It should be no surprise that white wedding dresses look great against a tan. Healthy, sun-kissed skin can also help your teeth look whiter. But what should pale or sun-shy ladies do to get in on this wedding day beauty secret? Luckily for fair-skinned (and skin-smart) brides-to-be, self-tanners take sun damage and an exotic vacation out of the recipe for a fabulous wedding day glow. It s one of those beauty products no bride should go without.
Our fearless beauty editors tried out the newest self-tanners to hit beauty aisles to find the best ones for brides. They tested lotions, sprays, and even towelettes and came back with their five favorite ones to help you look like the best version of yourself and solve the most tricky and common self-tanner concerns.
1. Tan early and often. Start slathering at least one full week before your wedding. A little bit each day allows you to "build" color gradually, which is not only prettier, it also ensures you won't miss any spots. No worrying about any tell-tale streaks on that gorgeous white wedding dress!
2. Stretch to reach those tricky spots—pretend you're in yoga class. Yes, it's weird to lift your arms over your head to make sure you're hitting every last nano-inch of your obliques, but totally worth it when you slip into that bikini.
3. Feel free to skip your face. Unless you've previously had great success with faux-glowing your face, stick to wash-off liquid and powder bronzers.
Now, onto the good stuff. Click through to see how the best new self-tanners address all of your personal glow concerns!
If Chemicals Scare You
Being green and bronzed is a good thing! This eco-certified mix of botanicals and moisturizing oils from Elemental Herbology softens skin and adds a sexy hint of color.
Tanning tip: "Blotchy spots were easily buffed with a pumice stone," says our tester.
Sun Kiss Body Hydrator With Self-Tan, $41, Elemental Herbology
If You Can Never Reach Your Back
Thanks to the spray nozzle of L'Oréal's Sublime Bronze airbrush formula, you don't have to use contortionist-like moves to cover hard-to-reach spots. Yay!
Tanning tip: Patience, please; let it dry completely before slipping into clothes.
Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist, $11, L'Oréal Paris
If You Hate The Scent
Jergens's natural-looking gradual tanner has zero odor, so your wedding guests won't suspect a thing when they lean in for a hug. And we're hooked on the mousse texture—so easy to control.
Tanning tip: Build color by applying over several consecutive days.
Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer, $8.99, Jergens
If You Tend to Overdo It
This Clinique lotion is tinted, so you'll know where you've already slathered it on. Our testers raved about the streak-free results and the instant shimmery glow.
Tanning tip: Don't let the lotion just sit there. Blend, blend, blend.
Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion, $23, Clinique
If You're Super Busy
It takes only one of these portable Kate Somerville wipes to deliver quick, sun-kissed color to the whole body—sans mess.
Tanning tip: We know you re strapped for time, but exfoliate first!
Somerville 360 Body Tanning Towelettes, $48, Kate Somerville