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Sun protection is of the utmost importance. And if you really want to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, you should forego the tanning and invest in a self-tanner or two! Below, our favorites.

Best-Self-Tanners-Image-1.jpgBest scent: LORAC SelfTANtalizer Body Bronzing Gradual
A rich vanilla scent keeps this from smelling like most other self-tanners on the market—in other words, bad. The lotion also creates a gradual, natural-looking glow.
$34 at sephora.com

Best luxury self-tanner: Dior Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Face
Want to look radiant and sun-kissed in just one hour? Then this gel-cream, formulated with Dior’s “ph Bronze Perfect,” is definitely the one for you.
$31 at sephora.com

Best organic: Josie Maran Argan Self Tanning Cream
Caffeine molecules, sugar beets and sugar cane combine with Josie’s often-used argan oil to produce a self tanner that, along with Vitamin E, is super fantastic for the body.
$32 at sephora.com

Best-Self-Tanners-Image-2.jpgBest self tanner towelettes
Okay, we have a confession to make. We couldn’t pick just one in this category! Both the Kate Somerville Somerville360 Tanning Towelettes ($48 at cusp.com) and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad ($32 at blissworld.com) give just enough color to make you look totally sunkissed and gorgeous.

Best-Self-Tanners-Image-3.jpgBest technology and innovation: TEMPTU AIR Pod Face Tan
The innovative, fast-drying and long-lasting TEMPTU system delivers gorgeous buildable color.
$45 at sephora.com

Best name & packaging: Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube
While we don’t promote tanning beds in real life, we are in love with the name of this product! And don’t you just want to be the silhouetted lovely lady on the front of the tube?
$25 at ulta.com

Best for legs: Lancome FLASH BRONZER Tinted Self-Tanning Leg Gel
This vitamin-fortified self-tanner tints and bronzes while contouring, hydrating and smoothing your legs. What more could you ask for?
$34.50 at lordandtaylor.com
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For some fortunate fashionistas, spring has definitely set in recently…like us. So getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D and sun-kissed skin (protected with the appropriate SPF, of course) is well within reach. For others still stuck shoveling snow, that idea is well…not so within reach. 

Hallelujah for at-home self tanners! Tanning towelettes, gels, milks and creams run the gamut from A++ to just plain bad, bad, bad. You don’t have enough skin to test them all, so we did the (tanned) leg work for you. We read review after review, website and website, blog after blog, and tested some of these ourselves. We realized that the cheaper the product, the more reviewers complained about that infamous smell, and the pricier the product, the less it was a problem. After all our self-tanning research, we narrowed it down to what appears to be the best (or at least most liked) splurge-worthy varieties and must-have drugstore steals. 

Splurge
1. Shiseido ‘Daily Bronze’ Moisturizing Emulsion, $36, Nordstrom.com
2. ModelCo Self-Tanning Glove, $36, Amazon.com
3. Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel, $44, Saks.com

Steal
4. Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion, $6.99, Drugstore.com 
5. Bain de Soleil Mega Tan Sunscreen with Self Tanner, SPF 4, $9.99, Drugstore.com
6.L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes for Body, $9.99, Drugstore.com


More top sunless tanners:





bik.bmpWe’ve got the tips and products to get you smooth, sun-kissed, and sexy….just in time to pull out those teeny bikinis! Here’s how to effortlessly transition out of winter hiding:


Smooth Skin


The number-one way to make pasty winter skin beach ready? EXFOLIATE. Bliss Slim & Bare It ($45) is a a scrub-and-rub, cellulite-sabotaging duo, and does the triple duty of exfoliating, moisturizing, and fighting stubborn cellulite. The set includes full-size jars of FatGirlSlim, the ‘caffeinated’ visible dimple-demolishing cream, and FatGirlScrub, the circulation-stimulating skin-smoothing slough, and is all you need for smooth, bare-worthy skin. Yay for three in one, err, two products!scrub-1.jpgTip: To boost its effectiveness, rub using a circular motion, spending extra time on rough knees, heels, and elbows.

