the great {self tanner} debate.


Since tomorrow's Friday's Fancies is centered on spring break, I thought it would be very important to revisit the sun savvy pledge that Danielle and I shared with you last June. After having a melanoma removed in 2008, I have completely changed my sun habits. Though I sport sunscreen on a daily basis, I will admit that I sometimes miss the glow from a few hours in the sun. I've been scared of self tanner in the past, but I think it is time to conquer my fears of turning "oompah-loompah orange" to get a safe glow. 

{find them here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18}

Though I wish I could afford to try each and every product below, I haven't--but the best part about blogging is that many of you probably have :) I'd love to hear what products you love {or hate} when it comes to a self tanner and why you keep coming back to them. 

{find them here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10}


I have only heard fabulous things about the Clarins line of self-tanners--and as a recent Clarins convert, I am sure those are not just rumors. My bestie, {kj} swears by tantowels, but I don't really know where to begin! Before I head south in April and May, I need to find something, so I'd love your input :)


P.S. Get your spring break looks ready for tomorrow's Friday's Fancies! Join the mailing list here!

64 comments:

  1. Oh goodness - I'm overwhelmed just looking at them! Honestly, I prefer to go pale. It's way easier! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've used tan towels in the past and prefer them over lotions. The color always looks natural on me. And, they're super convenient if you're going on a trip and want to use one while away. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Glowfusion stuff from sephora is my absolute favorite - it's by far the best. Beyond Bronze by Fake Bake is great too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i've heard great things about tan towels! i want to try something.. MONTHS before the wedding so i can have a nice even (and not too dark) glow on the big day. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've heard great things about the tan towels. I've personally used Bare Minerals "Faux Tan" for a few months. I really loved it at the time. Not sure why I stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I actually just bought the Estée Lauder flash bronzer but haven't used it yet. The lady at Dillard's told me everyone in the cosmetics department uses it if that helps!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been using the St. Tropez line (they use it on DWTS supposedly?) and love it! It's light weight & doesn't smell... it also doesn't take long to dry so that's a definitely plus! They also have a wonderful body scrub for inbetween applications for extra smooth skin (especially around knees and elbows)... and I've started using it year round even when I'm not using the tanner! It smells amazing too :) Hope someone finds this post useful ha :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tan Towels! They're SO easy to apply and the color is really natural.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This could not have come at a better time! I just started putting my self tanner on my face before bed again and noticed how sticky, greasy and smelly it is and thought to myself, I need to do some research for a better tanner. Thanks av! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I use Jergens and that works really well for me. My friends and I all used it before graduation last May and no one had any problems. I've also used Clinique's line, and I think that is pretty similar to Jergens just with a higher price tag :]

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also heard great things about tan towels. Need to try. I should buy a good quality self tanner or at least ask for a sample at Sephora!! I love having a glow :) you laid out some great choices!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have heard great things about tan towels from my best friend, but they CAN get sloppy on your hands (I have seen evidence). Have also heard really great things about Clarins! I will definitely be coming back to this post to check out the comments!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh em gee! I don't see my absolute hands down favorite on there! I cannot rave enough about L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze. I have been using it for YEARS and doubt I would ever change. It's really inexpensive (about $8) a bottle and is available at all of your local chains like Target, WalMart, Walgreens, etc. It doesn't make you orange and I have gotten lots of compliments on how tan I am when I use it. I don't use it everyday but I use it a lot on my face during the winter when my arms and neck are covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so interesting how different peoples' opinions are on products! That's why it is good to get samples from Sephora, I guess! Personally, I have not had a great experience with L'Oreal Sublime bronze. In my opinion, it has a funky smell that just seeps out of my pores especially if I work out the day after I put it on.... and is a bit sticky.

