Spring & Summer Beauty Prep! | Top 3 Self-Tan Products For Your Best Glow This Year!

by Holly Swasko

Whether it feels like it or not, we're once again nearing tank top, dress, shorts, sandal, "whatever-isn't-a-bulky-winter-layer" season! (but seriously, where did the time go!?) As much as I love my cute sweaters and knits, there's nothing better than being able to pack them away for a while, step outside in a pair of shorts, enjoy the sunshine, and remember what a warm day feels like after a long Chicago winter!


So while we prep our wardrobes for the turn of the season, switching up that beauty routine of yours can make you feel like a whole new person! And there's just something about a tan that gets you feeling so pampered, healthy, and glowing...who doesn't want that in the summer time?

But regardless of what time of year it is, personally, I love self-tanning year round! I think of it like an extension of makeup - it's like a fun extra accessory and a total confidence booster! But with that being said, achieving a natural looking color each time is super important to me. So through some trial and error, (in other words, some orange mistakes and streaks!) I've found 3 (affordable!) products that keep my glow in-check all year round and I'm here to share em'! Get the details below!


For a full body tan | TRY: Ulta's Express Tan Tinted Mousse


For an instant tan that continues developing after you apply, this one from Ulta can been my favorite. I like it because it is customizable depending on however dark you'd like to be (ie; 1 hour = light tan, 2 hours = medium tan, 3+ hours = dark tan). Let me just say that the color payoff is absolutely amazing. It's not orange-toned by any means, it turns to more of a rich brown which I love! (I personally apply this in the morning and rinse it off the next day as the initial color does come off quite a bit after the first rinse!) I reccomend doing a test patch to start so you know how it will look on your skin after a certain amount of time!

With any mousse, it can get a bit messy, but don't let that scare you away. Just make sure you apply in even strokes work quickly to blend! To avoid staining your hands, using a mitt with it is your best bet!

Application Tips!

  •  If you forget to buy a mitt (like me!), I have a trick that you might laugh at, but trust me, it's better than walking around with fully stained hands for the remainder of your day! If you're desperate, find an old swimsuit or bra laying around that has removeable padding and use the cup as an applicator! The material is super close to that of other mitts I've tried in the past, so if you're in a pinch, apply the mousse directly to the padding and put those old bikinis and bras to good use! 
  • The the tops of your hands and feet, use a stippling brush and brush on a light layer of mousse in circular motions! No streaks at all this way!

Maintaining the glow & for in-between day moisture | TRY: L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Lotion - Medium


I tan with the mousse twice a week for a nice base color, and on the in-between days, or on days where I feel I need some extra moisture, I like using another tanning product in the form of a hydrating lotion to maintain that seamless, dark coverage. I use L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Glow. This stuff can give you an amazing tan on it's own, however, I like using it in addition to the mousse which I find really jumpstarts my tan for the week. 

Often times when your skin dries out, the tan can start looking patchy, so staying moisturized is the key to getting the color to last a whole lot longer. Even if you don't want to add in another tanning product, a light body lotion will work just fine as well!

On the topic of maintaining, always use your best judgment and exfoliate when necessary to even out or restart your tan! I love these reusable exfoliating cloths from Pure Body!


The majority of self-tanners on the market commonly contain either perfumes and/or shimmer particles - both of which I steer clear of putting directly onto my bare face - especially if you have sensitive skin! The main difference is that the colors often develop more gradually and subtely than full body tanners and are less likely to break you out as they are specially designed for your face! 

This pick from Ulta comes in a little bottle with an eyedropper - all you do is mix a drop (or a few depending on your preference - feel free to play with the ratios!) in with your moisturizer at night and let it develop as you sleep. It goes on evenly and I've never woken up to streaks because it's such a subtle glow and works so gradually. It also contains some aloe + green tea which I find personally really calms down any redness overnight and overall ups the appearance of my skin without makeup. 

Sure, you could always just adjust your foundation or warm your skin up with some bronzer everyday, but a good face tanner is always a good item to have on hand if you ever decide to skip the makeup for the day and don't want to be completely two-toned!


So those are the products I use to keep my glow year 'round! Do you have any new spring/summer beauty favorites as we head into mid-April? Share them with me using #clotheinconfidence on Instagram!

Until next time you can keep up with the latest by following me on social media linked below!