I have no idea why I was so, so, soooooo bad at applying faux glow back in the day, but trust me when I tell you that on a scale of 1 to 10, I was a negative 5. So many blotches and splotches, I looked like I’d been attacked by a wildebeest.
Sidebar: Speaking of wildebeests, or at least wild beasts, did y’all watch the Game of Thrones Season 4 finale last night? Were you like almost peeing your pants when those skeletons popped outta the snow to attack poor Bran & Co?
I certainly was. Knitting, freaking, knitting, freaking, knitt…
Okay, back to the topic at hand: Really, really good self-tanners and application tips to go along with.
REALLY GOOD SELF-TANNERS
1. Karin Herzog Tone & Tan. The upfront disclaimer: I’ve never actually met Karin Herzog herself. (Does she even exist? Or is she just one of those Beauty Director urban legends / mythical unicorns, along the lines of a cure for cellulite?) Still, I am 1000 percent digging her spendy “toning” self-tanner. For starters, it doesn’t leave a tell-tale scent. AT. ALL. That, my friend, would be reason enough to buy it. But I’ll give you a few more: A) It contains no frightful ingredients of a paraben-y, phthalate-y nature. At least I think it doesn’t; the font size on the label is like negative 50, even worse than my self-tanning abilities. B) It’s Swiss and very serious-skincare in vibe. Love that.
2. James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face. Unlike Miss Urban-Legend / Mythical Unicorn Karin Herzog, I have, in fact, met James Read live and in person. It was at a Net-A-Porter beauty event and I found him both hilarious and utterly charming. Which wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans if I didn’t like his merch. But I do like his merch. This item in particular. Although I usually have “issues” with facial self-tanners, this one is laced with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, which means it’s great for femmes d’un certain age, comme Momover Lady.
And it’s cute, too. Here’s a pic for proof. Check it, baby.
3. St. Tropez Tanning Essentials One Night Only. Yes, yes, I know; this is a bronzer, not a self-tanner. To which I say: So what? Does it really matter that I’m expanding the scope of this blog post to include one product – one fantastic product – that knows when to exit, stage left? Man, I go through vats of this stuff. (And if you look closely at the main image above, you’ll spot several tubes.) It’s just really sexy, no-commitment coluh.
4. Kate Somerville Somerville360 Body Tanning Towelettes. Oh my lordy, I die. These babies are like blankies, not towelettes. You can wipe your entire bod at warp-speed, and the hue – at least on my naturally fair, Irish / English / German / Native American / A Few More Nationalities + Races Here skin – comes up a really nice bronzey-gold. And this one is definitely paraben-free; no need to scurry off in search of your magnifying glass to read the label.
5. Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer. I would be remiss, not to mention horribly rude, if every product I’m reco-ing in this post cost a gazillion dollars. Et voila – one that doesn’t. Not only is classic Jergs totally affordable, the mad scientists who make the stuff have been working around the clock to improve the scent. And guess what? It’s absolutely, without-question better. Does it have a “Great Scent” like it says on the label? Not quite. But it’s markedly better. So please let’s give a warm round of applause to Jergens for trying so hard. Yay! Yay Jergens!
Now For a Few Awesome Faux-Glow “Helpers”
6. Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths. What do these new wipe-y thangs have to do with self-tanner? Hold your horses, I’m fixin to tell ya: They help blast the scent. Let’s say you have a hot date with Hubby on the books, or some neighborhood s’mores-eating contest you need to make an appearance at, and you wake up looking as pale as the driven snow. You want / need bronzing and you / want need it now. Well, if you faux tan in the morning, and don’t have time to take another shower before you head out to your big soiree, these wipe-y thangs will come to your rescue. Just slip in the loo, remove as much clothing as possible, and go to town with them. You’ll feel so much more confident. Trust me.
7. St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Tan Remover. If you’re like me and can’t stand using a tanning mitt, you need this in a huge, massive, Texas- or maybe even Alaska-sized way. Scrub your hands with it as soon as you’re finished slathering, and that’s it. Gone, without a trace. So good.