finding a sunless tanner that won’t leave you looking like an oompa loompa is no small feat. achieving a natural, bronzed glow (without damaging your skin) can be tricky, because not all self-tanners are created equal. it’s all about finding the right shade for your complexion and knowing the proper application technique

to help ease your quest for the perfect bronze, we’ve broken it down by skin type and given you our best tips for how to apply…

fair skin: if you have fair skin, you want to start out slow so that you can determine how deep you’d like your tan to be. we recommend using a gradual self-tanner daily until you reach your desired shade. this is one of our favorites and it’s also organic and packed with skin nourishing ingredients like coconut, argan and jojoba oil


medium skin: if you have an olive or warm complexion, we highly recommend st. tropez’s bronzing mousse. ry’s been using this product for years and swears by the natural, bronzed glow it delivers. it’s easy to apply, dries in 60 seconds, and develops a long-lasting tan in 4-6 hours

our foolproof tricks of the trade…

-always use a tanning applicator mitt to ensure an even distribution and cover more ground

-don’t fall for this myth: “the more you use, the darker you’ll become.” your skin can only absorb a certain amount of self-tanner, so it’s impossible to use too much. However, you CAN use too little. lack of product/using a small amount on a large area is the #1 cause of the dreaded streak effect

-apply moisturizer to your elbows, knees, hands, and feet to create a barrier prior to tanning. they have a tendency to develop darker than other areas on the body and are a dead giveaway

-always, always exfoliate (and shave) before you apply

-we like to save the face for last and use a cream instead of a foam. choose one that’s specifically designed for the face to avoid breakouts. apply like you would a moisturizer and take it down through the neck to avoid the dreaded jawline streak