Perhaps it’s the California girl in me, but one of my favorite beauty looks has always been dewy, golden skin. Like many women my age, I spent too many years as a teenager seeking that look by lying outside with barely a trace of SPF on, but now, I understand and appreciate how important it is to protect my skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Thankfully, there are plenty of products that can help achieve that natural, fresh-from-the-beach look that is especially gorgeous in the summertime, without sacrificing an ounce of safety. From my favorite self-tanning lotion to the bronzer I wear daily, here are a few of my favorite options.
I have used and loved St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion for years and have loved the results–there’s a reason the St. Tropez brand is synonymous with self-tanning success! Along with the “gradual” formulas that I prefer, they also offer options that provide more instant results, namely their cult favorite Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse and the longer-lasting Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist. Their mini self-tanning kit is the perfect size for touch-ups when traveling. While you can use clean hands to apply many of these products, consider picking up an application mitt to protect your hands from too much color and to help blend your product as you go–especially if you’re new to self-tanners, they can make a big difference. And remember, smooth, exfoliated skin is key when applying any type of self-tanning product. Fresh Cocoa Body Exfoliant is still my go-to exfoliator, but their Brown Sugar Body Exfoliator is very popular as well.
If self-tanners make you nervous, try a different application strategy, like easy-to-use Kate Somerville Tanning Towelettes or Tan Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, which you add a few drops of to your favorite lotion. I’m intrigued by the new British tanning product line, Isle of Palms, which promises an amazing, natural-looking glow thanks to color-corrective properties and tons of ingredients that hydrate your skin. If you’ve tried their Prep It Self Tan Priming Spray or Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water, let me know–I’d love to hear if you recommend it.
Along with a select few body products that add a touch of glow, I often reach for makeup that gives me the sun-kissed look I’m always aiming for, especially in the summertime. I continue to use BareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Color Bronzer almost every single day, brushing it lightly over the places where the sun would naturally hit my face: the top of my forehead, my cheekbones, and my jawline. Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Bloc, especially in Golden Mosaic, is another wonderful option for adding just a touch of natural-looking golden color.
No matter what, don’t forget to wear sunscreen year-round to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. I try to never spend time outdoors without Supergoop Super Power Sunscreen Mousse on–the mousse formula makes it so easy to apply. I also carry their their Defense Refresh Setting Mist to easily refresh the SPF on my face throughout the day. As a bonus, since it’s made with rosemary, it also helps repel mosquitoes, which is much-needed in Charleston this time of year!