Our Favorite Self-Tanners

I hate being pale. Unless I turn into Emma Stone or Amanda Seyfried, who can always pull off the perfect fair-skinned look time and time again, I will remain uncomfortable with unbronzed skin. That being said, I decided to start tanning in a bed at the tanning salon when I was a freshman in college. I’m not a naturally fair-skinned, but I’m also not naturally bronze. So, for about three months, I would tan three or more times a week for 20 minutes. Then, one day, I came to a realization that I no longer wanted to damage my body.

After my realization, I set out to find the perfect self-tanner. I won’t lie; during my journey, I found it takes practice and patience to perfect a streak-free application of self-tanner. However, now there are nifty mitts you can use to apply your self-tanner flawlessly, without leaving streaks or leaving you with carrot hands. There are also the "Ten Commandments" below that will help any inexperienced faux-glower wake up flawlessly bronzed. Here are my some beauty bloggers’ faves with a few of my personal self-tanning secret weapons mixed in.

First off, a few things to always remember before applying self-tanner, explained perfectly by Cosmopolitan:

Best Face Self-Tanners: Here are some of the best face tanners I’ve used. The ultimate plus-side to using face self-tanner: tan face equals less makeup, equals less time!

1. St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing. This stuff is amazing. I got it as a sample from Sephora, and I’ve never looked back. It leaves your face super soft with just the right amount of glow (no orange). My face is also usually super sensitive, and my pores get clogged easily, but I don’t break out at all when I use this product. 

2. Jergens Natural Glow Face. This tanner gives an amazing result overnight; I just put a pea-sized amount on my face, go to bed and wake up with a gorgeous bronzed face. The best part about it: it has SPF 30

3. L’Oreal Self-Tanning Elixir. This self-tanner is convenient because it can be used on the face and body. It also lasts for forever, which is a huge time and money saver.

Best Body Self-Tanners: This is a mix of my own favorites, as well as the beauty bloggers I follow and trust.

1. Bath and Body Works Glow & Steady. I’ve been using this self-tanner for years, and many people don’t know that this is probably Bath and Body Works’ best product line (in my opinion). Their self- tanner smells good, and I constantly get compliments about how good I smell (and look) after putting it on overnight.

2. Bath and Body Works Strike Gold. This sister product to the “Glow & Steady” gradual tan lotion is perfect for an instant glow because it’s bronzing. However, it also is a gradual tanner, making it doubly incredible.

3. Tanwise. I’ve heard countless beauty bloggers rave about this affordable self-tanner. It’s a mousse, which makes for easy and streak-free application. From what I’ve seen, it looks to create a natural, bronze tan, even on the most fair skintones. 

4. Jergens Natural Glow. I personally love this one for three reasons: 1. It is totally affordable, 2. Their new formula smells really, really good, 3. It lasts a long time.

5. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Gelee. I’ve been wanting to try this one for awhile; it’s gotten rave reviews online by users and beauty bloggers alike. Glow on, collegiettes!


Photos: 2, 3, 4, 5