The Best Self Tanner to Get You Ready for Spring

I've tried a ton of self tanners and this is by far my favorite

Yesterday was the first day of spring and it’s time to pull out all those spring dresses! With your legs finally seeing the light of day, try my favorite self tanner to give yourself a little golden glow. 

outfit details:
poppy and dot robe


Spring is here and your legs are about to see the sun for the first time in months. Get them ready with a little self tanner.

I share this exact blog post every single year, but it’s one of my most frequently asked questions, and when you find the best self tanner, you have to share!

I’ve tried a bunch of different brands, and hands down St. Tropez self tanner is my very favorite.

These are my favorite things about this self tanner from St. Tropez

  • Natural color (not orange at all)
  • Goes on very evenly
  • Doesn’t have a harsh, weird smell
  • Lasts for days
the best self tanner for a natural summer tan
the very best self tanner for a perfect, natural looking summer tan!

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.
  • I do two coats 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 a dress 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!
  • Then get out of the shower and repeat the application again, but you don’t need to let it set for so long.

I do this for 2-3 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.

I’ve tried a bunch of application mitts too, and by far my favorite is this one from Versa Spa. It’s soft, plush, and applies really nicely and evenly. It’s also available HERE.

Here are the self tanning products I use on my face.

I used to use the St. Tropez Lotion, and I just put it on every morning after I do my morning face washing routine. It washes off day to day since I’m washing my face morning and night, but it provides a quick bit of color. It’s pretty thick and a little bit sticky, so let it dry for a minute before applying your makeup, but it’s very gentle and doesn’t make me break out at all.

And during the summer you can just put this lotion on if you don’t want a face of makeup but you want a little touch of color!

However, I also just like to use a slightly darker shade of BB cream and some bronzer. I shared my full makeup routine HERE.

You might be nervous to try self tanner if you’ve never done it before, but trust me. This one is the best out there, and you’ll be hooked in no time.


photos by Priscilla Frey

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  1. Michelle Butters says:

    How do you get your back with the self tanner so that it doesn’t look wierd if you are wearing a swimsuit? Also, Do you exfoliate with anything special? Thanks

  2. Abby says:

    Do you have any tricks for how to get a smooth application on your hands and feet? That is the part that trips me up the most. Thank you!

  3. Cheyenne says:

    Hello! I use this stuff too and i love it! But i noticed some of it coming off when i get in the pool. Does this happen to you too? Or am i maybe doIng something wrong?

  4. Colleen says:


    • Alicia Arkell says:

      I love the Exfoliating gloves you can get at the Drugstore, that way you can just use your regular soap. They work amazing.

  5. Hannah Bowlds says:

    Do you have a preference between the regular mousse and the express st. tropez? Would you follow the same routine with both?

  6. Marta says:

    I’ve heard so many good things about St. Tropez tanning products and I’ve always been eager to try self-tanning as I’m pretty pale. I think I’m gonna do it this spring while I don’t get a bit of natural colour from being in the sun more often. And I’m definitely gonna follow your tips but I have a question, do I really have to leave it on for 24 hours? If I take a shower and exfoliate and do all the things you mentioned at night before going to bed and then shower it off in the morning will that still work or won’t it work at all?

  7. Britt says:

    I HAVE BEEN looking for a good applicator mitt! Thanks so much for SHARING. Do you run the mitt THROUGH the wash after use or wash by hand?

  8. Alisa says:

    HOW LONG DOES AN 8OZ BOTTLE OF ST. TROPEZ USUALLY LAST (as in, how many applications)?

  9. Patsy says:

    You have such cute style, love it! Thanks for the inspo 🙂

  10. gomovies says:

    Your article inspires great, thank you very much.

  11. […] If you’ve been here for a while, you know I absolutely love this ST. TROPEZ SELF TANNER. If you need an instant tanner in the morning when you go to put on a dress, this is your stuff. It’s a perfect color, goes on super streak free, and lasts a couple of days. I have a whole post about THIS SELF TANNER. […]

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