The Best Fake Tans & Tips For A Streak-Free Glow Up
Right now, our number one beauty goal is glowing skin, and that includes our entire body. While GloWish Multi Dew Skin Tint has our face covered (shameless plug, but true), a little fake tan is also our go-to for getting that coveted goddess glow when either vacay ain’t an option, or you just want to glow up without the sun.
However, when it comes to the world of fake tan, it can be a minefield of streaky formulas, orange elbows, not to mention major tangerine vibes. To help you achieve the most stunning, natural-looking tan, we’ve compiled a list of our go-to formulas that never let us down. Plus, the tips we’ve learned (the hard way) over the years. You can thank us later.
1. The Best Tanning Drops: Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops, $29
If you’re new to the world of fake tan, these tanning drops are ideal. All you do is add a couple of drops to your regular face or body moisturizer and apply as usual. Not only do they contain a gradual tanning agent, but they’re also enriched with hydrating coconut oil, antioxidant-rich avocado oil, and chia seeds to support skin barrier function. In short: they’ll work overtime to plump and hydrate your skin while adding a summertime glow. There are three shades available in total, so you can customize your glow to find the most natural look for you.
Pro Tanning Tip: Learning how to prep your skin pre-tan is a make-or-break skill. Skip the prep, and no matter how insane your tanning solution, it could get streaky or settle into your knees and elbows… Eek! So, make sure you exfoliate your skin with a gentle oil-free scrub to help buff away any dead skin for patch-free coverage. Then, hydrate any dry areas of the body that typically attract fake tan, like your elbows, knees, toes, ankles, and hands.
2. For Tanning Lovers: VITA LIBERATA pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tinted Tan Mousse, $39
While this is a more expensive mousse, it has the receipts to back it up. The foam creates a natural-looking tan that lasts up to 2-3 weeks, which is activated by a 100% natural agent. The formula is also super hydrating and infused with organic extracts, including raspberry, licorice, pomegranate, and vitamin C to protect against UV rays and aging free radicals. It even has a flash dry technology that ensures quick dry application. We also love that it’s a low-odor formula.
3. The Best Gradual Tan: Garnier Sunny Body Milk, $5.50
We can’t do a roundup without including this cult classic. This deeply moisturizing daily lotion is enriched with nourishing apricot extract that’ll leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. Of course, it’s also infused with the most natural tanning agent that leaves your skin sun-kissed and glowy.
Pro Tanning Tip: If you’re feeling a little nervous about fake tanning, try mixing this tanning lotion with your regular moisturizer and apply it to your body as normal. This will allow you to build up your tan more gradually, giving you a more natural look.
4. For Your Face: James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Face, $37
This lightweight, colorless formula will leave your skin with the most luminous glow. While it gradually tans your face, aloe vera, cucumber extract, and hyaluronic acid will work together to hydrate, soothe, and plump your skin. We love it as it also has the most flawless, radiant finish. #Obsessed!
5. For the Most Natural Results: Amanda Harrington Illuminating Bronzing Mousse, $44
If you’re a lover of all things luxe, this product is for you. The award-winning mouse creates an instant glow that develops into long-lasting color. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe vera, this lightweight foam will blend into the skin with ease for the most streak-free tan. It also contains light-reflecting particles for a luminous finish. Whenever we use this, we always get compliments!
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6. For A Rich Tan: Bali Body Self Tanning Mouse, $31
This 100% vegan formula delivers a natural-looking glow every. Single. Time. The color guide technology enables you to tailor the perfect tan to your skin tone. If you like a believable golden tan, you’ll fall in love with this tan-in-minutes formula. We also love the light-floral scent as it’s not overwhelming like other tanning formulas.
7. The Best Kit: St. Tropez x Ashley Graham Ultimate Glow Mousse Kit, $55
You can’t think fake tan without thinking St.Tropez. Goddess Ashley Graham recently collaborated with the self-tanning hero, St. Tropez, to curate the ultimate glow kit. The kit contains their signature natural, streak-free whipped crème mousse, which is enriched with triple-action skincare actives that ensure your tan lasts and fades evenly. Inside the kit, you’ll also get a tanning mitt that allows for easy application.
Pro Tanning Tip: According to NYC-based St. Tropez skin-finishing expert Sophie Evans, some oil-based soaps and shower gels leave residue on your skin that can diminish the life of your faux-tan. “Soaps that contain titanium dioxide are also notorious for taking self-tan color off too fast since it’s a whitening agent,” she explains.
8. The Multi-Tasking SPF: Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40, $38
It’s no secret that we’re die-hard SPF lovers, and you should be too. So why not combine your love of SPF with a gradual built-in glow? This Supergoop formula protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays with SPF 40, all the while gradually amping up your glow in just under four hours. It’s also suitable for all skin types.
9. The Best Drugstore Tan: L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk, $10
Looking to tan on a budget? This hydrating self-tanning milk is here to save the day. The ultra-rich lotion is enriched with vitamin E to hydrate and nourish the skin, while the tanning agent works overtime for a natural, even glow. A word of warning? Don’t use this lotion every day, or it won’t look natural.