So.... self tanners...... I own a ton of them! I use to worship the sun, until all of the moles starting appearing (since I am very fair-skinned naturally) and also since I have a big history of relatives having cancerous moles removed, including my older sister who has skin similiar to mine.
Instead of using tanning beds, I use self-tanners, and an array of tools to get it just perfect.
Rating: B+ for faux tanner
A- for the buffing brush as described in it's use above
Purchase HERE $56.00 for 16 oz tan and kabuki brush
Million Dollar Tan Icon EXTREME 8 oz. - I saw a fashion blogger/youtuber endorsing this product, and it seemed to be so easy to apply in here videos. It has a cheap-looking packaging, but that doesn't matter. The product and formula are what matters. It comes with the 4" crafting toll paint brush. You can spray this on the brush itself, or on your skin. I like to spray it on the brush itself, and you paint it on. The brush used was really messy and created a whole bunch of unwanted streaks even applying it. It applies nice and dark so you can see where it was put on. It has a nice smell as well. The color, once mature is a really nice tan color. I felt as though it didn't last as long as others I have had before, I wouldn't apply it with the brush given with it. My favorite applicator with ANY self-tanner is the St. Tropez Tanning Mitt.
Rating: A- for the self-tanner
C for the crafting brush
Purchase HERE with the best deal of the face and body spray tan $43.40
St. Moriz Medium Instant Self Tanning Mousse 6.76 oz. - This stuff is AMAZING! By far my favorite, and it just so happens to be the cheapest! Paired with the mitt, this stuff goes on flawless, and smells the least like tanning lotion out of all of them! It comes with a pump to disperse mousse. I push the head into the mitt and shake it before I pump it every time. I do that so that the mousse is not flying out everywhere. I pump it two or three times into the mitt, and start rubbing it on. It is instantly dark, and does not streak during application. I almost never get streaks when the color matures with these two things paired together. You can build the color to what you want. It's actually pretty dark for only one layer. The tanning wand in the tools picture is supposed to do your back, and I do use it sometimes, but it's not great at all. Just stick with the mitt. The photo below does not do justice to show the color difference with St. Moriz
Purchase HERE for the St. Moriz Self Tanner $8.20
Purchase HERE for the St. Tropez Tanning Mitt $6.25
St. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer 7.5 oz - This is a daily lotion that adds tan gradually. I don't like the smell of the formula, and it doesn't apply very easily. I get streaky with this. The smell is probably the worst out of all of them. That dreaded tan smell! It's not my favorite for a moisturizer either. Not my favorite product.
You can purchase this at any drugstore or grocery store for about $5
FusionBeauty GlowFusion Face & Body Mineral Protein Tan 5 oz. - This tan is a spray in a very nice-looking bottle. This tanner used to be REALLY expensive (like $60), but you can find it on eBay now for extremely cheap ($8)! I used this on my body once and it was streak city! I use this for my face because it is non-comodegenic and does not clog my pores on my face and chest. I spray it liberally and use the bareminerals kabuki tan brush to make sure it is spread nicely. The smell is decent coming out. This is a gradual, non-instant tan. It takes a few hours for the color to mature, but I am never worried since it is a small area to cover, it never streaks. The color is a little more orange than I would like, but after I put makeup on my face, it evens out the color. I love this for my face, and nothing else.
Rating: A- for use on my face
C- for the use on my body
You can purchase HERE for GlowFusion $7.96
Sun by Giesee Self-Tanning Micro Mist Ultra Dark Instant Tint Paraben Free 6 oz. - I have this spray as well as the lotion self-tanner. This used to be my favorite, until I discovered St. Moriz. The color is a really deep dark color that is REALLY nice! I like to spray my skin and use the mitt to spread it. The mist is too fine to spray right on the mitt. The only downside to this self-tanner is that the smell is pretty strong when the color matures, but I dare anyone to claim that there is a self-tanner out there that does not even have a hint of that self-tanner smell. I mainly stick with St. Moriz, but I do use this one as well. It's nice to know that it is paraben-free, and rid of some chemicals.
You can purchase HERE for Sun by Giesee $19.95
Some tried and true tricks to a great faux tan! Exfoliate beforehand with a scrub in the shower, and don't rub too hard, or else your skin will be irritated.
Start in a discreet area that won't be seen until you get the hang of applying
Put a really moisturizing body butter on your knees, elbows, hands and ankles before you apply, and don't apply product directly to these areas. Before you re-load your mitt, use the residual on these areas, because they will soak up more than you want, and you will have darker knees, elbows, etc... than you want.
Don't forget your ears, and behind your ears, and on the back of your neck
If you do use your hands to rub in self-tanner, use a really rough nail brush and dawn soap and scrub it off your hands afterwards that way.
Wear loose clothing for a bit to let it dry for at least an hour before you put on regular clothes.
It will rub off on your clothes, and it usually washes out, but it can stain.
Sitting in a hot tub or steam room will cause your tan to quickly disappear.
It's not about the fact that the product is a mousse, spray, lotion, it is all about application tools and techniques!
Hopefully that helps a bit! These are just things I do to make it work for me. You may have different preferences.
mentioned. This is my own personal review on this purchased item***