As summer winds down, so does my self-tanning frenzy; my strict once a week (come hell or high water) tanning routine slowly peters out until my once glorious faux glow is completely gone. I'd love to rock a healthy tint all year-round but I'm just not one of those gals. Let's be honest, a fake tan requires time, money and most importantly, a whole lotta dedication. I lack the dedication. Unfortunately it's not quite sweater weather yet, and my pasty white limbs have no place rolling around town in a pair of denim shorts. Luckily, I've found a solution... the temporary tanner. I know, I know! Who needs the mess and hassle for one day of wear? I felt the same way until I discovered the these three. Hear me out on this...
It's no secret that The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmer Dry Oil and I are on good terms (as you can tell by the well-loved, worn-off label). Lightly moisturizing with just a hint of golden shimmer, this lovely smelling oil will give your body lotion a run for its money. I slather it on liberally right after my shower and it's dry by the time I've picked out my outfit for the day. Don't expect a copious amount of color payoff from this one; it provides a subtle, but healthy luminous glow well worth the effort. I'm half-way through the bottle and plan on picking up another before the summer's over. At just over $20, a third of the cost of the very similar Nars Body Glow, the Honey Bronze doesn't disappoint.
If a deep tint is what you're after, give the St. Topez Perfect Legs Spray a go. This sample-size bottle came with my St. Tropez Gradual Tanning Mousse and I have to admit, I was hesitant to try it (tanning sprays scare me). There's definitely a learning curve with this one, but once you develop a technique, it's easy peasy. The key is to contain the potential mess; the shower or tub is a perfect location. Remember to moisturize first, otherwise blending becomes a nightmare. Hold the can about six inches from your legs and lightly spray—spray too close and you may end up with a bunch of brown streaks down your legs (just a guess). Then use a tanning mitt to blend going easy on the knees, ankles and tops of feet. Okay, so maybe that sounded like a lot of work, but it takes me less than 10 minutes and you can't beat the result—an amazing, covetable sun-kissed tan.
My new favorite of the bunch is the Xen-Tan Scent Secure Gold Tinted Moisturizer. I bought it hoping that it would live up to its claim as a self-tan deodorant. What? Yes, this miracle cream covers that stinky self-tanner smell with a delightful cucumber melon scent. I'd been slathering it over my St. Tropez tanner all summer long, but just realized a few weeks ago that I could use it on its own as a tinted moisturizer. It delivers a gold megawatt sheen that will leave you wowed! I barely recognize my own legs after applying this stuff. And all you have to do is rub it on just like a regular lotion and let dry for a few minutes before getting dressed. It's a bit pricey—$35 to be exact—but I'm willing to pay extra for instant JLo-esk skin. Oh, and did I mention that it's made with 24K gold leaf? So worth it!