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The Best Sunless Tanners and Tips on How to Apply

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Tanning Milk

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Pick Your Potion
“Choose the formula that best suits your skin,” says Anna Stankiewicz, of Suvara Airbrush Tanning at the Warren Tricomi Salon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Creams and lotions like this work well on dry skin, while sprays and mousses have a lighter consistency—perfect for the acne prone. ($27;

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Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Reach for the Right Shade
“The orangey effect happens when you choose a self-tanner that’s too dark for your skin tone,” says Stankiewicz. “If you’re fair, like Nicole Kidman, use the light-to-medium option; if your skin is closer in color to Eva Mendes’ or J.Lo’s, go for the medium-to-dark one.” ($8;

Clarins Instant Smooth Self Tanning

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Slough Off Dead Skin
Before you apply the sunless tanner, buff rough spots—they often soak up too much color, leaving splotches. “But avoid oil-based scrubs, which can leave a slick film on your skin that the active ingredients can’t penetrate,” says Stankiewicz. A better choice: a loofah or body brush. Wait for skin to dry completely after showering since water can dilute the formula, giving you an uneven or streaky tan. ($33;

Aquasun Sunless Tanning System

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Apply it Right
“When you put on your self-tanner in circles, you end up hitting the same spots more than once,” says Stankiewicz. Instead, carefully smooth it on using long, even strokes. For sprays, hold the product six inches away from your body for a consistent coat. ($50;

Neutrogena Micromist Sunless Tan

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Don't Sweat It
On average, it takes six hours for your sunless tan to develop. Wear loose-fitting, dark-colored clothing during that time and try not to perspire—it can cause the product to rub off.($11;

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

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Self-Tanning Pro Tip: Make it Last
“Harsh cleansers dry out your skin, which can cause your tan to flake, fade, or look patchy,” says Stankiewicz. In the shower, stick with moisturizing body wash or gentle soap. ($30;

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