It’s the dead of winter and your legs haven’t seen the light of day in ages, I’m sure. But if you’re putting on a dress or just need little pick-me-up, here is my favorite full body tanner and my favorite drops to put on my face for a little extra glow.
similar robe HERE
Need a little color for your legs, or a little glow for your face? Here are my favorite self tanner products.
I share this exact blog post every single year, but it’s one of my most frequently asked questions, and when you find a self tanner that works, you have to share!
For full body:
For full body application:
For my face:
- Tan Luxe Drops (color: Dark)
This is what I love about St. Tropez self tanner
This is my original favorite. It goes on beautifully, it lasts really well, and the color is perfect. I use the shade Dark and one coat gives me exactly the color I want.
- Instant color, no waiting for it to activate
- Natural color (not orange at all)
- Goes on very evenly (I use THIS APPLICATOR MITT)
- Doesn’t have a harsh, weird smell like a lot of self tanners
- Lasts for days
- The Dark color gives me the color I want with one application
- One large bottle lasts me months.
This is what I love about Bondi Sands self tanner
I discovered this self tanner last year and it’s VERY similar to St. Tropez. The color is almost identical (I use the shade Dark too), and I think it smells even better than St. Tropez. More like a lotion smell than a self tanner smell.
- Instant color, no waiting for it to activate
- Beautiful, natural color
- Totally streak free (I use THIS APPLICATOR MITT)
- Smells better than all other self tanners I’ve used
- The Dark shade gives me the color I want with one application
- Way more affordable than St. Tropez
One downside…the color doesn’t last as long for me as St. Tropez lasts.
This is what I love about Tan Luxe self tanner drops for face
I’ve been using these self tanner drops for about a year and they’re a great way to get a little glow on your face without using the other self tanners (I never use those on my face…they don’t go on very naturally). Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after applying, or you’ll wake up with bright orange palms that stay that way for days. I wish I didn’t know from experience…
- You mix with your moisturizer at night and wake up to a glowy face
- 2-4 drops in your moisturizer is all you need, so the bottle lasts for months
- Easy to apply and it’s streak free
- The smell is good! It has a bit of a “tanner” smell, but not bad at all.
- The color “Dark” gives me a perfect amount of glow using 2-4 drops.
To get the best long-lasting results with self tanner, here’s what I do.
- Take a shower in the morning and exfoliate your entire body.
- Get out, dry off, and apply lotion to your entire body (any kind will do).
- Once your lotion is settled in, apply 2-3 pumps of the foam to your mitt and rub in a circular motion as you apply evenly to your body.
- For the dark color, I do just one of color on my entire body, letting the first coat dry for a minute or two before applying the second coat.
- Toss on a lightweight robe or some loose fitting clothing you don’t mind getting color on (although it does come off in the wash without a problem!) and let it dry for a couple of hours.
- You do not want your body to get wet for the next few hours — I try to not even wash my hands for as long as possible.
- Go to bed that night without showering, then shower in the morning when you’ve hit the 24 hour mark. You’ll see some color come off, but don’t worry, that’s just the instant color. The rest of the color is activating.
- If you want a bit of a darker color, get out of the shower and repeat the application again (without the exfoliation and lotion part).
I usually do this for 2 days in a row to get a nice base color, and then I can apply about once a week for touchups and to keep the color.
If you need a quick dose of color for your legs…
During the winter, I RARELY do this full body routine.
I just do one quick layer on my lower arms and my lower legs and my neck/chest area when I’m putting on something that shows my legs and some of my arms.
It gives you a quick, instant tan that dries almost instantly and doesn’t rub off on things. It’s a game changer for Sundays when I’m putting on a dress and have the pastiest legs in the land.
If you don’t like mousse, try this gradual tan lotion
Two years ago, I discovered this Banana Boat gradual tan lotion. If you’re nervous about the mousse, this is a good alternative.
You can apply this every day as your normal lotion and build up a nice color.
My only complaint about this lotion is that it doesn’t do as well on your hands and feet. If it gets in between your fingers and toes and the lotion just sits there, it can turn dark orange. So whenever I put it on, I go back with a washcloth and wipe between all my fingers and toes to avoid build up.
Also it has a pretty “self tanner” kind of smell! But overall, it’s a good one.