Just because the sun’s absolutely nowhere to be seen and gray skies seem hopelessly endless, your skin tone doesn’t have to reflect that. Self-tanning shelves have rapidly expanded over recent years, and both the amount of choices and improvements in formula have astronomically increased. No matter your skin type, tone, level of experience and desired result, rest assured there is a lotion, cream, gel, mousse, towelette or spray to suit your needs and have you glowing, (sadly) sans sun.
If you’re a self-tanning amateur and are apprehensive to dive right in, start with a gradual formula, like the original, cheap thrill Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. One of the first of its kinds, the lotion sold out across the continent almost immediately after its 2005 debut and gained so much popularity there were wait lists and eBay auctions that rivaled a limited edition pair of Louboutins. The bronzer-spiked lotion allows colour to deepen over the course of a week with continued, daily use, or for a less intense tan, a few times a week.
If you’re after a slight tan but prefer a more luxurious formula, Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse is the absolute ultimate. A gorgeous, fluffy, plush mousse, the peach and almond scented formula glides on and drenches skin in moisture while subtly tinting. Mirabelle oil and Vitamin E deeply hydrate skin and sink in super quick thanks to the mousse formula, so skin is left silky, not sticky. Safflower oil naturally develops a touch of tan, leaving skin soft and glowing.
Another good-for-you-lotion that packs a stronger colour punch is Tarte’s Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face And Body Self Tanner. Mega moisturizing maracuja oil brightens, replenishes and revitalizes skin, and the vitamin A and E-rich formula condition and rejuvenate dull skin. This is all before the natural-looking, bronze tan develops. Yes, for real.
If you’re after all the vitamins and colour with the ease of a towelette, Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Glow Pads deliver just that with one simple swipe. Part self tanner, all skincare benefits, these textured towelettes gently exfoliate to ensure the soy protein and DHA tint deep down, creating a longer lasting shot of bronze. Vitamin D and a specially created molecule, Capislo, nourish skin, banish blemishes and irritations, and even aid in slowing hair growth. These little wonder wipes pretty much do it all, all while delivering a streak-free tan.
Despite all these amazingly multi-tasking potions, sometimes, a straight up salon-formula is the most needed no-nonsense way to achieve a believable glow, and St. Tropez’s Tanning Essentials Self Tan Bronzing Lotion is the award-winning way to go. Deep in colour, this lotion makes it easy to apply perfectly as you can see exactly where the formula is going. After a few hours, the colour develops into a splendidly natural-looking caramel tint. Bonus: the lotion is created to smell beachy, without an iota of icky self-tan scent, and also comes in an airy, lightweight, quick-drying mousse formula.
Like the idea of an airy mousse and want tan longevity? Vita Liberata created their pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse, that yes, lasts 2-3 weeks. This ultra-long lasting formula eliminates the high-maintenance need to reapply a few times a week with its lusciously light texture. Can’t commit to that kind of colour permanency? Slick on Illume’s Eternal Nomad Sunlit Bronzing Lotion, which is pretty much just the opposite: a tinted, illuminating, creamy, dreamy lotion, the bronzer is washed away when you shower. Whatever your preference, make sure to use a mitt for proper, smooth application, get someone to assist with hard-to-reach spots if you can, and always wipe away excess from eyebrows, hairline, knees, elbows and ankles. Now glow get ‘em!