That very confusing time of year is quickly approaching. Yes you know the one, that time of year when there's still snow on the ground in many parts of the world, especially my infamous subzero town of Winnipeg; yet spring is quickly approaching and all the shops are being flooded with floral prints, pastels, and chiffon. As much as I feen for these items, and even dare to purchase, there is no way in the world that I actually dress my pasty white body in these soft coloured prints. Even in my safe go-to winter colours, I still look like Casper next to my Hawaii-bound parents who have been 'pre-tanning' for the last 2 weeks, and even whiter next to my newly-arrived friends from Cabo and St. Tropez.
I wouldn't dare suscept my skin to the blazing lights of a tanning salon and rick pre-mature aging. And spending $50 a week on a perfectly airbrushed spray tan seems a little harsh on my senior-year university stricken wallet. My solution? Friends.....I give you, the best of the best of the self-tanners. This post was inspired by Carly Cristman, who did a youtube post on her favourite tanners. I, too, have been a slave to the drugstore tanner. I, too, have tried every make, brand, and style of self tanner under $30. I have even gone as far as mixing a rediculously dark foundation with moisturizer, slathered all over my legs, to deepen their tone for a new years party. *bows head in shame*
I have compiled a list of 4 of my absolute favourite self tanners, based on 4 completely different categories (you choose which would be most important to you in a self tanner....i think all of these things could be important) all of them give amazing colour, so they are listed by secondary characteristics :). Plus, one instant tanner, i.e. a one-night solution for bronzifying your bod.
1. Best Scent
Amber Sun by Norvell Self Tanning Lotion
This tanning lotion wins the title of best-smelling tanning lotion I have ever used. This is one of the more expensive ones, at about $25.00 a bottle. It features skin firming properties, gives a beautiful beachy tan colour, and applies just like your favourite body moisturizer. The smell of this product is a lovely cherry-almond scent, although the website says raspberry almond. What it really reminds me of is the old Jergens cherry almond scented moisturizer. I`m pretty sure at one point this was the only scent jergens offered, and it was amazing. This 251ml bottle could last anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on how often you use it. Bi-weekly use should get you about 2 months of use.
2. Fastest Colour
Jergens Natural Glow Express
I never see the point in purchasing the "light" version of tanners because ideally, by purchasing a tanner, I am trying to become as tan as humanly possible from a lotion without looking like an oompa loompa; and so this is clearly in the medium/tan colour. I have a theory kicking in the back of my brain that tanning lotion companies make their packaging obnoxiously orange or bright so that when you hold it up to your orange tan, it won't look so orange, know what I mean? With this, I have no reason to believe that that is true, however, this product must be used with caution, for its powers are great. This lotion can deepen your colour by 2 shades with just one use, and give you a full on Cabo tan in about 3 or 4 days. That being said, you have to be extra careful with the application, especially around the fingers. The consistency is like a really thick moisturizer, and it does take a little wait to dry thoroughly, because you do not want to get this on your clothes, it will stain like a mutha mutha. Although this has a strong tanner smell to it, that's the giveaway that it actuallly works. It does come in a smaller size bottle, 120ml, but you don't need as much to get the results you want. I have even used this on my face, I have dry skin, and it has worked really well!
3. Easiest application
Loreal Sublime Bronze Aresol Self Tannign Dry Mist
This stuff has been my holy grail for about 2 years now. It is rather inexpensive at wal-mart or your local drugstore, has a super super super easy aresol applicator that doesn't clog and gives a nice even flow, and gives a great colour within a few applications. This can will generally last me about a month, likely beacause It's just so dang easy to apply that I want to do it every day. I use this stuff on my face and I have no problems with zits or clogged pores or anything. The smell is tanner-y, but with this I usually apply it before bed; it dries quickly and sinks in and starts to develop within 5 hours. I highly recommend this if you've ever had problems with streakyness in your tanners and are skeptical of trying it again, this is as easy as it gets. Also, I find that it doesn't really affect my tile or flooring but I do usually stand over a bath mat, towel, or in the bathtub when I apply it, just in case!
4. Most Luxurious-Feeling? (lol....category fail)
Loreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Gel
Again, an inexpensive drug store item, this self tanner takes the cake when it comes to making my skin feel absolutely amazing. I used this last spring leading up to my birthday, to ensure I'd have an amazing tan under my crisp-white birthday dress. On the day of my birthday, I went for a body wrap spa treatment so that my skin would be silky smooth and smell amazing too, which involved exfoliating and wrapping me in this amazing moisturizing oil; while I was getting the treatment, the esthetician made a note to stop and talk to me about what I used on my skin for 10 minutes because it was so amazingly soft already! hehehe *blush*. I completely attest that to this tanning gel; it feels almost like a silica based makeup primer, and leaves your skin with that velvety smooth texture. Of course, it also gives an amazing glowy tan. I absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves having smooth skin.
5. Favourite Instant Bronzer
Lush Silk Stockings Massage Bar
These babies got me through every winter party I had to go to from Halloween (yes it is winter in october here in winnipeg) all the way to Easter (although not here yet, i know it will be winter, still, and i will be using them hehe). If you've never used Lush massage bars, they are basically a solid brick of delicious cocoa butter along with other moisturizers and conditioners, each with a unique scent or feature. They melt at anything warmer than room temperature, and soak right into your skin just like a moisturizer. Silk stockings has a delish cinamonny gingery spice scent and leaves a great bronzed shimmery tan look behind. The kind of bronzed shimmery tan look that you see on the legs of exotic models in the sports illustrated swimsuit issue. That being said, there is one unfortunate downfall of this product, and that is that it does tend to rub off on clothing, furniture, and other body party (i.e. if you rub your legs with your hands a lot, it will get on your hands, then you clutch, then your boyfriends shirt, etc.). So try to steer clear of this if you're sporting a particularily light colored outfit, or of you plan on doing a lot of sitting. I use this when i go out clubbing, to dinner parties (given that i wear a longer dress....knee length or so) and other events like that. It's not like a CRAZY rub off, but it's there.
So that's my list!
What are your holy grail self tanners?