No one can deny the power of a perfect summer glow.
Obviously, the sun is bad for us, but sunless tanners are a great invention. Also, thanks to innovation, there’s no longer a risk of turning orange from your tan-in-a-can. If you’re not a self-tanning fan, though, there are still plenty of ways to glow this season.
Here are a few of my favorite products that make me feel like a summer goddess.
My best self-tanning tip is to apply it before bed. This way, you have at least six to eight hours where the color can develop. In a bind, something like this product works perfectly. This formula is a game changer thanks to its ability to deliver a dark color in about an hour. Since it’s so fast-working, it also dries almost instantly, so there’s no waiting to get dressed or any residual stickiness.
I kept getting ads for this on Instagram and Facebook and was super impressed with how this tanner seemed to work. When someone reached out on behalf of the brand for me to try this, I jumped at the chance and was not disappointed. I use a lot of self-tanning products, but I love this one because it’s the most natural-looking fake tan I’ve ever applied. It develops as the perfect sun-kissed bronze, and I’ve never found it to skew orange. It also smells amazing — tropical like mango and guava. Most self-tanners have a biscuit smell, which is fine in the kitchen, but I don’t want to smell like biscuits.
There’s something I love about reflecting the sunshine in the summer, and body glitter is the way to go. Think about it: you have this dewy, beautiful face and then a dry chest and shoulders. Lime Crime Body-Lite cream glitter pigments are a very sophisticated way to shine. I’m talking super-fine shimmer glitter, not big, chunky glitter. The creamy and lightweight formula dries down to a shimmery finish, and it’s even got a little Vitamin E to soften skin. I love the shade Enchantress, a champagne color with gold shimmer. To tone it down while still catching the light, just mix in a pump of this with your body lotion and apply to your chest, arms, legs, etc.
Moisturizing is key to a great self-tan, but sometimes I’m just too lazy for two steps. This is where a product like this comes in handy. A self-tanner disguised as a rich body lotion, the illuminating formula hydrates and nourishes skin with a natural blend of coconut, eucalyptus and peppermint oils. It also contains green color-correcting actives to cancel redness on the skin so you get a natural, bronze tan. Just don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done to avoid Cheeto palms.
This formula is a classic for a reason. It delivers a gradual tan that enhances your natural skin tone and helps to moisturize skin as a less rich alternative to the Isle of Paradise one. I moisturize after I shower, and a product like this does all the hard work for me. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.
A golden-tan shimmery powder instantly makes you look like you’re on a tropical island. This is a drugstore find, but the formula is as buttery as its prestige counterparts. Wear it like a highlighter on the points of your face that catch the light (orbital bone, bridge of the nose, browbone) or use it as a blush-bronzer to sculpt your cheeks and face.
Body makeup is an instant alternative to self-tanner, and Sally is the OG. This product keeps my legs and arms even between spray tan sessions. I just apply the spray to my legs and then buff it all in with a big, fat, fluffy brush. (E.L.F. Precision Powder Brush with the clear handle is my favorite for this.) Let it dry for about a minute, and it will prove to be water-resistant and transfer-proof. The finish looks matte in most lighting, but it’s very shimmery in the sunshine. I don’t really mind that though because I love to be super glowy.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT