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It’s winter and it’s been gloomy and raining all. the. time. lately here in San Diego. Normally, I love rain. It’s perfect for lazy days of cozying up for the latest Netflix binge or a marathon reading sesh courtesy of that one professor. However, the rain is HORRIBLE when it comes to wanting to keep your skin glowing and tanned.   

I have a special kind of love for being tanned and feeling healthy in every way possible. When I’m in a fitness phase and not only feeling strong and confident, but also really craving being outside, gloomy ain like our recent weather proposes a major challenge. Being tan just gives me that extra boost, that little bit of “extra” to make me feel sun-kissed (without the skin damage) and glowy.  

After years of testing out self-tanning products and keeping track of any and all ways my sensitive skin reacts to the product, I’ve found three brands of self-tanners that never fail to make me feel my absolute best, even in this rain!

Photo by Megan Fitzpatrick

1.) South Seas Skincare

-Tahitian Tan Mist (7 fl oz) $28

-Tahitian Glow Self Tanner (6 fl oz) $24


When it comes to easy and little effort self-tanning products, this is by far my favorite brand. The Tan Mist is the best product for tanning your face because you don’t need an applicator which means no worry about germs! If you’re in a rush and in need of a quick bit of color that will dry quickly, not transfer to your clothing, and continuously develop throughout your day, this mist is your new best friend.  

The Glow Self Tanner is a new product for me and one that I’ve only used a couple of times; however, I love how easily blendable the product is and the fact that the smell isn’t that classic, overbearing self-tan smell. It gives a beautiful glow and has not dried out my skin after use!


2.) St. Tropez

-Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse (200 ml) $45

-Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse (200 ml) $44

-Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse (200 ml) $44

-Self Tan Classic Bronzing Lotion (200 ml) $44

-Applicator Mitt $6.50

-Tan Enhancing Body Polish (200 ml) $18

-Tan Enhancing Body Moisturizer (200 ml) $18


I have used St. Tropez self-tanners for years. I was introduced to the brand by one of my favorite YouTube beauty gurus and bloggers and have been obsessed ever since. This was the brand that got me hooked on self-tanning and because of that, I’ve tried most of their products.

Photo by Megan Fitzpatrick

Starting out, I used the Classic Bronzing Lotion with their standard applicator mitt and though I loved the consistency of the product, I’m not the biggest lotion fan and decided to try the mousses instead. Since then, I’ve yet to go back to the lotion. Because I love a dark tan, I quickly found that classic tan was not my color of choice. I moved on to the Dark Bronzing Mousse and used that religiously until St. Tropez launched their Extra Dark formula. This formula is dark and certainly intimidating for first-time users, let alone first-time self-tanners; however, if you are looking to tan by about six shades overnight...it’s perfect.

I’ve also tried both the St. Tropez Enhancing Body Polish (pre and post-tan exfoliator for skin prep) and the Enhancing Body Moisturizer which is supposed to extend the life of your tan by a few more days. Personally, the moisturizer doesn’t do a better job than regularly using any average body lotion but I do highly recommend the body polish for a softer type of skin exfoliant, especially if you have more sensitive skin.

Photo by Megan Fitzpatrick

3.) Bali Body

-Self Tanning Mousse (6.7 fl oz) $29.95

-Luxe Tanning Mitt $12.95


Bali Body is a company I came across on Instagram about a year ago because of their tanning enhancement formulas that essentially blew up in popularity through influencers and Insta models. Their lotions are for sun tanning and have an incredible reputation; however, I’ve yet to try them for the sole sake of avoiding sun tanning as much as possible.

This past summer they released their own version of a self-tanning mousse so I jumped on board and decided to give it a shot. First impression wise, I was disappointed. It doesn't appear as dark as what’s advertised; however, I’ve grown to actually love that about it. Instead of being a very rich dark brown tan, it’s a more natural light brown glow that makes my tan look the most natural out of all of the products I’ve tried and their mitt is my absolute favorite applicant because it’s double-sided and soft.

Photo by Megan Fitzpatrick

If you have any favorites or decide to try these products, please share your experiences with me! I’m always looking for some more recommendations!


Megan is the Chief Operations Officer of Kappa Alpha Theta and a junior studying Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in Advertising. She can often be found editing photos, checking in on the latest collections walking the runways and always listening to podcasts. A few of Megan’s favorite things are sour candy, skiing and road trips with great playlists. Don't forget to check out her blog (alwaysmegannicole.com), her VSCO (alwaysmegannicole), and follow her on Instagram (megann_fitz).
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