There are a number of ways to create and maintain a sunless tan, and different skin tones and preferences mean that, for most people, a combination of products is needed. In order to avoid that unfortunate orange and uneven skin staining so common among sunless tanners, bronzers are a popular way to go, and with four different types to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Bronzers are applied on a daily basis and wash off with soap and water, so be careful! Quality varies and because the products wash off, many of the cheaper versions simply “come off” despite your best efforts. This is definitely an area of beauty and skin care where you get what you pay for in terms of quality.
These are recommended for almost everyone because they come in a wide range of shades and are easy to apply exactly where you want them to go. Marie Claire magazine recommends CK One Color Cream + Powder Bronzer Duo for its ability to take you from day to night and the Sephora Collection Color Adapt Bronzer because it adapts to your body’s pH level for a tan that is personalized to look natural for you.
These are difficult to apply and thus are not recommended for those new to self tanning, but many people swear by them. Allure magazine offers some tips for the application process and recommends The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel. Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel is top-rated by Makeup Alley as well.
Stick bronzers are a great option for those who like a portable version of bronzer, giving them the ability to touch up throughout the day as needed. Easy to apply, it’s all about the consistency and shade: some go on too thick and make the wearer look “muddy” while others are very creamy and light in texture and blend quickly and well.
Marie Claire UK recommends MAC Skinsheen Bronzer Stick, and a number of NARS bronzer sticks pop up across fashion blogs and forums as a good choice for those who are on the go.
For those who can’t afford to have a professional spray tanner come to their home or don’t have time to go to a salon regularly, spray tanners or spray bronzers are a great option. The spray action makes them quick to apply to the whole body and limits the staining to palms and fingers during the application process. The St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Bronzing Spray is highly rated at Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret has a wide array of options to choose from as well.
Test Before Your Night Out!
No matter what type of bronzer you use, remember to pick the ones that are designed for your skin tone (fair, medium, olive, dark, et cetera) and try them out at home before you wear anything out – especially to an important event.