If you’re pale like me, you’ll know the non-muddy bronzer, non-orange self tan struggle.
These are my 10 favourite bronzers and self tans that I’ve used and loved over the years. Obvioulsy if you have olive skin, these probably won’t work on you, but most of them come in darker shades, too.
The Clarins Bronzing Duo SPF 15 Mineral Powder Compact in Medium (R455) has two shades, so you can contour and bronze from one palette.
I’ve used the Smashbox Bronze Lights in Warm Matte (R450) for years. It’s my go-to summer bronzer as it’s warm, but not muddy, so works perfectly on my complexion.
Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Luminous Colour in Medium Light (R900) is my winter version of the Smashbox Bronze Lights. It’s a slightly lighter shade, but also not muddy at all. It blends beautifully and delivers a natural finish every time.
Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer for Face (R475) is great for days when you want all-over bronze. I usually use this when I’ve applied self tan and need my face to match my body. It’s also great to deepen the shade of any foundation that is too light.
Elizabeth Arden FourEver Bronze Bronzing Powder in Medium (R550) only launched this year, but have found myself reaching for it often. The combination of shades makes for a natural glow which can be as bronze or highlighting as you want.
If you want an instant bronze body, look no further than the Caribbeantan Shimmer Cream Tinted Body Bronzer (R79.95). It makes you look like you’ve spent a few weeks on the Med. The shimmer may be a bit much for some, but I personally love it. And you can just wash it off at the end of the day.
If shimmer isn’t your thing, then try the Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines The Believable Allover Body Bronzer (R505). It also delivers instant bronze; no waiting round for self tan to dry – just apply and go!
If you don’t want to commit to instant bronze or self tan, then a gradual tanner is your best bet. I’ve tried SO many over the years, but the best one is still Palmers Natural Bronze Body Lotion Gradual Tanning Moisturizer (R90).
When I do want to do a full self tan, which I admit is not very often, I always choose the Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion (R365). The results are natural, the formula doesn’t smell and it fades evenly.
And if I really want to go the whole-hog, I’ll opt for a spray tan, and I have found Vita Liberata Spray Tan (around R500, depending on the salon) to be the best. It’s organic, smells ok and lasts absolutely ages. (Side note – do NOT get a spray tan before you head to a very humid climate. I lost my favourite white t-shirt to Bangkok heat combined with a spray tan.) You can find your nearest Vita Liberata stockist here.