      Delete
  14. great post!! i swear by clarins radiance plus self tanner for face. i use it 3x a week to maintain a healthy glow! i haven't found a self tanner for my body that i really LOVE, so i'll have to try out one of your suggestions!!

    xoamy
    www.cupcakesncouture.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am a huge fan of Perfekt Matte Body Perfection Gel if you want to add a little bit of glow the day of and don't want to wait for a self-tanner. It matches your skin tone very well and doesn't rub off on clothes. In addition, I do the spray tan thing and love that from time to time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wrote a post on my blog not too long ago about staying out of the sun & tanning beds - the after effects are so scary! I swear by St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. I've been using it for years and it works great. I've also heard good things about Sun Labs. It's hard to choose when there's so many options out there!

    ReplyDelete
  17. i need to get in on this. i've been wanting to try the josie maran lotion since it's all natural and all that jazz. i should go get some...once i'm allowed to spend money.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just got Xen-Tan and LOVE it. I actually put it on last night. It smells good and doesm't leave you orange. It gives a very subtle color and doesn't leave you "splotchy" as it fades. I have also used St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse too. It's another fab one that doesn't turn you orange.
    Because Shanna Said So

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to tell you that I use JWOWW's sunless spray tan in a can. I LOVE IT! One of the problems I've had with fake tans is that they will give you a splotchy look after a few days, her's fades well without giving you a streaky look.
    I also use the Jergens Natural Glow generic brand Equate {from Walmart} and it works well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. St. Tropez is AMAZING!!!! I used to use Clarins, but switched to St. Tropez a month ago and I absolutely LOVE it!!! I even wrote an entire blog post about it! ha!

    http://champagnelifestyleonateachersbudget.blogspot.com/2012/02/fun-friday-finds.html

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really like Bare Escentuals Faux Tan. I find its the most natural, and you can see the color immediately. This helps also to easily see any spots you may have missed!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've never actually tried any of the ones you have listed, BUT I love every product I've tried from Philosophy, so I'm assuming their sunless tanner will also be fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've tried quite a few and had some issues with a too orange color or streaking, but Jergen's Natural Glow is my absolute favorite. I've been using it for years and it looks totally natural, smells great, and it's cheap!

    ReplyDelete
  24. i've had great luck with coppertone endless summer (extra bonus: cheap!). i'm super-picky about the stuff i put on my face, but i put it on ~3x/wk, but it looks natural, it's not at all greasy, and i haven't broken out from it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Coppertone-Endless-Sunless-Tanning-Moisturizing/dp/B000EVQMN4

    ReplyDelete
  25. I usually go for Neutrogena's self-tanning foam. It's also a bronzer so it's easy for me to see where I've applied it, it's not greasy at all, and it actually kinda smells good. I also like that it gives me a very natural, even color that's not orange-y. And it's cheap so that's always a plus!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh - I also use Jergen's for my face. It's a moisturizer with SPF 30 (I think) so I just use it as my daily moisturizer in the mornings.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Okay...I have tried SO many!! A bunch on this list, even. Many people in my family have suffered from skin cancer; my mom has had basal cell removed about 12 times and her sister died of melanoma at 35...scary stuff. I stopped tanning beds early on in college and became addicted to self tanners! This will be a long one, haha....

    St. Tropez is by far the best I have tried for the body...the mousse is amazing, and I actually like the lotion better because it seems a little darker and the bottle lasts longer, but it is stinkier! I don't care what anyone says...there is ALWAYS a smell!! Just different degrees. Lorac Tantalizer is nice and is more of a gradual bronzer, and it is good for a quick fix. Smells decent, too, but if you sweat at all, the instant bronzer will be alll over your clothing. I don't use the mitt it came with, because that sucks up so much product....I use rubber gloves, instead, so you can use every bit you squeeze out of the bottle. I always put self tanner on before bed after exfoliating and wash it off in the morning (except for the gradual ones, those are usually okay under clothing during the day). For my face, I like that Clarins one you have listed. It's even good for the body, although it is super watery in consistency, so it's a little tough to apply all over. That is one that I can put on my face in the morning and it doesn't make you look dirty or anything. It's another staple of mine.

