The weather is warming up in some parts of the country, but after the cold comes freakish white legs that never look as flattering in shorts as tan legs. Since tanning booths are not good for you, it is time for some self-tanning lotions.
After years of tanning beds and damaging skin on my back, I really appreciate self-tanners. Yes, some smell and some stain chairs and clothes, but it is a smaller price to pay than damaging your skin. However, not all of them stain or rub off easily. I have tested several and now I will reveal the pros and cons for each of them.
Australian Gold Instant Self-Tanning Lotion
Australian Gold Instant Self-Tanning Lotion is a lighter self-tanner than most, so you will need to reapply it several times a week. Initially, Australian Gold smells better than most self-tanners because of its soft scent; however, after a few hours, the tanner tends to smell like chemicals.
I really think this a great, light self-tanner for gals who want a slight glow without looking orange. It left my legs looking sun-kissed but not orange, which was a huge plus. But, if you are already slightly tanned and need more brownish bronzer, then I would pass on this one.
→ Buy the Australian Gold Instant Bronze Self Tanning Lotion, $6.79 (was $7.99), at ulta.com.
Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer
If you are already tan, but want a flawless look that will make heads turn when wearing a mini, then I 100% recommend Lorac Tantalizer. I have been using this product for years and I love it, but it will come off easily if not fully dry. This is not a gradual tanner, like the Australian Gold, that you can reapply to get a sun kissed glow. Lorac Tantalizer is more of a one-time knockout look.
If you have a big function and plan on revealing a lot of leg, then Lorac is the perfect choice because it hides blemishes and evens out the skin. Put too much on and you will regret it because it will streak and look slightly orange. Use in moderation and for that special night out.
→ Buy the Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer, $12.00 - $32.00, at sephora.com.
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
Do you want a tanned look without too much fuss? Then you will love St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. This is great way to get ready for a weekend getaway. It does tend to stain your hands when you apply it, so that is slightly disappointing. But, if you get gloves that will protect your hands.
→ Buy the St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $32.00 - $42.00, at sephora.com.
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Deep Glow
Sally Hansen’s products are affordable and get the job done. If you want a spray tan look, then this may be your answer... if you are okay with going through a little trouble. The airbrush spray produces a great finish but you will have to use the spray in the tub because the spray can get all over the place. I used this in Vegas before going out and it looked great, but it took some prep time.
→ Buy the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Deep Glow, $11.51 (was $12.79), at drugstore.com.
Personally, I use all of the above self-tanners and I trade off depending on the occasion and how much time I have to get ready before I go out. If you just want a little glow then go for the gradual self-tanners. If you need a deep-bronzed look then go for Lorac or St. Tropez. For flawless skin that you have time to prep for, try Sally Hansen because it is worth the price point.
Before using any self-tanner, make sure you exfoliate your skin and shave to ensure an even better application. Good luck ladies, and cheers to sun kissed skin! Goodbye pasty white legs!
Disclosure: A review sample of Australian Gold Instant Self-Tanning Lotion was provided by Australian Gold; all other products were purchased by the writer at her own expense. No compensation was received in exchange for this review. All opinions are those of the writer.
Kim Moshtaghi is a contributing writer for Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle. Born in Germany, Kim is currently based in sunny Del Mar, California, where she also serves as Stiletto Jungle's Director of Sales and Promotions. Kim has a communications degree, a third degree black belt, and a totally covetable Gucci handbag collection.