Self-Tanning Products I Love

She’s One!

I would call myself a somewhat regular user of self-tanner, especially in the spring, but if I forget to use it I’m not too bothered. In other words, I don’t feel like I *need* it, but I do like the way it makes my skin look especially when I’m coming out of winter!

I shared a post about my favorite tanning products last year, but I wanted to update what I’m still loving and some newer products I’ve tried as well!

All of these products will stain your hands, so make sure to wash with soap after using lotion, and use a mitt when applying any mousse products!

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse is at the top of my list for ease of use and performance. It has a very pleasant, mild scent that is NOT like the self-tanner scent we all know and hate. You don’t need to wash it off after a certain time either, you simply apply and live your life. I love that!

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Body Lotion has been my favorite lotion to maintain a tan. It is a little bit darker than the original gradual tan in the light/medium formula. Sometimes I mix a bit of this with my non-tanning regular moisturizer to cut the intensity a bit!

I was nervous to use the St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse when it was sent as a press sample. This requires washing after applying depending on how long you want to let the product sit on your skin. You can leave it on for up to 8 hours, but I have only ever left if on for a total of 3! The color is very natural, not too orange (it almost looks a bit green when you apply it actually!!), and doesn’t leave a strong scent behind either!

I’ve tried the Tan Luxe drops for face and body too! I like them, but I have to say I prefer using anything by St. Tropez more. The scent with these two products is a bit noticeable, however, I love that you can control the amount of tan based on the drops AND that you can mix it with your favorite moisturizer!

I haven’t tried any drugstore tanning products since my horrible experience with the Jergens Natural Glow Wet skin moisturizer. It was unbelievably streaky, I was so embarrassed!

Overall, I’ve found the system that works best for me is to shave my legs and use a body scrub before I’m going to apply any self-tanner. And it seems to look best on day 2! So, for example, if I have an event or something on Friday, I would apply the self-tanner on Wednesday.

Outfit links: blouse, earrings

p.s. Did you see my recent post about some great one piece swimsuit choices? And here are some other options for summer ready body care.


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 05.09.19

I don’t like tanning (I try to stay out of the sun) but I’m definitely going to share this post with my coworker. She’s obsessed with tanning, haha! 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Marta says · 05.09.19

I definitely want to try fake tan this year but I’m still super unsure of how it’ll turn out so I’m happy you shared your favourites and how you do it, it’s very helpful.

Ashley Brown says · 05.09.19

I love those earrings!

Kate says · 05.09.19

I have never tried those self tanners before, but your tan always looks amazing so I definitely should!! I always go for the Bali body self tanners. Thanks for sharing, hope you are having a great day!


Theresa T says · 05.09.19

Thank you for this! My daughter likes to get the spray tans but that can get pricey. We have tried a few drugstore tanners but they are all epic fails. I’m going to have to make an Ulta run for some St. Tropez I think!

Blair says · 05.09.19

Because I think it’s important and should’ve been pointed out in the post: DO NOT try to apply self tanner in nice clothes. Wear as little as possible when applying, especially a product with a deep guide color like St. Tropez.

Mindy says · 05.09.19

Have you tried any other products especially for the face, other than the drops?

Lynn says · 05.09.19

I have used Jergens face tanner for YEARS. I use the lighter one in the winter and the darker one spring/ summer. I use it 2-3 x a week and it looks very natural!

Stephanee says · 05.09.19

I have been using the watermelon tanning lotion straight after the shower and exfoliation but am very streaky! I use a mitt.. any suggestions?

Jess says · 05.10.19

You may need to wait for your skin to dry and your pores to close. Try waiting an hour.I have the best luck when I shave and exfoliate in the morning and put the self tanner on later on in the day. It helps with those dots of color deposited into your pores!

Whitney says · 05.10.19

Me too! I actually bought a bottle because of Kate’s story recommendation a few weeks ago, but I cannot get it to go on smoothly. Is this user error? Lol. Following the shaving and exfoliating recommendations hasn’t helped :/

Tracy says · 05.30.19

SAME!! I’m going to try mixing it with regular lotion. I’m so disappointed.

Angela says · 05.09.19

Thanks for the recommendation – I’m super pale and have been considering adding a bit of colour to my pasty white legs for the summer but wasn’t sure where to start.

Angela at Blush & Pearls

Melanie says · 05.09.19

Do you use any of these on your face? I would love to find a face tanner that looks natural and doesn’t breakout my sensitive skin.
Thanks for the post!

Beth says · 05.10.19

I, too, would like a self tanner for my face but am afraid it will clog pores. Any suggestions?

Jen says · 05.09.19

Any tips for keeping it looking natural around hands and feet? Also to not get too dark on knees/elbows??

Jess says · 05.10.19

I use a compact makeup brush and just blend the color in with the brush in those areas. It helps with settling in the creases of skin and it appears more natural because it’s a gradual slight change. My feet and ankles are my toughest areas so I put it on my legs then blend the little bit down to my feet and ankles with the brush.

Donna says · 05.10.19

Thank you! I was a sun person. Hours floating in a pool. Now I am older – time to change to sun in a bottle.

Buzz says · 05.10.19

This has helped me so much, I’ve been trying to find some new tanning products to use, so will be giving some of these a try. x

Beth says · 05.10.19

I’ve used Tanceuticals for years and love it! Easy to apply, great smell, nice color.

Missy says · 05.10.19

Hi! I was wondering if you have a facial self tanner you would recommend?

Kurstin Montero says · 05.10.19

Hi Kate,
I love the St. Tropez products, but also discovered a new tanning product on Amazon, Beauty by Earth Self Tanner — organic and natural ingredients. It has a slight smell, but great coverage, no need to wash off. Love your posts and seeing your darling kids! Happy Mother’s Day!

Julie says · 05.10.19

How often do you apply your self-tanner? I find that mine wears off really quickly.

Shay says · 05.13.19

I’m so nervous to try self tanner because well I’m by myself and I have no one to help. Do you apply it or does Justin help you reach places you can’t?

Diana Hess says · 05.14.19

Can I ask where you got the picture on the wall behind you in the self tanning picture? I love it!

Kate says · 05.14.19


Diana says · 05.14.19


Lisa says · 05.14.19

Isle of Paradise drops for face! You can just mix it with moisturizer and a little goes a long way. They have a light, medium, and dark. They have products for body as well that get really good reviews!

Katie Thayer says · 05.15.19

For the non-wash tanners, is one use enough to see a difference?

Megan says · 06.02.19

Just wanted to clarify…do you need to wash off the mousse after application or no? The directions online say to wash it off after either 4 or 8hrs but your post says that you don’t need to so I just wanted to double check! I’ve been using the everyday gradual tan lotion and like it so far but didn’t love the smell so I’d love to try to watermelon one or the mousse!! Thanks!

Caroline says · 06.08.19

Are the St. Tropez products safe to use on your face? I have sensitive skin, but I don’t want my body to be tanner than my face, so a product that’s safe to use all over is ideal!

Jayden Lewis says · 07.09.21

Thanks for sharing. Recently I tried self-tanning products. Solrae is one of the best self-tanning product suppliers in the USA. There is a variety of products and you can find nature-looking self-tanning products according to your skin type.

Ricardo K says · 12.25.21

These are outstanding tips. I frequently use a Norvell spray booth but then supplement those salon booth sessions with multiple products listed here. St. Tropez products are outstanding!

Have a great winter all!