    I also got a spray tan last week and have been using Jergens Natural Glow throughout the week (its another gradual one, minus the instant bronzer, which my clothes are happy about), morning or night, to keep it fresh. It's a subtle color, but on top of a dark spray tan, it keeps things a little longer and smoother looking! I don't love the smell, but it's not awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh Sam! I'm so sorry about your sister. That is so terrible, and I'm sure it was a big wake up. Thank you for this advice. I'm going to look into these products that you suggested, because you know I trust your recommendations!

      Delete
  28. I totally starred this in my reader for later reference to perk up my pale look. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh wow, I didn't even realize there were so many tanners out there! I love this post & have bookmarked it - can't wait to start looking over each of these to pick out a perfect one for me. Thanks so much for posting this AV!! I've used Clarins before and loved it. But I'm also a new devotee of Soap & Glory.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Feel like I have tried so many and none worked. I think I'm just destined to be pale for the rest of my life. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I just started using the Jergens face one, and LOVE IT. I just mix it with moisturizer.
    Tab
    my-cliffnotes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. i really want to try a good self-tanner this summer! for drug store i've heard great things about sublime bronze!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the tan towels because they are quick and easy to use but my absolute favorite is the St. Tropez bronzing mousse and the applicator mitt will give you great even coverage, plus with the mitt you can do the tops of your hands so they match and aren't pasty white! I've pretty much tried everyone of them up there to. I don't know if they still do but they used to have the St. Tropez at QVC and sometimes you can find good sales/deals on there!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm not into self-tanners, I can never apply them right.
    I go to the tanning bed nearly 6 days a week, horrible- I know!!
    But I do love the mystic/versa spray tans when I'm attending an event. They last about a week for me.

    ReplyDelete
  35. This post is perfect for me today; I got 2 moles removed and I'm a little nervous about the biopsy results. Eeek! I wasn't always so smart with SPF, but since college, I've slathered it on like no other. Have you thought about doing a spray tan? I do them sometimes, although it's tough to find a good salon. I've also heard wonderful things about the tan towels, but I have yet to try them. Good luck in your search, and let me know what you find!

    Xox

    ReplyDelete
  36. I use the Tan Towel tinted moisturizer and love it! Non sticky or smelly!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Tan towel is great for travel. I am a spray tan regular, but when I need to boost of color I use tan towels or loreal sublime bronze. I am definitely going to try a few of the others. I feel like I've been trying different brands for years because I was not born with skin that is natural bronzed...it is not even a possibility for me :(

    ReplyDelete
  38. Tan towels!!! I used two for my bff's wedding & they were such a miracle for me! :) :) Super easy to apply & beautiful color :) :)
    Love, Leigh

    ReplyDelete
  39. Coming from an island where everyone is bronzed all year round, I struggled with the 'pale' look when I went away to University. Luckily, one of my housemates in England was a 'tanorexic' and tried every product under the sun (no pun intended) during our time together. Thankfully she was the guinea pig and had a few 'radio active'-neon-orange mishaps. We both agreed that though St.Tropez is more expensive it gives the most natural look. It doesn't smell bad and gives a nice 'brown' colour :) In the end I think everyone's skin reacts differently to these products and it also depends on your natural base colour. Good luck finding the one that suits you best :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  40. I use Jergens natural glow (the gradual one) every other night in the summer. It has a bit of shimmer, but the self-tanner smell (which I don't really mind) fades by morning and lasts longer if you use it sparingly. I'd be willing to give Clarins a try though!

    ...Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've always heard great things about Jergen's! I need to try it for Spring Break, though.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've never personally used self tanner, I was scarred for life after my friend used it and came out looking like an oompa loompa! I will vouch for Laura Mercier products in general. I'm pretty tame when it comes to make up, but the few products I have come from Laura Mercier. It's pretty gentle on the skin. I wish there was an organic choice !

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love the St. Tropez line because the color is a brown tan, not orange! It is pricey though, so I generally use the mousse a few times a week and then Jergens natural glow on the days in between. I have also used the Clinique tanner pictured and liked it as well. I bed tanned for years in college and and am starting to see effects on my skin-lots of freckles and sun spots that were never there before. Now I never go anywhere without my sunscreen in my purse.

