Sun-Kissed Suggestions

I really like those books that describe a pale woman’s skin with words like “porcelain” or “alabaster” or any other artistic sounding word because I personally am used to hearing things like “Casper” or “pasty” and really who has ever heard of a sexy ghost? Now I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with pale skin, because I think it’s important to love our bodies as God created them, I personally just enjoy having a bit of a year-round glow. (Ever heard the saying “if you can’t get toned, get tanned”?). Tans decrease the intensity of shadows (cellulite), creating a smoother appearance and I’m all about that life. Since tanning beds are both time consuming and ticking time bombs for causing skin cancer, I’ve come to love using self-tan lotions to remain moisturized as well as bronzed. To save you from the probable embarrassment of streaks and stains, here’s a list of the best (and worst) brands I’ve used:

Under $20:



Personally, I like Jergens over any other drugstore brand. Although it has the distinct smell of self-tanner, I find there is minimal streaky-ness.
Out of the Jergens brand self-tanning lotions, I personally like the black tea infused lotion based on its strength and smell. The gradual 3 day tan has the most mild color increase, and I really do not believe in “firming” creams despite being “professionally tested”. I actually enjoy the scent of the black tea infusion. For all of the Jergens products, I don’t find that any of these stain my sheets or clothes, but they do take a while to dry.


To put it simply, I gave this L’Oreal self-tanner a fair try, but it left me streaky, orange and a little bit shimmery. The tan is a bit too intense for a pale girl like me and I found the stain to be an unnatural shade of brown (more like orange).

Under $40:


First of all, let me warn you that Bondi Sands takes foreverrrr to arrive, unless you live in Australia. I waited weeks for my lotions, and since I was paying for shipping, I decided to try out a few products. This foam went on smooth, dried somewhat fast, but did not give me an “Australian tan in minutes” as it is advertised. It took a while to appear, and when it did, it was mostly on my sheets and clothes. I ended up being quite dark and using an applicator mitt kept me from looking streaky, but the amount it stained what felt like everything I rubbed up against, I would not recommend this product. On the other hand…..


Liquid gold… Seriously. Golden. And rich. I loved the liquid gold, that was confusing to me at first as it sprays out like tanning oil, which made me instantly worry I’d be blotchy. But I blended this liquid gold into my body, and several hours later I felt like a million bucks. It took a bit longer to dry because it’s oily, but my skin felt moisturized, looked streak-free, and despite my apprehension because the foam stained badly, my sheets remained (freshly) bleached after a nights sleep.

Over $40…:

St. Tropez has always appealed to me because it is so often advertised by celebs on the red carpet and even when their dresses have slits allllll the way up and V’s alllllll the way down… They seem to have flawless tans. So I gave a few St. Tropez products a try, despite their $54 price.


Because of my nearly translucent skin, I decided to play it safe and tried their most basic lotion. The tan showed up quick, which meant I saw my streaky mistakes quickly, but it did not fade too fast. I also found that when using very small amounts, the tan is much less dark, and lathering it on thick made me look like I spent a month in Hawaii. I liked this product, but since I didn’t like applying it thick as I couldn’t get dressed as quickly, I decided to try their “dark” product.


My babe and I both tried the “dark” foam as we were preparing to go on vacation in Mexico. The results were incredible: since the product is dark to begin with, its easy to see where you may have left streaks before it’s too late to blend it in. However, a few days later (and a few showers later, I should point out), we were in midway savasana during a hot yoga session when I noticed that Babe was sweating out brown drops. I was so confused, slightly disgusted and slightly concerned until I realized what it was, and that I, too, had brown sweat. Our tans didn’t come off while we sweat or while we showered, so it was slightly mind boggling that somehow it was coming out of our pores in such a way. I returned the dark foam to the nearest Sephora and re-ordered my classic tan lotion.

Overall, I now stick to my Bondi Sands liquid gold or the St. Tropez classic lotion for an even tan. I wish you all the best of luck in attempting to get tanned (or toned) this summer and I hope my own bronzing adventures save you from having a Zebra-like glow.



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