It’s officially shorts weather and if you are anything like me you are scrambling to get some color on your legs.  I used to have the leisure of heading to the tanning salon to get the perfect airbushed summer color, but now that I am working from home with two little ones, time just does not allow.  I need something quick and easy that looks natural and doesn’t streak.  Are you with me?  So here you go ladies, I have done all the “leg work” (sorry, couldn’t resist), and here are my true mom-tested and beauty junkie approved recommendations on self tanner picks and faking that summer glow.

First and foremost, any perfect tan starts with some good prep work.  A complete body scrub down is a must.  It helps to remove all the dead skin, improving the suppleness of the skin and helping to prep the tanning product to evenly absorb into the skin.  If you looking for a splurge I am in love with the ‘Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish.’  The scent is absolutely to die for, and your body is left silky and smooth.

Self Tanner Picks


And if you are looking for something a bit more budget friendly try the ‘St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Body Scrub.’  It is always on the list for my weekly Target run.  Before you apply any tanner make sure to add a thin layer of lotion to your knees, elbows, ankles and nose.  This helps create a slight barrier which means the tanner will absorb a bit less in these areas that tend to be harder to even out or make the same color as the rest of the body.


Self Tanner Picks

Ok, now that we are prepped and primed, we are ready to get that fabulous summer glow.  ‘St. Tropez’s Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse‘ produces an amazingly natural and sun-kissed glow on your skin. It is a little advanced for the beginner as the mouse is very quick drying and you really have to pay attention to where you have applied it on your skin.  Still though, it is by far one of my favorites.

Rodan + Fields’ Foaming Sunless Tan‘ is really giving my favorite a run for the money.  It is very close in results to the ‘St Tropez Mousse’ and seems to have less wash off the first time you shower.  Additionally, as you likely already know if you use R+F, your consultant will likely add in a few goodies. Who doesn’t like a little something for free?  I also love the fact of supporting a familiar contact in your network.

Kiehl’s Sun Free Self Tanning Formula‘ is a definite go to for an easy, every day tanner.  That’s right, during the summer months I mix this tanner with my daily face moisturizer to give me an extra touch of that sun kissed glow.  I also will use it on my legs in-between mega self tan sessions.  It is quick, easy, and effortless.

And if you are looking for a moisturizer and tanner in one, then ‘Olay’s Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Touch of Sun‘ is perfect for you.  It not only fights to stop the aging process, it moisturizes and gives you a sun kissed glow.  I’d say that is pretty ingenious.



For the tan virgin, I would highly recommend the ‘Kate Somerville’s Somerville360 Tanning Towelettes.’  They are certainly one of the easiest tanners to apply.  They come just like a wet-nap, and you can go little by little, filling in and making sure to get every area.



My drugstore find that is comparable as far as application ease is ‘L’Oreal Paris’ Subline Bronze Self-Tanning Body Towelettes.’  They give a healthy glow without going over the top and there’s an added bonus, they are super easy for travel.



Infinity Sun’s Glow On The Go‘ is the closest thing I have found to going to the actual spray tan salon.  This product comes in an aerosol can giving you the closest thing you can get to an airbrush you would normally get at the salon.  This product is definitely for the advanced tan expert.  Getting an even spray throughout the body is something that takes a bit of practice or even a partner.


Fake Bake’s Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid‘ gives you an instant beach bronzed look in seconds.  This dual self tanner and bronzer works double duty for you.  Oh, and if you are a sucker for tropical scents, then this is the tanner for you.


So now that you have picked your tanning potion now it is time to add that daily touch of sunshine to give you the look you crave.  A great option is ‘Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer.’  It is an oversized compact, and is perfect not only dusting your face but dusting your shoulders and décolleté too.


Milani’s Baked Bronzer Soleil‘ is incredible for the price.  It gives you a natural glow and adds some summer shimmer without feeling too shiny.  This pallet is baked with gold flecks, creating a golden look perfect for all of us bronze loving addicts.


Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention my favorite highlighter, ‘Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick‘ to add the perfect amount of color to complete your perfect summer tan.  I personally use this product year-round.  You can easily adapt to your skins seasonal needs by blending all the colors or just a few.    It has been a staple for me for years.


So whether you are a newbie to the self tanning world or an expert, there is something for everyone.  Don’t spend your summer hiding in pants or feeling self-conscious when you are in shorts or a dress, be bold and try out a new version of you.  Oh, and my last words of advice, wash your hands throughly after each tanning application or you will end up with some really interesting designs on your palms.