Banish Blemishes

Not so perfect skin on your back, shoulders, chest making you dread putting on a tank top? No worries. A simple acne fighting routine can make all of the difference and get rid of shoulder-shyness in no time. First, cleanse the areas daily with a salicylic acid based cleanser, like Murad Acne Body Wash ($40). The cleanser contains Salicylic Acid and Date Seed Powder to deeply penetrate skin to control and prevent breakouts, while humectants lock in moisture, keeping skin hydrated and healthy. To reap all of the acne-fighting benefits, let the cleanser sit on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing it.bodywash-1.bmpTip: If you have stubborn blemishes, you can spot treat them with the same product you use on your face.

Pretty Peds

It’s pedicure season! With all of the fun new summer nail colors out, there’s no way you should forget your feet.  Philosophy Soul Owner ($14) is a foot treatment featuring an extra-rich emollient cream super-charged with salicylic and glycolic acids to help reduce rough soles. Tip: it works wonders on rough elbows and knees too. Here’s an easy, at-home pedicure program designed to get your feet in perfect pedicure shape: Soak feet in a  bowl of equal parts warm milk and water (the lactic acid naturally sloughs dead skin and softens.) After soaking for a few minutes, smooth rough spots with a pumice stone, then massage Soul Owner all over.foot.bmp Tip: For added softness, do this at night and put on a pair of socks before bed, to seal in moisture.

Fight Fuzz

The first thing most people think about when getting bikini-ready is hair removal. No one wants to be the fuzzy gal in the sand. Waxing, lasers, depilatories…there are so many options out there, but we are still partial to a good old shave, especially with the way shave creams have evolved! Evolution of Smooth’s (EOS) Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream is paraben-free and made with natural aloe, oat, shea butter and antioxidant vitamins E and C to leave skin radiantly healthy. The non-foaming cream boosts skin’s moisture level and keeps it smooth long after shaving. Bonus? It’s so moisturizing, you can shave wet or dry. The cream comes in the most amazing scents: vanilla bliss, pomegranate raspberry, lavendar jasmine, island blue… and a fragrance free version for senstive skin. Seriously yummy. Available at evolutionofsmooth.com, Target and Wal-Mart stores.

eos-1.jpgTip: Cut down on irritation by relathering an area if you are going over it a second time.

Get Glowing

If you’ve followed all of our steps, you’re almost ready for the sun… but wait. You’ve been smoothed, sloughed, and silkened, but what do you do with the ghostly skin?  Self-tanners can sometimes be too harsh, especially on skin that’s been hidden all winter long. For a natural, sun-kissed glow, warm up your skin tone with a gradual tan lotion. St. Tropez Gradual Tan ($30) combines serious skincare benefits with a healthy touch of bronze. Infused with soothing aloe vera, this lotion will help give you smoother skin while building a gradual golden tan, every day.tan-1.jpgTip: Make sure to prep skin with the aforementioned steps for a smooth canvas, and you’re good to glow!


It’s pretty obvious by now that UV rays are harmful for the skin, especially those in the tanning booth. So you’re best staying out of the sun and faking it with sunless tanners. But the ones that don’t streak or leave you orange! The “Jersey Shore” cast should change their term to “GSTL” - Gym, Sunless Tanner, Laundry. Sorry….we just couldn’t resist!

Our picks for the top 10 sunless tanners of the year are:

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Best Way to Fake a Fake Tan
St. Tropez Bronzing Rocks
$34, Amazon.com




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Most Even Coverage
Modelco’s Tan Airbrush in a Can
$30, Sephora






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Best for Travel
Kate Somerville Somer360 Tanning Towelette
$6, Sephora






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Best for the Face
Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self Tanning Formula
$22.50, Nordstrom






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Best for Fair Skin
Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Body Lotion
$42, Sephora





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Best for Darker Skin
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion



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Best Tanning Gel
Bobbi Brown Sunless Tanning Gel for Face and Body
$30, BobbiBrownCosmetics.com










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Quickest Color
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion







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Most Cost Effective
Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Lotion

$6.99, Drugstore.com








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Best All Natural Product
Lavera Sunless Tanning Lotion





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As the summer months wind down, there’s no need to give up your glow. L’Oreal’s New Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Self-Tanning Lotion is your key to a sun-kissed looks even when the sun shines less. Creamy, light, and fast-absorbing, Luminous Glow works instantly, so you can see where you’ve applied it as well as choose the depth of your “tan”. With light-reflecting micro-pearls and a delicious scent, summer never has to end. $10.49, ulta.com

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