BEST Self Tanners | Tips for a Perfect Tan

Self tanning is something that is definitely necessary for me in the warmer months.  I am pretty fair skinned, and even though I am outside with my girls a lot, I still like to use a little bit of self tanner when it’s time to start wearing summer clothes and bathing suits!

Today I’m going to be sharing a few tips for you if you’re new to self-tanners-  and all of these products are super easy to use, aren’t orange, and won’t give you streaks!


Before you plan on applying your tanner, you want to make sure to exfoliate your skin pretty well.  Exfoliating will help the tanning product to go on smoothly and even, and it won’t cling onto any dry dead skin.  I always like to take a shower and exfoliate and shave my legs really good before tanning.

After you’re all exfoliated, take any body moisturizer, and apply it to knees, ankles, and elbows.  These spots tend to accumulate tanning product, so you want to make sure and keep them smooth so the product doesn’t build up.

This is optional, but ALL SELF TANNERS go on better with a mitt.  Get a mitt.  It will prevent streaking, and it will help you blend the product.  You can purchase these here, or they even come with the Fake Bake products.  I also use a latex glove underneath my mitt to help it to not slide off my hand.


Ok, so now that you’re all ready, I’m going to show you the different types of tanners that work the best.

This is the Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan.  This is a gel consistency product that you apply to your skin, leave on for 10-20 minutes, and are actually able to rinse off, towel dry, and get dressed.  The tan develops 6-8 hours later.  

This is a great option- it comes out as dark brown gel, so it has a nice color guide to show you where exactly you’re applying it.  Buff it in with a mitt quickly, and wait about 20 minutes before rinsing.  This will give you a nice even tan, and you don’t have to feel sticky or smell like self tanner all day.

The next product here is Fake Bake Flawless (the original).  If you’ve been reading awhile, you probably know that this is my fave.  This is a liquid spray product that sprays out as a dark brown so you can see where you’re applying.  I spray this product directly onto the mitt, and then work the mitt in circular motions to blend.  Leave it on for about 6-8 hours before showering.  I’ve got a full review on this one here.

Amazon has the best price for this product, and it comes with a mitt and gloves.

Next I have a mousse formula.  This is Tanwise Dark Bronzing Sunless Mousse.  This product comes out as an extremely dark foam, and is super easy to blend.  Don’t be afraid when you look instantly really dark, most of that color will wash off.

I apply this one like the others, pump some onto a mitt and buff into the skin.  Leave on for 6-8 hours and wash off.  

Lastly, is this Tanwise Face Gel.  I use this gel to add a little bit of color to my face, so it matches the rest of my body.  You can use a regular product for this, but I really like this gel.

I apply a tiny amount of this with my fingers all over my face and blend it in really well.  It instantly gives a bronzed glow, and the full color develops like the others, in 6-8 hours.  This really just subtly evens out my complexion.


All of these self tanning products will rub off onto clothing or sheets… but in my experience, it has always washed right out.  So, be aware of that.  Don’t freak if your white sheets are brown in the morning!

All of these products have that “self tanner smell”, and I have yet to find a product that doesn’t. (And I’ve tried everything!)  If this smell bothers you, I would recommend going for the Ten Minute Tan, because it only smells until you rinse it off.  Also, I prefer to apply my tan at night, sleep, and then wake up and wash it off.  It is a little bit of extra work because I have to wash my sheets too, but I do not like feeling sticky and smelling like self tanner.

Another helpful tip is that you do not want to get any water on your skin while a tanning product is on you.  This is very hard, especially when you have to give children their baths at the end of the day, (again, why I like to do mine right before bed).  The water will make your tan run and it will leave a streak on you.  It happened to me.

If you’re a beginner and self tanners kind of scare you or seem like too much trouble, don’t be afraid, and they really aren’t a lot of trouble.  Have someone help you if you need it, like getting your back, and just take your time to blend.  These products are really user and beginner friendly!  It just takes practice.

Hope this was helpful, and thanks for reading!


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