Faking It.

Now that I’ve warned (scolded? Nagged? Bitched?) against lackadaisical SPF practices, it’s only fair that I give you a safe tan alternative. There’s nothing wrong with a tan, it just needs to be fake as hell.

Let’s meet my Fake Bake Arsenal:

Faking It.

1. Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Lotion ($7.99)
2. Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs Moisturizer ($7.50)
3. Bare Escentuals Faux Tan ($22)
4. St. Tropez Tan Remover ($18)
5. Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel ($33)

If you want to go the gradual route, let me suggest self-tanners that build slowly over several days: Jergens (1) and Nivea (2). They’re hard to screw up, so these products are especially good for self-tanner newbs. Bonus: the Nivea product has an ingredient that inhibits hair growth, which means you won’t have to shave as often. (I’m game!)

Faux Tan (3) is my jam— the lotion comes out a deep mud-colored brown, which allows you to see where you’re covered (and where you missed) and gives instant tan gratification. I have never turned even the slightest bit oompa with this stuff; always a perfect tan result. (I’m sure it has something to do with the brown color.) This is the only self-tanner I use on my face (I typically mix it with some face moisturizer); it’s not greasy and has never caused me to break out.

Clarins (5) is another fav. It’s a gel formula that absorbs quickly (which is nice; who likes to hang around naked waiting for her self-tanner to dry?), and provides results in just a few hours. Nice and golden; never orange.

Because we all make mistakes (self-tanner and otherwise), a scrub that removes blotches, streaks and brown/orange palms is a must. St. Tropez (4) is a great option; just rub a little over imperfect areas or on your hands after a self-tanning session.

A final tip: to prevent self-tanner build-up on your hands/palms/cuticles, consider investing in a box of surgical latex gloves. Slip the gloves on to apply, then take them off when you’re done to keep your hands clean. And to even things up, squirt a tiny bit of self-tanner onto the back of one hand, and rub it in with the back of the other. Now you’re set.

Any self-tanner tips you want to share?


  1. YES, so glad you posted this! I was going to ask you about self-tanners after reading your last post about SPF. I’m a fan of the spray tan and working at spa allows me to get them dirt cheap. The tan usually lasts about a week to ten days, but I’m sure that could be prolonged with the use of a self-tanner at home. What are your thoughts on Tan Towel?… I’ve seen them all over the place this year.

  2. Carrie- I’ve heard some good things about Tan Towel. I actually picked up a few yesterday; I’ll let you know my results! 🙂

  3. I tried Faux Tan last year (after you recommended it!) and I LOVE IT! It’s the best self-tanner ever! It’s a little expensive, but so worth it. I’m almost out and need a new bottle ASAP!

    Great post, girl! (As always!)

  4. Awesome! I need a new self-tanner. I tried this spray one for Loreal and it came out really streaky. Guess I need to buy some of that St. Tropez remover and start over with your suggestions!

  5. I’m very lucky to have naturally olive skin, but with a holiday to tropical paradise set for the middle of winter, even I may have to indulge in some fake tanning.

    Just discovered your blog, would love it if you popped by mine sometime.

    Andrea x

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