If you’ve tried self-tanning products at home then I’m sure you have some horror stories to tell. I know I’ve turned myself Oompa-Loompa orange more times than I’d like to remember. That doesn’t stop me from trying; otherwise, I’m blind you on the beach pale. The secret is finding the right formula for your skin and preparing your skin before applying. Skimp on these and you’re in for a week’s worth (or more) of unsightly hued skin.
If you browse at-home self-tanning product reviews and product pages you’ll find a lot of varying opinions. You’ll find contradicting advice and horror stories galore. I’m about to add to that, well except for the horror story part – I got lucky on this one!
I have been experimenting with at-home self-tanning product for years, heck I’ll admit it – decades! Thanks to a family history of melanoma and my skin’s tendency to burn instead of tan, self-tanning is the safest choice for me. Most of the time the products have a disgusting smell and leave streaky bits of unnatural color. The one brand I have had the most luck with over the years is Fake Bake (who provided some great products for me to try out).
Fake Bake boasts an extensive fan list that includes Olivia Culpo, Ruby Rose, Demi Lovato, Rumer Willis, Whitney Carson, Karina Smirnoff and more.
The brand has been featured at Hollywood events such as the EMMYS, Teen Choice Awards, and the BELLA New York White Party in The Hamptons honoring the cover woman and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump.
Fake Bake has been around for a while and over the years, they’ve made some major improvements. The key thing I think is the smell. Each of the products I tried actually smells good, not chemically or foul. There’s a tropical scent that is stronger in some and more faint in others. Here’s a rundown of the Fake Bake products I tried.
Amplify uses cutting-edge technology to create a triple threat. Amplify is known for its ability to boost, intensify and perfect your skin. The lotion is made up of an active plant-based agent that increases the skin’s melanin production. This means your skin will tan quicker, deeper and last longer.
This product is slightly misleading, since it is meant to enhance your natural tanning process. It does add a slight tint when used alone and without outside tanning, but I’m thinking it would work best for beach days when you want to amp up your tan.
Tanning Body Butter for Dry Skin is made up of the highest grade botanical Shea Butter that will moisturize as it melts over the skin’s surface. There are natural antioxidants that fight free radicals in this body butter, all while gaining that healthy-looking addition of color.
This was perfect for me since I have extremely dry skin. It immediately added moisture and made my skin look better. This is a lot thicker than the other products so a little goes a long way.
Doubleshot Espresso Tan Gel is the self-tanning product to use if you want a deep, golden bronze. It is made with several tanning actives for maximum depth of color.
The gel formula glides on smoothly and dries fast. Doubleshot is highly concentrated so you only need a little bit to get a gorgeous tan.
Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum is designed with a triple tan formula to not only give you a golden bronze color but to enhance the beauty of your skin. It adds a healthy glow so you’re skin doesn’t look dull and the color is rich and very natural looking.
While I love the color, this does have a slightly off-putting smell. I thought it would be less smelly than other self-tanning products, especially since it’s coconut scented. The self-tanning smell seems to push past the coconut aroma though, making this the only Fake Bake product I don’t like the smell of.
Fake Bake can be found at Ulta Beauty, Bed Bath and Beyond and online at www.fakebake.com. The products I tried each (with the exception of Amplify) had color guides to help you see where you’ve applied the tanning product.
There was no streaking or yucky orange to come from any of these which makes Fake Bake my preferred at-home self-tanning product. That’s why I can confidently suggest you try it too!
Tips for using at-home self-tanning products
If you want to make the most of your at-home self-tanning experience here are a few tips/pointers.
- Exfoliate beforehand. Having smooth skin will help make sure you stay streak free.
- Use gloves. This is super important; no one wants carrot orange knuckles and palms – they just look dirty.
- Be thorough. It helps to use a mirror but it isn’t necessary. Just be sure you’re covering all of the visible spots you want to be tanned. Imagine a tan face with pale white ears or neck. Yea – be thorough!
- Take your time. It’s tempting to get dressed soon after the self-tanning product dries, but don’t. Plan for at least an hour before getting dressed, this helps make sure the product doesn’t rub off on your clothes or streak before it’s completely absorbed.
- Find the product that works for you. Do your research, find reviews from people with the same complexion/skin type as you. Even though I don’t always do it, I highly recommend doing a skin test before committing to a product. This will help keep you from turning orange or breaking out.