a tanned body and clashingly white face.)
Related: 7 Skin Care Secrets for Summer 2012
Philosophy Here Comes the Sun Self-Tanner For Body ($28): This smart self-tanner not only provides a sun-kissed golden glow, but promises to help firm and tone the skin via its anti-aging complex. A lotion that delivers golden goddess color and fights wrinkles? Yes, please. (Can be used for body and face.)
Must-Do Prep For Applying Self-Tanner
Now that you’ve picked the perfect self-tanner, you’re halfway there! In order to avoid the self-tanning pitfalls we’ve all seen in the “do’s and don’ts” photos of bottle tanning gone wrong, these tips and techniques are a must before applying self-tanner:
Exfoliation Princess: By exfoliating you remove dry, dead skin creating smooth, even skin (this is the #1 must-do to avoid streaks).
Even Steven: We all know the tell-tale signs of a faux tan as darker, patchy hands, knuckles, elbows, knees, and ankles. As these areas tend to have drier skin, they’re a sponge for the self-tanning lotion/spray. A sure-fire fix? Dilute the self-tanning product with an equal amount of moisturizing lotion and use this diluted formula on drier areas.
More is More: While we budgetistas are all about “a little dab will do” this does not apply to self-tanners. Be sure to use enough product and really take your time when applying the tanner to ensure an even coat (this will prevent those notorious zebra-like streaks).
High n’ Dry: One of the biggest mistakes DIY self-tanning mavens make is to skip the drying process. (I’ve actually had car seat imprints on the back of my legs. Not pretty unless I’m promoting an Armor All ad.) So once you’ve applied the self-tanner, allow at least 15 minutes (20 is even better) before going about the rest of your day. (Think of it in mani and pedi terms: the longer you allow your body to dry, the less likely smudges and streaks will occur!)
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