    ReplyDelete
  44. The only one I've ever used is the Dove natural radiance (I'm probably butchering that, but it's the gradual one) and I love it! It doesn't make a huge difference, but definitely enough to give you a little color so that your skin doesn't look so harsh in the sunlight. I love the way it smells and you can't beat the price!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I use Neutrogena Micro-Mist Tanning Sunless Spray religiously. I've tried many different kinds, but this one gets two thumbs up from me. If they discontinue it, I'll definitely cry.

    ReplyDelete
  46. i've been trying to make sure i use spf in my everyday make-up and when i swim. i'm lucky enough to tan easily so i don't always apply self-tanner. but when i do feel like i'm getting a bit yellow i usually use a cheapo self-tanner/ moisturizer from target ( here's the exact link : http://www.target.com/p/up-up-Natural-Glow-Daily-Moisturizing-Lotion-Medium-7-5-oz/-/A-11591840)
    it works really well for me, especially after a few applications. but make sure you wash your hands immediately after, and try to use common sense when applying ( like don't put it on the bottom of your feet or elbows- places you don't usually tan) my only warning is that it smells pretty bad, but it goes away after a while. if you have any questions, let me know, I'll be glad to help!

    http://nuhasofiyan.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I use the tan towels and love them! I also use Jergens natural glow everytime after my shower...it keeps a good "glow" on my skin year round! I am all about the mystic tan for special occassions too!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Last year, I discovered TanTowels and fell in love with them. They're easy, they dry fast & I don't notice as strong of a stinky smell. I'm always interested in trying new products though. I enjoyed reading everyone's suggestions!! :)

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

    ReplyDelete
  49. Totally keeping this article and all the wonderful helpful comments for reference - I want a little color for my summer wedding but dread tanning (skin cancer in the family, and I am far more likely to pink than to tan). Going to start trying these now so I know which ones work for me - not looking for an accidentally-Jersey-Shore-themed wedding!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I need to get myself a self-tanner! I used to go to tanning beds all the time & it's so bad for you :( Hope you have a fab weekend!

    xo,
    ashlee

    ReplyDelete
  51. Neutrogena has a spray on tan that I LOVEEEE and swear by!! you can get it at any drug store for like nine bucks!! It's amazing stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thank you so much for this post! It has been so so helpful to read these comments. I need to start something for a trip I'm going on in a few weeks, my wedding, and my honeymoon, and I am going to try the tan towels and possible the St Tropez!

    ReplyDelete
  53. i actually give professional spray tans from time to time, which is amazingly convenient for me in the winter :) but when i need something quick i actually love the neutrogena micro-mist from the grocery store!! $12 and i love the natural color it brings out!

    ReplyDelete
  54. the tan towels are awesome! they go on without streaking. plus you can choose between different shades.

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love the Tan Towels!!! I grabbed them on a whim at ULTA when they were on sale and can't live without them! They are perfect for a little bit of color (I never feel orange) and the application is sooo easy! I have really sensitive/acne-prone skin, but I even use the towel on my face with NO PROBLEMS. I've tried so many faux tanning products out there and Tan Towels are my #1 choice!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Up until last year I used (and loved!) Bare Escentuals "Faux Tan"....great natural looking tan and easy to apply. But then I tried out the St. Tropez mousse and I am obsessed. It is lightweight and moisturizing too. It doesn't have that "tanner" smell, and it gives the perfect glowy look without looking sparkly or wet. I absolutely love it. Oh and a little goes a long way...it's a bit pricey but I've had mine all year and have hardly made a dent! (I usually just use it on my face/neck/chest.

    ReplyDelete
  57. These are great comments! Please compile your favorites once you've tried them!

    ReplyDelete
  58. So bronze is the best in my opinion but you have to get it in the spray can not the lotion!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!
    Airbrush Tanning Salons

    ReplyDelete
  60. I salute to the admin of this blog. I really like and I will surely recommend this blog to my friends. For your concerns solution visit this link
    Sunless tans

    ReplyDelete

Many thanks for visiting {long distance loving}! I'd love to hear what you think :) xoxo {av}