The Best Self Tanner Plus My at Home Tanning Routine

April 3, 2019

Today I thought I would share this adorable outfit from our beach trip and a bit about the best self tanner plus my at home tanning routine. First the outfit details, this adorable red peplum eyelet blouse is just too fun! It also comes in white and back. I first shared it last week styled with white jeans in my post about how to wear statement earrings if you want a peek at the adorable bow back. I am really not a shorts wearer, but I love this pair by Agolde sold at Shopbop!! They have a 4 inch inseam which can be harder to find. A bit of a splurge, but after rave reviews from bloggers all around I can see why they are so worth it. Agolde has really taken off as a new standout denim brand, and I highly recommend taking a look at them. 

The Best Self Tanner

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I am naturally pretty pale and don’t tan, I burn. I’ve tried multiple self tanners, and finally feel like I have found one that I really like. It’s a tanning mousse that you apply with a mitt. I bought the large size which is not cheap. You can try the smaller one first if you want. I will say, I have used it about 6 times and it’s barely put a dent in the bottle, so I hope it will last a long time. Overall still much cheaper than regular spray tans. I don’t know about you, but I feel so much more confident in shorts and dresses when I have a little tan! I have also heard great things about this tanner and want to try it when my current one runs out. 

My At Home Tanning Routine

This self tanner says to shower and apply then let it sit for 2-3 hours before rinsing off. I did it for 2 the first time since I am pale, and I felt like all my tan was gone. Frustrated, I gave up on it and was mad at the money I wasted. Before our beach trip I tried it again (right before I took these photos). By accident and a busy morning with Ivy Jean, I left it on 5 hours. I loved the results!! I also used it right before this photo I recently posted on Instagram and got several comments about how tan I looked. Yay, it works! ๐Ÿ™‚ 


  1. Shower, use mitt to apply to body.
  2. I do legs first and work up. I avoid my face. 
  3. For feet and hands, I do my legs/arms first and use the little that is left over to lightly brush my feet/hands barely touching my toes and fingers. Since you can see the color, it’s easy to do this pretty naturally. I haven’t had an issue. 
  4. Put on loose, dark clothes and let sit for 5 hours. I haven’t had any issue with it coming off on my clothes. I just wear darker colors to be safe. 
  5. Rinse off and put on lotion.


I do this usually in the morning and rinse off around lunch which is easy for me since I stay home. You could easily do it on the weekend or after work. It is a little sticky/tacky at first, so you do want to rinse it off. The con to it is that you do have to rinse it off. I wish you could do it and forget it. The pro is that it does have color so you can see it as you apply, whether you have missed anywhere, or have a streak. Another pro is that it does continue to develop as time goes on and ends up with a nice, natural color. 

the best self-tanner to use at home and howred eyelet peplum top with denim cut off shorts for summer

Making My Tan Last

For about as long as I can remember, I have used Jergens lotion on my legs and arms. I find this helps my tan last in between applications. I usually apply about once a week or just when I have to wear shorts/dresses and don’t want to look too pale. Regardless of what self tanner/lotion combo you use, you want to exfoliate before and moisturize after. 

how to get a good self tan at home, vacation ready tan at home

Other Products

For my face, I use this lotion. I’ve had it forever, and it’s lasted really well. I mix some in with my everyday face lotion. It’s never broken me out or caused any issues. I’ve seen other options but haven’t tried them because I have this. I might try others when this runs out. I have also used and really like L’Oreal tan towels. They are about $10 for a pack of 5 and are a wipe. The main con to them is you cannot see them, so it’s easy to miss a spot. I got pretty used to where I would often miss spots and usually ended up with even applications. I used them on my face. If you want to try a low cost option first, I recommend them. 

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  • Reply Designer Swimwear Canada January 15, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Oh my god, your outfit is so cute and chic and the red colour compliments your tan so well.

  • Reply Mary-Katherine May 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Love St. Tropez! I totally agree though that 3 hours isn’t enough. At least not for this pale girl haha. I would do the same as you and try to do 5-6 hours and with that, it was always a beautiful finish!

    If you do want something that doesn’t need to be washed off, you might look into the Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops. I was 100% influenced by some bloggers who were talking about it lol but it actually is awesome! You simply mix a few drops with your lotion so it’s incredibly easy. It feels a teeny bit tacky at first but by the time I finish getting ready and am getting dressed, it has soaked in with the rest of my body lotion. It is really awesome. Two things to note about it though: I haven’t mastered how to not get weird streaks on the sides of my hands and wrists so I’ve been using plastic medical gloves to apply it haha, and I went with the darkest shade because I didn’t want to waste my time with something that would just give me a “glow” but it doesn’t look the most natural. I wish I had gone with the medium one.

    xo Mary-Katherine

  • Reply Merritt Beck April 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve hear so many good things about this mousse! Definitely going to need to try it out soon!

    xx, Merritt
    The Style Scribe

  • Reply Emma Peach April 5, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Fabulous outfit! I love the red top and the tassel earrings! You have great legs!

    Emma xxx

  • Reply Lauren-Blair Donovan April 4, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Hey there, stranger! Loved reading this because while I do tan, ughhhh, it’s so bad for everyone and especially as I age I’m trying to be a little more careful. You look fabulous and I hope you’ve been well.

  • Reply Noor April 4, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Love that red top! Goes well with your tan!
    Thanks for the tips;they were super useful!

    Xo Noor

  • Reply Elise April 4, 2019 at 7:56 am

    i am always looking for a good self tanner and I have yet to find one. I am definitely going to try this! Such a great look, love your top and those shoes are beautiful!

    xx, Elise

  • Reply Nina April 4, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Loving your style dear!! Your earrings are so cool!
    Have a great day! xx

    La ilusiรณn de Nina –

  • Reply Jackie April 3, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    This is such a cute beach outfit! Itโ€™s making me excited to ditch the layers and enjoy warmer weather again!

    xo, Jackie

  • Reply Rachael Thomas April 3, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    This is such a cute outfit, and Agolde shorts are the best! These are also great tips. I need to start using self tanner!

  • Reply Beautygirl24 April 3, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    This outfit is adorable! Iโ€™ll admit that I never use a self tanner. Sometimes Iโ€™ll just add a bit of liquid highlighter to my lotions and creams and that adds a tiny tiny bit of color. I love how natural yours is! If I ever do try self tanning Iโ€™ll refer back here ๐Ÿ™‚

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