Top self-tanners

Hello lovelies,

Since summer is approaching, or has already arrived (at least it feels like it in Montreal), I thought I’d share my top favourite self-tanners. There has been so much hype around tanning products the past few years and I have definitely put a share of them to the test. Personally, I try not to sit in the sun for long periods of time to protect my skin, so unless I want to look transparent in a cute summer dress, I need the help of self-tanners.


All of these products mentioned do not make you look orange!!! They mimic a natural tan. Make sure to exfoliate regularity (1-3 times a week) to keep the self-tanner from streaking while it fades. Reapplying these products on skin that hasn’t been exfoliated will be uneven and not look so hot (trust me). I will be posting a blogpost soon on my favourite body exfoliators, and I already have one up about my go-to facial exfoliants!

  1. St. Tropez foaming mousse (regular formula): Can I just say how much I LOVE this products?!?? Pros: I have been using it for years on both my face and body, and have had no problems with it on my skin. It completely mimics my natural olive tan that I would get in the sun. Easy to apply using mitt, washes off streak free, even if you look like a muddy streaky mess after application. It does not have that strong self-tanner smell. Lasts about a week. I usually apply it twice the first week and then once weekly to keep it fresh. Cons: must sit 6-8 hours before being washed off and trust me you don’t want to be seen in public. I usually apply at night before bed but some always gets on the sheets and most of us probably get slightly sweaty at some point in the middle of the night, which is probably not the best for absorption. There is a 1 hour version but I am not as much of a fan. The color and quality isn’t comparable in my opinion. Neither is that of the dark tanning mousse, that on me came out more orangy and smelt way stronger.
  2. San Tropez gradual tan. Pros: Great product for those who want something super natural, can be used daily like a regular body cream. No strong scent and doesn’t look orange.   Cons: Wouldn’t recommend for someone who has no self-tanner experience as it can appear streaky if not applied with caution. Will not give a full on, just got home from the Caribbean tan. If that’s what you’re looking for, use the tanning mousse and the gradual tan daily for touch-ups and even more glow.
  3. Tanceuticals CC tanning lotion: I use one for the face and one for the body. I’ve actually never tried the body one on the face so I am not in any position to recommend doing that as it may create breakouts or a reaction. Pros: Super easy to use with mitt application. Smells like absolute heaven. Takes 6-8 hours to develop but you can actually go out with this on because it is white like a regular body lotion and will slowly develop throughout the day. These lotions are also packed with ingredients such as antioxidants, which are great for your skin. Cons: Can’t really think of any honestly.. Maybe that you won’t see an immediate tan directly after application.
  4. Bioderma spray tanner. Pros: Super easy to use as it sprays clear and only begins to develop as it comes in contact with your skin (you can actually spray in on face, arms and chest while wearing a white shirt and nothing will happen to your shirt. How cool is that?) It is completely streak free and gives a very natural glow. Cons: Not for anyone looking for immediate results as it must be used several times before seeing a difference. It will also not build up to a full on tan, so it’s an ideal product for touch-ups of an actual self-tanner or the months leading up to summer to begin the glow.
  5. Bourjois Delice de Soleil: I would probably consider this more of a makeup product than a self-tanner but I wanted to include it anyways as it is my BFF in the spring and summer. Pros: The lighter shade gives a natural golde tan color, easy to apply over foundation or legs with a shorter dress. Smells heavenly (like chocolate and the tropics). Washes off with soap and water so it’s great if you just want a golden glow for a special event. Cons: Will not give you a lasting tan if that’s what you’re looking for. If sprayed too close, will apply unevenly and more orange. 2 of my bottles have also had problems with the spray top after a while so in order to avoid bad applications I sprayed it on my beauty blender and applied it like that.
  6. Clarins golden glow moisturizer: Exactly the same pros and cons as the  San Tropez Gradual Tan, works the same way.
  7. Clarins Golden Glow drops. Pros: Super easy to incorporate in to daily routine as you just put 2-3 drops in your regular moisturizer and it slowly develops throughout the day. If used daily it will maintain a golden glow (great for no makeup days!). Again, has no strong fake tan smell. This product is created specifically for the face and has never caused breakouts or any type of reaction. Cons: Will not give a full on proper tan, even if used everyday. Although it doesn’t completely come off when I use my Clarisonic or micellar water on a cotton pad, there is always a light shade of brown on the cotton pad so It’s hard to tell when my face is actually clean.
  8. Other self-tanners I’ve used and recommend: Kate Sommerville towelettes , Kiehl’s sun free self-tanning formula, Vita Liberata 2-3 week formula, Xen Tan mousse intense, and the Million Dollar Tan mousse extreme.

Hope this will help those of you who are as naturally transparent as I am! And this may seem obvious but don’t forget to wash your hands after any self-tanner application.. You will regret it!

Much love,

Samantha xx


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