I was never really into self-tanning because I knew tanning beds we’re a thing… unfortunately. I figured I couldn’t get a natural tan unless it was just a real tan, and since I can’t just lie on the beach every day I turned to self-tanning. I swore I’d never go into a tanning bed again, here are a few of my favorite products so far.
I honestly think self-tanning is a trial and error process no matter how many blog posts you read or how many friends you talk to. It’s a learned skill in a way, I’ll do a full step-by-step self-tanning routine in another post. But here are the products you’ll need:
1. Lux Unfiltered N°32 | Hydrating Self-Tanning Cream – $32
This stuff is legit. I know sometimes when bloggers release products there’s so much hype, and sometimes it’s not the best stuff, but I honestly think Sivan put a lot of trial-and-error self-tanning experience, and love into this product.
Funny enough, this is the cheapest one of the bunch, and it’s honestly my favorite for every day tanning. This is perfect if you want to stay tan and will keep up with it, I’ve been using it for weeks and I haven’t had major patchiness or weird spots. It’s a cream that you don’t need to wash off (non-wash off products are my favorite because I can be pretty lazy). The other thing I love about this is that you don’t get that weird smell when your skin starts heating up. I wear this to work all the time and never smell.
The only thing I don’t like about this is that I’m going through it so fast. You have to use a good amount, and I usually put it on my legs, arms, chest, and neck. I usually don’t bother with the areas that aren’t exposed right now since it’s not summer and I won’t be in a bathing suit or anything.
Oh – and I’ve had issues with getting this on top of my hands so my hands blend with my arms because it’s recommended that you wash you hands with soap immediately after using. I awkwardly run the top of my hands together with a very small amount after washing my hands.
Best part: cheapest of the bunch, light fruity/floral smell, cute packaging, no transfer unless rubbed really hard (like when you’re wiping your skin after a shower… pat dry don’t be like me). Worst parts: goes too quick, hard to apply on hands.
2. St Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse – $44
This is my baby, my go-to, my most reliable for “Shit, I need a tan now“. If you have an event, or you just really need a base to boost your confidence this is the one.
I always get this in dark or extra dark, whichever is their darkest, and I leave it on overnight most of the time. It says leave it 3 hours for the darkest tan, but I just leave it so I don’t have to get back in the shower after just having exfoliated and everything.
My only issue with this is that I’ve tried to double-down and do it 2 days in a row or every other day and I don’t think it’s great for layering. I end up with weird patchiness. So you gotta make sure to moisturize daily so you don’t get those cracks in the skin.
Best part: Not as expensive as some other mousses, lasts longer than other mousses I’ve had, nice naturally dark tan (no weird orangeness). Worst parts: can sometimes be patchy, transfers (put a towel down in bed), packaging isn’t great so I usually put it back into the cabinet after I use it.
3. Tan-Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops – $59
I have mixed feelings about this product when I group it with my other self-tanning products. It’s not a bad product by any means, I really like it. It smells incredibly good in the packaging (doesn’t really smell the same when applying it to the body, there’s actually not much scent).
I really like this when I keep up with it, however it’s pricey. In order to get a decent tan you have to use this every day and keep up with it. If you go a week without using it it’s kinda like you need to start all over. Considering the price tag I don’t know if I would repurchase over and over again.
Best parts about it: it’s easy to use, little to no transfer (only noticed a slight bit of transfer near my armpits when I wore a white swimsuit as a body suit,) you don’t have to wash it off, subtle smell if there even is one, and has great packaging. Worst part: expensive, doesn’t last long.
4. Vita Liberata Phenomenal Mousse – $54
To be honest, I just don’t think this product is the best for me. I love that it’s vegan and clean, and I can feel good about buying and using this product. This is another, “I just need to be tan” products. I use this when I want an instant result. It’s not as intense as the St Tropez one and it’s got a definite neutral/olive tone to the formula.
I’m not a huge fan of that tone on me, I think it makes me look a little green (the formula literally comes out looking like green baby poop,) but I think this would work great for someone with a more olive skin-tone, and I know sometimes self-tanning products are hard to find.
Best parts: easy to use, neutral/olive tone. Worst parts: too expensive for me, I go through it so fast, transfers (I think this is just what happens with mousse-y products).
Hopefully this helped some of you make a better decision on which product to use! Another helpful tip would be to wait a couple minutes to put on clothes, I love wearing the turquoise sarong in the photos above!
Do you guys have any recommendations for self-tanning products to try out?