By Darby

I’ve always had an affinity for being tan- sun kissed skin I the summer, and fake baking for that deep tan in the winter (😱). I CANNOT believe I used to sit in the sun and bake for hours- full body and face with, if any, just a little sunscreen to get me by.

Now that I know better, I do better (in the tanning department, at least). For the past 5 or so years, I have been a stickler for wearing a hat and protecting my skin with nothing less than 30- and still achieving a gorgeous summer tan.

In the winter months, starting in high school, however, I used to spray tan. I would get all of my friends hooked on the OG L’Oreal sublime bronze- in every shape and form. First spray, then foam, then back to spray again.

Everyone has their shade of “paleness”- it is so funny to think about, but what I may constitute as pale, to you, may be so tan! One thing I think we can all agree on, is that sunless tanning is the way to go (especially in the winter months. See below for my favorite products!

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Mist- Deep

I’ve been using this product since my junior year of high school! The year I ditched fake baking in a salon, I went full force for at home spray tanner. I love the color payout and the fact that the mist is so fine. It’s easy to apply and the tan is not orange at all. This color isn’t instant so you’ll need to wait a few hours to see the color develop. Be EXTRA careful around the ankles, knees, and elbows with this one. The scent is what you would expect from a sunless tanning product. It doesn’t bother me, but I definitely prefer applying later in the day and rinsing in the morning. I like to use this spray for the hard to reach areas like my back and shoulders, and also on my stomach for a more controlled application. It’s also great as a “second coat” for the Jergens foam if your needing a little extra once-over to seal it all in.

Jergen’s Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse- Deep Bronze

My favorite easy to apply foam. I love pairing this with a mitt, but you can definitely use your hands- if you’re brave! The product goes on smooth and has an instant color, which helps guide application. It’s my all time favorite foam and lasts the longest of any drugstore self tanner I’ve tried. It withstands a challenging spin class, and if you moisturize and touch up briefly once throughout the week, your healthy glow can last up to 5-7 days. Same as the L’Oreal/ I like to apply this later in the afternoon and rinse in the morning. As I mentioned above, it’s great to apply this as the base, and touch up or go over the first layer with the L’Oreal spray.

QuickTan Bronzing Spray- Medium Dark

My favorite at the moment and newest addition! So glad I found this at Harmon last month. This is definitely and instant tan- with exceptional color pay off. Don’t be fooled by the spray nozzle- you DEFINITELY want to avoid spraying directly into your skin, without some sort of barrier (I applied in the tub).

It has a deep tan color, which I love. The spray nozzle doesn’t necessarily apply in the thinnest mist onto your skin, and you will have to rub it in for an even tan, that’s why I recommend applying with a mitt. The scent isn’t overpowering, it’s actually a really nice smell that I wouldn’t mind walking around with for the day (unlike many other self tanners). You still need to be carful when jumping into bed at night (my white sheets definitely took a beating, even with my protective apparel. I didn’t have my silk sleeping bag handy. I can honestly say I love this product. I was able to apply it to my legs for a party 2 hours in advance and rinse off right before- leaving a subtle but stunning glow. I could’ve even left without rinsing, but my dress was light and I didn’t want to risk staining it! I think this is a product that you can apply at any time of day. I’ve applied it before work, and rinsed at night. Definitely a game changer and my spring go to!


Kelsey (@bydarby)

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