Self-tanners so often promise miracles in a bottle, but a tan within minutes can mean that you usually end up with that lovely oompa loompa glow. Most of us want to look like our tan was actually achieved by being in the sun rather than a bottle so, look into these high-achieving sunless options that will make people think you’ve taken a sunny vacation.
Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner
Tarte’s best-selling Braziliance self-tanner gel got a facelift this summer with a new customized application mitt and an exceptional blend of skin-friendly elements (like aloe), minus the overpowering scent.
Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner, $39;sephora.com.
Whish Self Tanner Body Butter
A 2-in-1 body butter that leaves skin with a poolside bronze-y tint AND nourishes? Not a hard sell. Coffee lovers can thank the Arabica coffee and shea/mango butter combo for the subtle exfoliating effect and creamy texture.
Whish Self Tanner Body Butter, $30;nordstrom.com.
Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Lotion
This deep-moisture tanning mousse contains organic and natural ingredients for a healthy tan that lingers for two to three weeks.
Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Lotion, $30;sephora.com.
Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer
An easy drugstore fix that double-tasks by building natural color over a matter of days and decreasing the appearance of cellulite (AKA your swim season enemy).
Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, $7;drugstore.com.
Sun Bum Self Tanning Towelette
Is there anything more low-maintenance than self-tanning towelettes? ? Designed to enhance color and exfoliate the face and body, simply swab the towelettes evenly over skin the way you would with a wet wipe.
Sun Bum Self Tanning Towelette, $16; ulta.com.
Xen Tan Dark Lotion
For buildable color that you can realistically layer week by week (it lasts for about seven days), Xen Tan produces a rich medium hue that doesn’t streak or leave you looking rusty.
Xen Tan Dark Lotion, $40;amazon.com.
Tanceuticals CC Cream
A skin-centric cream that won’t cause an unholy amount of acne on your skin afterwards.
Tanceuticals CC Cream, $25; tanceuticals.com.
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse
A favorite of self-tanning diehards, St. Tropez’s new and improved formula for its classic bronzing mousse is the same but enhanced with extra long-wear and a fresh scent. As with any uber-fast-drying mousse formula, always, always, always use mitts to avoid super-saturated hands.
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, $42;sephora.com.
Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil
Opt for a self-tanning oil over a mist or gel if you want added moisture and sheer, natural color that will last you through several showers.
Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil, $38; sephora.com.
Hampton Sun Airbrush Bronzing Body Mist
For a quick bronzing touch-up that you can easily spritz on before an event, beeline for this eco-friendly, skin enhancing formula (it contains almond and macadamia oils). Bonus: it’s small enough to fit in any travel bag, so you can *still* get a tan even in cold and overcast locales.
Hampton Sun Airbrush Bronzing Body Mist, $42;ulta.com.