The Self-Tanners Our Editors Swear By
JERGENS NATURAL GLOW WET SKIN MOISTURIZER
Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director: Sunless tanner is one of the most high-maintenance beauty products out there since it requires a precise application and patience to ensure streak-free results. That’s why this formula, which is specially developed for use on wet skin, is so groundbreaking. You can rub it on as haphazardly as you would the brand’s original in-shower formula and in return you get a near-perfect subtle bronze color that gradually builds with use.
Buy It! Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer, $8.69; target.com
LANCÔME SELF-TANNING LEG GEL
Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter: I used to have to tan my legs for dance competitions back in the day, and Lancôme's self-tanner was the only brand my mom would let me use. The color is very natural (never orange-y), it doesn't streak and if you need to get a faux glow so dark it reaches stage-makeup standards, this is very buildable. The smell of it still makes my stomach queasy with competition nerves, but the golden glow is totally worth it.
Buy It! Lancôme Flash Bronzer tinted self-tanning leg gel, $42; nordstrom.com
HOOLA LIQUID BRONZER
Emily Kirkpatrick, Associate Style News Editor: I've seen enough disastrous viral video in my life to cultivate a healthy fear of self-tanner. But this foolproof matte liquid bronzer from Benefit has allowed me to dip my toe into the deep-end of the sun-kissed pool without the fear of creating too intense of a hue, weird blotchy streaks, or an overload of sparkle.
Buy It! Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer, $28; sephora.com
KATE SOMERVILLE 360° TAN TOWELETTES
Alex Apatoff, Deputy Style Director: There will never be a time in my life in which my need to be tan will overcome my need to be lazy. That's why God (well, Kate Somerville) invented these one-and-done tanning wipes. I always have one in my airplane toiletry bag, because they're foolproof and work incredibly well, and I can quickly swipe one on the night before I hit the beach, absolutely no forethought required.
Buy It! Kate Somerville 360° tan towelettes, $75 for 16; nordstrom.com
CAUDALIE DIVINE LEGS
Kami Phillips, E-Commerce Editor: Not only am I the biggest fan of all things Caudalie, but I'm also obsessed with bronzer. So, when I discovered that two of my favorite things came together in one glorious product I knew I had to try it. To my satisfaction, the lightweight lotion left my legs glowing and radiant without feeling sticky or looking outrageously off color. The tint was the perfect bronze, plus the scent is heavenly.
Buy It! Caudalie Divine Legs, $38; sephora.com
ST. TROPEZ GRADUAL TAN CLASSIC
Jackie Fields, Beauty Editor: My self-tan motto? "No mess; no fuss.” That’s exactly why this colorless lotion has a permanent place on my vanity. Aside from the believable bronze it creates, I also love that I can slather it on day after day leading up to a beach weekend or big wedding – and it never leaves my skin scaly.
Buy It! St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Medium/Dark, $25; nordstrom.com
JAMES READ BRONZING MIST
Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor: I've never been good at self-tanning with a mit and always manage to get some on my hands. That's why I switched to this spray which guarantees an even tan thanks to the 360º nozzle. It also has aloe vera and vitamin E to nourish skin while also giving you that glow.
Buy It! James Read Instant Bronzing Mist, $38; saksfifthavenue.com
SALLY HANSEN AIRBRUSH SUN MOUSSE
Kaitlyn Frey, Style & Beauty Assistant: On average, I self tan once a week. What can I say? I love a good sunkissed glow. I've been a longtime advocate of St. Tropez's tanning mousse, but my wallet begged my to find a more affordable option. When this one from Sally Hansen won one of our Beauty Awards last year, I decided it was worth a shot. I'm pleased to report, it applied just as smoothly as its pricier counterparts, and gave me the super deep tan I desired that also lasted a week. I used it all over my body, including my face (which I'm not sure is recommended), but didn't experience any breakouts or irritation. I've been hooked on this one ever since!
Buy It! Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Sun Mousse Tanning Lotion, $11.99; target.com
TARTE BRAZILLIANCE PLUS SELF TANNER + MITT
Sarah Ball, Fashion Market Editor: I've always been a fan and loyal user of the original Brazilliance self tanner and mitt combo. I really like the control I get with the mitt (and the fact that it prevents the enevitable stains all over my hands even though I wash them). This year I decided to change it up try the Brazilliance Plus -- the natural exfoliants really give your skin a balance and bold broze glow and leave your skin super soft. Needless to say it's my new go-to!
Buy It! Tarte Brazilliance Plus Self-Tanner, $39; sephora.com
BODY DRENCH QUICK TAN
Jillian Ruffo, Associate Beauty Editor: There's nothing worse than getting dressed for a wedding or event and realizing that a spray tan would have been a great idea -- which is why this mist has gotten me through more pale-skin emergencies than I can count. Whether I need a touch of color on my legs, arms, chest or even my face, this spray is my go-to for an easy, instant, streak-free bronze glow. The best part? Post-shower, it leaves behind a perfect tan that's not the slightest bit orange.
Buy It! Body Drench Quick Tan, $19.99; sallybeauty.com
NARS MONOI BODY GLOW
Lindy Segal, Style Social Editor: Let me just say, I am a pale and proud. Many have tried and failed to get me to fake tan, and I just don't see the look working on me (and a real tan is out of the question — even if it wasn't crazy-dangerous, I burn in a flash). That said, there are those occasional summer nights, when I'm wearing shorts or whathaveyou, when I don't mind a subtle sun-kissed glow — and this tropical, shimmery oil does the trick.
Buy it! NARS Monoi body glow, $59; sephora.com