If you’re like me, with skin deserving of the nickname “Snow White,” you’ve probably wanted a tan at some point in your life. Usually, I rock my inner vampire proudly, but usually by the time spring comes around, I get tired of blinding people with my paleness. In comes fake tanning! I used to tan in a tanning bed (sorry mom) 3-5 times a week when I was a sophomore in college and not only is it horrible for your skin, it’s expensive and relatively inconvenient.
I’ve been using self-tanning products since I was in middle school, and I even used them when I was tanning in a tanning bed (apparently I was desperate), so I’ve got a lot of experience and I’ve tried a lot of products. The one I’ve been using lately is pictured above, the Fake Bake Flawless Darker ($14.50 on Amazon with Prime shipping, $30 at Ulta). It has got to be the most natural looking self-tanning product I’ve ever used – remember when I used to tan all the time in a tanning bed? I get the exact same tan with this product. There’s no orange, absolutely no streaks (it even comes with 2 disposable gloves and a tanning mitt), and it smells faintly of powdered donuts. It’s supposed to be tropical scented, but I just don’t get that. Maybe I’m weird. Regardless, it doesn’t leave you with that narsty self-tanner smell that’s an unfortunate mixture of chemicals and body odor that screams, “I’m fake tanning!” And who doesn’t love powdered donuts?
I would say this product brings my natural skin, which is in between an NC15 and NC20 to about an NC30 to NC35 in a single use. I haven’t had any splotchiness as it wears off, but I also apply it daily to every other day to maintain the tan, and I exfoliate any rough spots with my Clarisonic. The single bottle will probably last me 3-5 months with constant use (compare that to your $30/month tanning salon membership), and buying it from Amazon saves you a bunch of money over buying it at Ulta.
I use two sprays for my forearms/hands, 2 sprays for my upper arms, 3 sprays for my chest, 3 sprays for my calves, feet, and 4 sprays for my thighs. When you use the mitt, keep one of the included black disposable gloves on underneath, unless you want to have brown palms. You don’t want brown palms. I find that this product dries instantly, which is awesome, because I can do it in the morning after my shower and immediately put on clothes without feeling sticky or having the color transfer onto my outfit.
I highly, highly recommend trying this product out! I bought it on a whim and I could not be happier with the results. It’s also paraben, preservative, and cruelty free. More reasons to love it!
My other tanning picks are…
- L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Mousse in Deep ($9.50 at Walmart) – This is a staple in my regular tanning routine and I typically combine it with other products and it tends to even out any self-tanner with red or green undertones and makes my tan look more natural.
- L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Lotion in Deep ($12 at Ulta) – First of all this is not a lotion, it’s a gel. And it has a lot of shimmer in it, so if that bugs you, skip this one. Second of all, don’t waste your money on the Medium shade, because it will not make you tan. Also, fair warning that this takes forever to dry, so I usually only apply it at night and I can’t put clothes on for 15-20 minutes without feeling totally sticky. But the color is really nice and it’s relatively inexpensive and has lasted me 6+ months and I’ve repurchased several times.
- Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Tinted Tanning Lotion ($15 at Victoria’s Secret) – This is a little pricier compared to the L’Oreal products, but I use this one on occasion as well. This is more of a golden tan, so if you’re looking for something deep and looks like it came from the sun, definitely give the Fake Bake product above a try. Otherwise this gives a nice glow, and has a golden shimmer/sheen. This product also takes forever to dry, and it’s the most yellow/orange of the tanning products I have, which is why I use it the least. I already have yellow undertones, so a tanning product like this one is not ideal for my skin tone, but like I said it gives a great glow and I do still use it!
I have a crate full of other self-tanning products, so if you want any more reviews or tanning suggestions let me know! And leave your favorite self-tanner in the comments below 🙂
Have a happy, sunny Thursday everyone! Xx