Choosing the best fake tan for you is a very different proposition than it used to be. In days of old you’d be limited to thick brown creams and pungent sticky lotions that would render you immobile, for fear of transfer and even a little bit stinky, if you wanted some dyhyroxyacetone (DHA) to fake a tan. Now, thanks in large part to some impressive advances in beauty technology, self tanners are easier to use than ever.


Whereas a self tan used to require a fair amount of pre-planning, you can now tan instantly and quickly. Textures aren’t cloggy anymore either, with choices ranging from waters to oils, making application a cinch.


Whatever time you have to prep, whatever finish you want to achieve, these are six of the best fake tan products for you...


The One Night Tanners


It was the first of its kind and perhaps what makes James Read Sleep Mask Tan, £25, most appealing is that while you’re sleeping it beautifies in two very impressive ways. Not only do you wake up with a tan, your skin gets a boost from anti-ageing hyaluronic acid and soothing red algae and aloe vera. There’s a glow, but there’s also a softness and radiance to skin thanks to a combination of DHA and powerful skincare.


Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster Body Bottle


Image: plus size bridesmaid dresses


The Holiday in a Bottle


When time is tight and you don’t have the luxury of six hours for your colour to develop, your best tanning friend is an instant bronzer. Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines Body Bronzer, £19.50, comes with a handy buffing sponge in the lid so you don’t have to get your hands dirty, plus the rich bronzer won’t transfer onto clothes - or anything else for that matter. Oh, and even if you’re not travelling aboard it brings the holiday to you with Benefit’s Hoola-la signature scent.


The Long-Term Tan


While many tans can look good for a few days, once they start to fade you can be left with patches and a colour that is perhaps less becoming than you’d like. With Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Lotion, £37.50, a pHen02 technology means the formula can hold for as long as 21 days. Also in the mix are lychee, gingko biloba and raspberry to refine, stimulate and repair while a specially formulated moisture lock technology means skin is moisturised for 72-hours.


The New Kid on the Block


Lotions, mousses, cream and sprays - all familiar textures in the world of self tanner, but water? Yes, you read that right, Tan Luxe have created The Water, which can be spritzed on and buffed into skin to achieve a bronzed glow. No mess, no fuss. Like all Tan Luxe formulas it’s a natural formula containing vitamins B, C and E with raspberry seed oil to nourish skin while it tans. There’s no guide colour - so no stained clothes or bed sheets for you - and colour develops in around four to six hours.


The Tailored Tan


If you struggle to find the right ‘fit’ with your self tan then it’s time to take control. There will be no issues with too light or too dark with Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster, as you can control how many drops you use. Add one, two or three drops to your body lotion to turn it into a self tan. It’s as simple as that. Plus, your tan won’t fade quickly thanks to tocopherol and aloe that help it last longer.


The Luxury Tan


The golden glow of hydrated, bronzed skin isn’t just for Victoria’s Secrets models thanks to the beautifying combination in St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Oil. Your DHA, which delivers that bronzed glow, is mixed with a dry oil so tanning and super-charged hydration go hand-in-hand. Though it may say oil it’s the ‘dry’ part that’s worth paying attention to because this means it’s an easier oil formula to handle than traditional ‘greasy’ oils. Blended into this is neroli, lemongrass and grapefruit essential oil so there’s a sweet-smelling hydration added into the mix too. There isn’t a guide-colour, but this oil will leave a veil of shimmering glow if you want skin to look prettified immediately.


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