Project Lena Presents the Best Self-Tanners

There are many self tanning products out there that have great reviews. But why is it when we purchase that new product, thinking that we finally found that non-smelling, non-streaking perfect shade, we sometimes end up disappointed even though our friend rants and raves about it?! What works for one person often does not produce the same great results for someone else.

The same product can look different on different people because of skin tone, eye color and hair color. It also depends on the shade of darkness you are looking to achieve. We want be darker in the summer and have a slight tan in the winter. Many factors go into the final look of your self tan: how well you exfoliated before application, whether your skin is dry, how long you kept it on, whether you wiped your hands off thoroughly and was diligent enough to stay away from the rest of your body, wore loose clothing to make sure it didn’t leave any marks and shaved your legs the night before.

Despite all these obstacles nothing beats the benefits of a perfect tan. It makes you look skinnier, gives you a healthy glow, defines your muscles, and hides imperfections. With self-tanners we can achieve that instant gratification in the privacy of our own home. Sometimes, however, no matter how hard we try we still can get that perfect color even though we followed all the rules. It makes us want throw in the towel and head to the tanning salon as we close our eyes to the well known facts that the sun damages collagen fibers, leads to premature aging, sun spots, deep wrinkles, freckles and even more serious conditions such as cancer.

Before you do that we want you to try one last product. We tried and tested non-streaking, pleasant smelling, long lasting products on 3 different skin tones with 3 different complexions and came up with this:

If you have fair skin tone with light eyes and blond hair try…

For a light tan: Kate Summerville 360 Tanning Towelettes ($48 at Sephora). Paraben-free formula contains no smell and is streak-free. It is easy, convenient and very cost effective.

For a medium tan: Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Hydrating Self Tanning Milk ($36 at Nordstrom). Natural glow with vanilla scent will give you the medium tan equally throughout your body. The formula is non-oily, non-sticky and has light texture.

or…Bath & Body Works Strike Gold With Bronzer ($15 at Bath & Body Works). In collaboration with True Blue Spa, this amazing and our personal favorite self tanning treasure. The formula of this bronzer is used by the most famous tanning spas around the world!

For a dark tan: St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse ($40 at Sephora). This is the best self tanning mousse if you want to achieve the dark tan. Our tip for using it is make sure to wear gloves when applying it or wash your hands with scrub afterwards. The lightweight formula with aloe vera will condition your skin while giving it the perfect dark equal tan!

If you have fair skin tone with dark hair try…

For light tan: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Gelee ($9.99 at drugstores nationwide). L’Oreal came out with a great bronze self tanning gelee to achieve smooth and equal medium to natural streak-free tan. You can find it at Walgreens or any other drugstore!

or…Jergens Natural Glow Body Lotion ($4 at drugstors nationwide). Another personal favorite of ours, we use this as a moisturizer and self tanner in one. Available in three different shades.

For a medium tan: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel ($33 at Nordstrom). You will see results within two hours after applying. This winner of Allure’s 2010 Readers Choice Award is non-oily, long lasting and you wont need to wait to get dressed. Apply it and head out!

For a dark tan: St. Tropez Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse ($30 at Sephora). Deep and long-lasting color. The ultimate dark tan achiever!

For olive skin tones with dark hair try…

For a light tan: Jergens Natural Glow ($9.99 at drugstores). Self tanner and moisturizer can be used daily to have constant glowing skin.

For a medium tan: Lancome Flash Bronzer Tinted Self Tanning Body Gel ($34.50 at Nordstrom). The caramel extract ingredients from iconic French skin care house will provide golden tan within 30 minutes and lasts up to five days.

For a dark tan: St. Tropez Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse ($30 at Sephora). Streak-free, dries instantly and leaves you feeling like you just came back from the islands!

Now that we gave you the scoop on our favorite self tanners, we would love to hear what are YOUR favorites? And when you try our recommendations, drop us us a comment on your experience. Have fun!

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