Creating Body Makeup from the Best Self Tanning Products

We at Makeup Magazine gathered up the best self tanning products and threw them under a microscope so you don't have to!

We look for the most natural color, even coverage, and long lasting staying power, so you do not have to worry so much and can go on looking your absolute best without fear of inferior products.

Because we know that there is something about a natural looking tan that makes one look so youthful and vibrant, it is no wonder that many of us crave that beautiful glow.

It’s a bit discouraging to know how many women still tan in tanning beds and under direct sunlight in an effort to look good.

Skin cancer is one of the deadliest and most easy to acquire forms of cancer, yet many ignore the doctor’s advice. On the bright side, there are a ton of options for the smart and savvy woman like you who wants to look pretty and save her skin.

You can find fast drying mousses, easy spread gels, even coverage sprays, and gradual tanning lotions. The best self tanning products won't streak, rub off, or look unnaturally pumpkin-colored.

Before you start out, make sure to exfoliate your skin and apply a layer of moisturizer, especially to your knees, elbows, and ankles. This will prevent your tanning time from turning into a complete nightmare with streaks and discolored patches.

One of the best reasons to fake your tan is to cover imperfections.

Have red skin or Rosacha?  You’re covered.

Stretch marks? Much less noticeable.

Applying a sunless tanner regularly is like applying a long lasting body makeup all over, and you don’t even need to wash it off at night! Here are some of the best products of all price ranges.

The Best Self Tanning Products

Enough talk about great tanning and lets get down to it!

One of my personal favorites is the well known Jergens Natural Glow. This stuff is great for super pale girls such as myself, because it is a gradual tanner and will build up color slowly. For under ten dollars for most sizes, it is also very affordable.

Anytime I’ve tried a tanning lotion that develops color within 3 hours, I’ve come out streaky, blotchy, and very orange. Pretty embarrassing. The gradual tanner worked much better for me because I could apply it once or twice per day and see results in 2-3 days.

It takes a little bit of planning in advance, and honestly the stuff smells a little strange, but it’s really comforting to be wearing a skirt outside and not have to compulsively check my feet for streaks every two minutes. And the natural brown hue doesn’t give the impression that I belong on "The Jersey Shore", thankfully.

St. Tropez Whipped Mousse

If you are willing to shell out a bit more money for one of the most fabulous on the market, then Our Pick for Best Self Tanning Products is St. Tropez Whipped Mousse is your winning bet.

If you want to use some of the same stuff celebrities use, St. Tropez is the way to go.

It comes in mousse and lotion form, but the mousse is really great because it dries fast. The last thing you want to be doing in a hurry is dancing naked in front of the mirror trying to get your tanner to dry quicker.

Trust me, I’ve been there and it's not pretty.

Another reason the stars love it is because the color is a lot more brown and a lot less orange. That is one thing you always want to look for in a sunless tanner.

It’s also great because it doesn’t reek of that “I just covered myself in fake tanning chemicals” smell that makes your boyfriend do a double take. Grab the applicator mitt that goes with it and you’re on your way to a fast streak-less tan.

Clarin’s Self Tanning Instant Gel

Right under St. Tropez Whipped Mousse in the cost and quality department, is Clarin’s Self Tanning Instant Gel.

Amazing product.

Need we say more?

Of course we do, because why would you spend 35-40 dollars on a product without knowing more?! That is why you are here.


This is one of the best self tanning products you can buy. If you have fair skin but don’t want to wait a few days for a gradual tanner to build up, this might be the tanner to try.

It looks natural on pale women and doesn’t have that awful orange oompaloompa hue we all loved so dearly in high school. It is a good idea, however, to exfoliate and moisturize before applying any non-gradual tanner, just for good measure.

And lastly, if you don’t like your sheets looking like you went camping and slept in the dirt, this might be just the right product for you. Clarin’s does well by not rubbing off on clothes and bedding.

L’Oreal Sublime Glow

Finally, for the woman who is more frugal we have the best self tanning products you can buy is L’Oreal Sublime Glow it is not nearly as great as the two previously mentioned but it is streak free and not smelling terrible.

It gives you a pretty glow with a little natural shimmer because of the tiny light reflecting pigments mixed into it.

This can be great for tanning all over your body, but is probably not the best pick for your face. It is also one of the better tanners to use gradually and regularly for a long lasting tan.

› Best Self Tanning Products
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