Makeup 101: Self Tan without the Scare

tan.jpgSo you are not going on spring break… I share your pain. I will be returning home, where it is also cold, to substitute teach bratty kids instead of drinking pina coladas in the sun. FML.

It sucks listening to everyone talk about their plans, but it will suck more when they all come back with sweet beach tans, and I, well, still glow in the dark. Seriously, the other day my best friend called me pasty (harsh, but true).

And this, my friends, is why I am looking for a bottled glow.

Tanning beds scare me with their cancerous connotations. Spray tans scare me too; I don’t want to look like I have a bad case of Lindsey Lohan. So I am going to suggest to you some of the best self tanners out there. I know – self-tanners sound pretty intimidating as well. I will admit I had a horror story experience with one in the 8th grade. Here’s me, so excited to wear my new green halter top, turned totally orange, passed my crush walking down the street. Ultimate humiliation. But, don’t let that turn you off of self tanners! That situation was caused by a serious lack of knowledge about what I was doing or what kind of product to use.

The great thing about the products below is that while they are not an instant bronze color, they will gradually give you a natural looking, healthy tanned glow. Hopefully this will help you keep up with your Spring Breakin’ roommates without coming back to campus looking like the orange eighth grade version of me.

Sephora Brand Body Self-Tanning Tinted Bronzing Mist: This gradual bronzer comes in a can, which is great for applying! You don’t end up with gross colored hands, and the spray comes out evenly on your body. It’s light and airy, unlike chunky lotion and also smells great. It may take a little while to achieve the color that you want, but it won’t streak!

Jergens Natural Glow Body Moisturizer: The word natural is even in the title, and that’s exactly what this moisturizer is. It comes in several shades, and you will see a difference in just 3 days. Exfoliate before use so the moisturizer will sit well on your skin. It includes the same moisturizing ingredients as regular Jergens so there are no harsh chemicals, unlike those nasty tanning beds!

Dove Energy Glow Beauty Body Lotion: Like Jergens, this is a moisturizing lotion that comes in two shades. It will even out your skin tone and create a gradual glow so it looks like you have been basking in the sun, without becoming a lobster. And as a bonus, it’s super cheap and can be found at any drugstore, just like Jergens.

Michael Kors Leg Shine: This product comes in a convenient stick for arms and legs and creates a subtly natural glow so you get perfect shimmering tanned legs. And it is scented just like Michael perfume. Pretty impossible to mess this up!



  1. nikki says:

    I am a sickly pale color (some people have nice pale porcelain skin… I don't fall under this category). I love to have a little color but tanning beds scare me and I HATE the smell of self tanners. Poo

  2. Nikki — if you hate the smell of self tanners try the Jergens Natural Glow one, it has a really nice scent to it. I use the face one on a daily basis because I hate the smell of normal moisturizers.

  3. Jade says:

    The St Tropez line.

    Im in love with it.

    It may cost a bit, but its worth having a good tan during cold months without risking cancer! :)

  4. Amy says:

    hahaha! just had to comment that I LOVE the Alex Mac reference!

  5. lindsey says:

    I had that exact experience in 8th grade. My friend and I were going to an end of the year pool party and so the night before we slathered each other in Neutrogena Self Tanning Lotion, and the following day we looked like Alex Mack post chemical explosion.

    What a way to end middle school.

    SO since then, what I have found to work best are Tan Towels – They are like a wet nap and don’t smell that bad. They are easy to use and don’t streak. Then I get the complement “Where did you go on vacation?” rather than “Did you start a new job at the nuclear power plant?”

  6. Jacks says:

    Leah, you like the smell? I'm surprised, I HATE it-I think it smells so chemical and weird. The tanner itself works great, but personally I don't think the smell is worth it.

  7. Jacks says:

    I would also like to add-this is the first time in 4 years that I have quit tanning beds and embraced my paleness. Can't say I love the look of a pale body (being tan really does make you look thinner) but I actually adore the look of my pale face. You just need the right blush (NARS in the infamous Orgasm shade is well worth the price!)

  8. Michelle says:

    I love Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, I used it all last summer and I swear by it. You won't see any streaks and it is so easy to apply. The better you rub it in, the better it works. My only complaint is that although the moisturizer doesn't smell horrible, it doesn't smell good either. After I put it on in the mornings after my shower, I would smell like it all day. But I will still be using the product again this summer!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I personally am a fan of Lavera's self tanner.

    A) Its all-natural. I have sensitive skin so I have to be careful with what goes on it.

    B) No crappy smell like all other self tanners

    C) Tons of awards received and lot of press around it

  10. Emily says:

    I too use the Jergens Natural Glow body moisturizer, only I use the Express kind. It's supposed to make you dark in 3 days flat, and yesterday i applied my first application and i could already see results! With the express a little bottle of Natural Flow Healthy Complexion Facial Moisturizer came with, and I'm also using that. The color is really natural and goes on even after I exfoliate and shave in the shower. I normally just use it on my legs, but I've begun to use it on my arms and I might even venture across my chest and have someone do the back, hah. I also bought the regular Jergans Natural Glow Revitalizing lotion, which I will use throughout the summer. Jergens recently improved their line and the lotion smells AMAZING! Kind of vanilla-y, and not so much of the harsh slef-tanner smell that it previously had. But yeah, I decided to stop tanning cold-turkey, because the possible risk of skin cancer and wrinkles in the future just isn't worth it. :]

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