The best self-tanning products for a streak-free glow-up that never fails
By Team BEAUTYcrew
September 16 2021
Life is always good when you’ve got a gorgeous (fake) tan in tow. A sunless tan is not just safer than the real thing, but the bottled kind of bronze is often so much more flattering (no red undertones!) and flawless (see ya tan lines!).
However, finding your go-to faux glow formula can be a long and orange road fraught with streaks, bad smells and a lot of wasted cash.
So, to make sure you're getting gorgeous golden results every single time (because let's be real, applying isn't particularly fun; you want the results to be worth it), we've rounded up the very best tanning formulas across the board...
St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse
While some prefer to appear just slightly sunkissed, others like to go from a shade of pale to looking like they’ve spent a month living on the beach in Bora Bora in a matter of hours. Well, St. Tropez Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse delivers the latter in spades. In just four hours, the fluffy foam gives skin a dark bronze hue that still (somehow) looks natural. And, if you’re game to wait another four hours (or you know, apply your tan before bed and let sleep serve as your wait time), you’ll be gifted with a deep tan that's even richer than a real one.
$51.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Foam
The original Liquid Gold Dry Oil built itself quite a loyal following, so it's no surprise that this quick-dry, long-lasting foamy formula is just as beloved. And just like its predecessor, the Liquid Gold Foam requires no rinsing after application, so you can just apply and let the tan develop into a beautifully golden shade. That’s it; you're good to glow.
$22.95 at bondisands.com.au
Tan-Luxe The Body Self Tanner
If you're fair and find that most fake tan formulas end up looking streaky and orange on your limbs no matter what, give these innovative drops a try. Made to be mixed with your body moisturiser, they'll provide a glorious natural-looking colour that's less 'tan in a can' and more 'yes I've been getting a good dose of vitamin D lately'. And while it may be the most exxy pick on our list, the 4 out of 5 star rating from over 140 reviews on Sephora strongly suggest it's well worth it.
$75 at Sephora
James Read Tan Coconut Water Tan Mist Body
Our friend James Read is no stranger to tanning innovations, but this formula brings together two of our favourite things: foolproof tanning and easy hydration. The lightweight veil of the Coconut Water Tan Mist dries pretty quickly post-spritz, and the colour slowly develops into a natural, warm colour, while hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and coconut water work behind the scenes to hydrate, soften and replenish skin (hence prolonging your tan!). What more could you want?
$50 at MECCA
Natio Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion
Natio has always had a strong reputation for delivering quality natural products at budget-friendly prices, and the Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion is no exception; it's definitely our favourite for more realistic results. Use it daily in place of your regular moisturiser for limbs that feel delightfully soft, and – after a few days – look a touch more golden and glowy. Just don’t forget to wash your hands after each application; while you may not notice a difference after one day, a few days of layering could leave you with some pretty bronzed palms...
$14.95 at Myer
MineTan My Moroccan Self Tan Foam
Looking to add a little extra colour to a naturally darker complexion? Try the MineTan My Moroccan Self Tan Foam – it's a super deep tan shade loaded with antioxidant-rich argan oil and replenishing botanicals to keep skin as moisturised as it is bronzed. The hydrating blend is a blessing, too, considering it would leave dry areas such as elbows and knees pretty damn dark if it wasn't for the nourishing benefits; it's not for the fainthearted for the fair-skinned, but the rich hue is heavenly.
$29.99 at Priceline
LE TAN Uber Ash Base Fast Self Tanning Foam
If it's a cooler colour you're craving, this is your guy. Designed to flatter fairer skin, it adds a golden wash of colour without going glow-TT. Don't get us wrong, it's not gradual (nor even particularly subtle), there's just something about the shade that looks super legit. Another perk? Its fragrance-free status; consider that iffy fake tan odour a thing of the past. Long story short, nobody will be the wiser to your glow's faux status.
$21.49 at Chemist Warehouse