My Favorite Self-Tanners (and tips & tricks to using them!)

There are levels to this, guys. 

Self-tanning isn’t easy. It’s time consuming, and it can be kind of easy to mess up (depending on what products you use). That’s exactly why I want to show (1) my favorite products to use, as well as when/why, and (2) tips/tricks to getting your best bronze glow!


For a quick pick-me-up: 

I love using Neutrogena tanning towelettes. I’ve used them since my pre-teen pageant days, and honestly always will. They’re one of the easiest, fool-proof tanning products on the market, and they give you a very natural tan. I typically open two packets, and use one towel on my legs/lower body and one towel on my upper body.


My only issue with these is that you cannot see where you’ve already applied the product on the skin; so if you really trust yourself, you can just use the towels, but since I am always nervous that there’s going to be a patch of skin that’s missing color, I use the Neutrogena tanning mist (either in the medium or dark shade, depending on how I’m feeling) to give my body a light “top coat” of sorts. (This also alleviates the issue of not being able to reach/apply product to your own back; just use the spray for that!)

I allow the product to dry for a few minutes, put on some long sleeve pajamas, and hop in bed. Come morning, you’ll have a beautiful, bronze glow! Best part? These products are CHEAP. Nothing better than a couple of hidden drugstore gems.


For a long-wear tan: 

When I need my tan to last a little longer (or be a little darker for a longer period of time), I lean more towards my St. Tropez tanning mousse and mist. I use a similar technique as described above. Using a tanning mitt, I apply mousse to my lower body first, then the top of my body.

I don’t rub mousse on my hands or feet, as this stuff can be dark, and it’s easy to tell if someone has a terrible self-tan by seeing blotchy feet and hands. For those areas (and for another “all over top coat,” I use the tanning mist by the same line to even all application lines and to apply a lighter amount of color to those more delicate areas like the ankles, feet, hands, underarms, etc.

These products are a little more time consuming and difficult to work with than the Neutrogena products, but the end-result can be worth it, depending on what you’re looking for.



  1. Don’t rush. It can be more difficult to get self tanner off than it is to get it on, so be sure to take your time to ensure that your product is applied correctly.
  2. Exfoliate and shave before you tan, so that you don’t shave off your tan later. You want to have a very smooth canvas, just like when you do your makeup, so be sure to exfoliate using a sugar scrub or loofa and get a close shave just before application. If possible, try to wait a few hours before self-tanning after shaving so that you don’t sting your legs!
  3. Moisturize your feet, hands, ankles, etc., but don’t moisturize your large-surface-areas. It might sound contrary to what you’ve heard about self-tanning in the past, but here me out: if you apply thick lotion, then apply self tanner, the self tanner isn’t sinking as well into your skin because it’s getting stopped by the lotion. To that same effect, you do want to apply lotion to your more delicate areas. This will allow for lighter application of product for those more difficult spots.
  4. Don’t self tan your face. Ladies, we wear makeup. We don’t need to apply chemicals to our face, because (1) damage, and (2) we’re going to cover it up anyway. Our facial skin is some of the most delicate skin on our entire bodies, so be careful what you put on it!
  5. Have a set of “tanning pajamas” to wear to bed after you self-tan, so that you’re only getting self-tanner onto one set of PJs. The cheaper, the darker, the better.


I hope you guys enjoy this “quick” post. If you have any questions about a self-tanner on the market, feel free to reach out! If I haven’t tried it, I’ll let you know what I have heard about it so that you can best decide how to spend your moolah.


Have a great rest of your week, ladies!


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