Self-tanning lotions used to turn you the color of a traffic cone. A second generation (mostly spray-ons and mousses) only made you turn you the color of cantaloupe. Our recent mission was to scour the shelves, beauty counters, and websites for the latest self-tanner formulas. Verdict: The newest crop is better than ever before.
L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes
Yields a natural café au lait hue, with a scent ￼that’s tempered by a thin floral fragrance. Choose the medium-toned version, or take your chances on a good skin-tone match.
Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse SPF 15
A whipped cream–like texture prevents streaking (though a steady hand’s still key), and the subtle fruit fragrance masks the smell until it fades five hours later. Bonus: It’s delicate enough to use on your face.
Mystic Perfect Tan Kit Face
Includes a moisturizing base to smooth skin, a spray-on formula that applies easily and a gold-pigmented finishing cream. Terrific application and nearly zero stench, but skip the final step if you’d rather not rock a J. Lo sheen.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Fusion Beauty AirGlow Airbrush Gun
Salon-perfect results that last through at least two to three showers. Mildly odiferous for the first six hours before all smell fades. Just be sure to exfoliate, shave and cover your hands in cream beforehand, as streaking can be a hazard.
St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Mousse
It won’t transform you from pasty to golden in hours, but that’s the point; it’s meant to be applied in layers, until the perfect color is achieved. A newfangled fragrance technology promises to cut the unpleasant aroma down–and it actually does.