Summer is upon us and I don’t know about you, but my body could use a little color! I’ve always been green with envy of my friends whose skin is as fair as snow and my other friends who have gorgeous dark or caramel-y skin. I on the other hand, fall somewhere in the middle. My skin tans, but I don’t want it to because it’s aging and I don’t have time to lay out anyway. But I need all of the help I can get in a bikini and personally feel more comfortable in shorts if I’m a little tanner (and in my mind, it helps hide my cellulite too!). So these are my favorites in three categories: Gradual Tanners, Instant Tanners and Self Tanners.
GRADUAL TAN: This option is my personal preference because I find it looks the most real. But it takes at least a few days and looks the best after a week of daily application, so this option needs time. If you have it, it’s also great because I don’t find it streaks like self-tanners and instant tanners can. And it doesn’t leave you with a funky smell like some self tanners can. Our favorites are:
- St. Tropez “Everyday” Gradual Tan For The Body — This one has won awards repeatedly because it’s really that good.
- Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer — This one is the OG original gradual tanner that I’ve personally trusted for years.
- AERIN Beauty Limited Edition Gradual Tan For Face and Body — This is the best gradual tanner that I’ve found also works as well on your face as it does on your body.
INSTANT TAN: I use this option on my clients to give them an instant tan or glow for the red carpet or magazine covers. I personally use it when I go out in a mini skirt and want my legs to feel sexy. I use the waterproof one when I’m at a pool party. These are our favorites:
- Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body — This is the staple in my kit for my girls. I find it looks gorgeous on all skin tones, but it only makes pale or light skin look tanner, for everyone else, it doesn’t darken their skin tone but makes it look incredible. It highlights and firms and was created by the incomparable makeup artist after years of fashion’s biggest shows and campaigns.
- Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube Sunless Tanning Lotion with Instant Bronzer — This miracle potion instantly bronzes while it gradually tans. It’s the bomb. Nothing more to say.
- Rimmel London Sunshimmer Water Resistant Instant Tan — I love this one for two reasons. It comes in shimmer or matte. And it’s water-resistant so you can rock it a pool party!
SELF TAN: Self tanners are for the dedicated and devoted. I am not one of them because I’m lazy about prepping and have found gradual tanners work better with my personality type. But these are the ones that I’ve find score the highest in my testing criteria (not orange-y, not too stinky, not streaky):
- Kate Somerville Tanning Towlettes — I love these because they’re really easy to use and you can control the evenness because it’s so thin in consistency and conveniently on a towlette that you literally only have to wipe all over. Genius.
- Kiehl’s Since 1951 Self-Tanning Lotion For Face and Body — This one is awesome because it absorbs quickly, smells nice, can also be used on the face and isn’t greasy.
- Clarins Self Tanning Milk — This is an all-time favorite and a bestseller because it is milk-like in consistency so it applies evenly. It’s also hydrating and has SPF 6 in case you’re wearing it outdoors. I’ve personally never applied it to my face but I have some friends who do and love it.