Finding the best self-tanners of this summer was not a task I took lightly! I literally spent months testing, and I tested so many—I truly can’t remember the exact number. There were even times where I’d have one leg slathered in one brand, and the other leg coated with another. Sometimes…those results weren’t exactly pretty! These were the 8 that made the final cut, and why. For best results with any self-tanner (except those that spray), I highly recommend applying with a self-tanning mitt. It not only protects your palms, but enables even application, so you can skip the streaks.
Where do I start with my love affair with Beautisol? I’ve been using the products since their initial launch in 2009, and the new Medium Mousse is THE BEST self-tanner I’ve ever used. No kidding. This tinted mousse has color-corrective pigments that eliminate orange and yellow tones, to give you the most beautiful Mediterranean glow—and you can see exactly where it goes. Another feature is their Pure-Scent Technology; it ensures that you have a minimum amount of that icky DHA scent, and it stays smelling fresh (kind of like a fresh-linen scent) while your tan is developing. I won’t go without this one, year-round! $33.90, beautisol.com
This self-tanner from the UK is now available in the States, and features an innovative technology that binds the formula to your skin longer by matching up with your pH. The 2-3 week claim isn’t indicative of a single application—it refers to 3 applications. You’ll need to apply additional layers of pHenomenal for the best results. A single application lasts about 7 days (still pretty good!), and after your third, lasts up to 3 weeks. (Wait at least 8 hours between those layers!) It has a slight caramel scent, and is tinted so you don’t miss any spots. The color was gorgeous, lacked orange, and faded evenly. Available in Fair, Medium, and Dark; I used the medium formula and was very happy with the results. $54, sephora.com