MAC To the Beach Collection – Bronze Body Oil

To the Beach certainly gives one many options for faux sunkissed skin. New to MAC (and limited edition, of course) is To the Beach Bronze Body Oil. This is, essentially, a body oil that dries down quickly with lots of bronze and golden shimmer suspended in it. In the swatch, you’ll see how one pump comes out, but then you’ll see how it gets blended out. I didn’t find it really added color to my skin tone (the inside of my arm being around NC20), but it does add some nice shimmer. I also didn’t detect any scent to it – no chemical-smell, nor is it distinctly fragranced with vanilla or the like.

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MAC To the Beach Collection

JOICO Skin Luxe Golden Shimmer Gradual Self-Tanner for Skirt-Perfect Legs

JOICO Skin Luxe Golden Shimmer Gradual Self-Tanner feels like a luxury product at a bargain price. For $15.95, this is a subtle self-tanner with a nice, golden sheen/shimmer that accents and highlights both your natural and faux glow (from the self-tanner). It smells of tropical coconuts, and it is even moisturizing on its own accord (probably because of the coconut oil and aloe vera).

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Self-Tanning 101: Olay Touch of Sun Moisturizer, Lotion, and Body Lotion

Olay Total Effects Touch of Sun Moisturizer ($18.99) is an anti-aging daily moisturizer with subtle self-tanning properties. This is good for those who just want to slightly brighten and tan the face, but do not want an actual self-tanner. I find gradual and subtle self-tanners to have a great effect on brightening up the skin, and they do not require nearly as much maintenance as regular self-tanners need. You should see a noticeable color difference within three applications, and after a week, you will get to the darkest you will get. Similarly, Olay Touch of Sun UV Defense Regenerating Lotion ($18.99) works like the moisturizer does, only this has SPF 15 in it.

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Self-Tanning 101: DermaQuest DermaGlow Self Tanner – Face & Body

DermaQuest DermaGlow Self Tanner – Face ($22.00) is a a self-tanner formulated with erythrulose, which is a natural-based keto-sugar that helps to give you that temporary bronzed look using a non-toxic chemical reaction with the skin. It also includes DHA, which is a color additive, that darkens the skin, and it is considered safe for most skin types. Color develops within fifteen minutes, and you can add additional layers to darken as you see fit. I like that you can layer this product, because it means you can take your time and find a good color match for you.

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Self Tanners 2008 – Xen Tan Deep Bronze, Transform, Face Tanner

XEN-TAN is all about bringing you that gorgeous, bronzy tan in sunless form. I tried three stellar products from the line, and as someone who started off knowing just about nothing about the art of the self-tan… these products made it incredibly easy and pretty much foolproof. I was totally showing off my bronzy sun-goddess stomach and thighs to my boyfriend within an hour!

Deep Bronze ($23.00) gives you an intense deep bronze tan, and it is supposed to last for a full seven days. Unlike some self-tanners, this smells delightful–it says vanilla, but I swear it was a little chocolate-y, too! You’ll notice your skin instantly start to darken, and like most self-tanners, the color will fully develop within three hours. It contains shea butter to help moisturize while applying (since moisturizing beforehand can often disrupt results).

Transform Gradual Self Tanner ($17.00) is Xen-Tan’s answer to helping maintain your newly developed self-tan over the week or so that it lasts. I personally use gradual self tanners on areas of my body that are naturally darker (e.g. arms since they’re more often exposed to the sun). I also use this on my feet and hands so I can control the darkness and make sure to avoid any orange palm illnesses. What is great about this gradual self tanner is you can use it to get your initial tan and then re-apply daily to maintain that one. No funky self-tanner scent either!

Face Tanner ($16.00) works well on face, neck, and decollatege. As I’ve mentioned in our self-tanning guides, it is important to know what tanning products to use on your face–namely, never use a body product on your face without at least diluting it. I prefer to minimize mistakes by opting for a tanner specifically for the face (which works for neck/upper chest area, too — all delicate areas).

Xen-Tan self-tanning products are generally paraben-free and contain shea butter, aloe, green tea antioxidants, and ginko biloba leaf extract. The brand also offers mousse and spray tanning options for those so inclined, as well as airbrush products. Head over to or visit select Nordstrom’s to purchase.

Don’t forget our self-tanning guide: Part 1 – Preparation, Part 2 – Application, Part 3 – Maintaining

Get Ready: Tanning — Self-tanners, Part 3 Maintaining

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Maintain It | So you spend all this time and energy on creating the perfect faux tan, but how are you going to keep it looking good? Unfortunately, self-tanning does not give you a tan that will last you months, but you may be able to get a good three days with a few additional days of decent tan if you make sure you take the proper steps.

Moisturize daily! Because self-tanners dye the first layer of skin cells, as they dry and flake off, so will your tan!

Exfoliate sparingly, and when you do, lightly! As mentioned earlier, the self-tanner only affects the top layer of the skin, so body scrubs and exfoliants will cause the tan to flake off faster. It is important to exfoliate every two or three days, though, because it will help the tan to “fade” naturally.

Avoid chlorine and excessive baths/showers, because these can strip the top layer of the skin and limit the effectiveness of your tan and its lasting power.

Gradual self-tanners work really well to help minimize the fading effect of tans, and I have found that they can extend the life of my tan by two to four days, depending on how well moisturize my skin is.

Expect your tan to last a week or less. Most people will find that they will need to re-do their self-tan within a week, and even if you happen to go outside of that, ten days is pushing it. When the time comes to re-do, make sure you go through all the steps of prepartion and application all over again!

Part 1 — Preparation, Part 2 — Application

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!