Summer is all about bronzed, glowing Amazonian goddess-like skin, but at what cost? Do we dare skip our much-needed sunscreen in order to keep our tan lines crisp and our skin kissed by the sun? After all the information out there on the damages harsh UV rays can cause—premature skin aging, sunburns, and cancer, just to name a few—it’s gonna be a big, fat no for us.
Instead, we’re gonna fake it ’til we make it. Sure, you could run to your nearest spray tan salon, but why not save some of your hard-earned cash and DIY it? It can get intimidating, but self-tanners have come quite a long way since their Cheeto-orange shades of yesteryear. Below, check out a few of our favorites:
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Bondi Sands Aero Tanning Foam
Are we really starting this list off with a drugstore pick? 100%, and here’s why: this self-tanner is one of the few that actually, well, works (it’s even Emily Ratajkowski-approved), plus it’s pretty affordable. It comes in a light and dark shade, and its airy texture makes it easy to apply, while still leaving a Golden Coast-approved tan.
St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse
Want to look like you just spent 5 weeks under the sun in Bora Bora? Then grab this self-tanner, stat. It’s meant to give you the darkest sunkissed glow, sans the tanning bed.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water
Probably the most popular of self-tanners on the market, this spray-on water makes tanning a breeze. It comes in three shades to not only create a gradual, subtle tan, but it also color-corrects so you can kiss blotchy spots goodbye. Just spray, blend with a tanning mitt, and you’re ready to go.
Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask
Don’t you wish tanning was as simple as catching up on beauty sleep? Well, thanks to Charlotte Tilbury, now it is: just slather on this overnight mask, and wake up with a bronzed finish. Seriously—it’s that simple.
Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions
Looking for something a little more temporary? Enter: this glow oil, which gives your skin a touch of beachside glimmer and tint that’ll last throughout the day, and easily washes off in the shower.