Fake Bake

After my last few posts, it’s time to lighten things up around here! So… let’s talk about fake tans. Ha! Here’s the deal: I’m a…

After my last few posts, it’s time to lighten things up around here! So… let’s talk about fake tans. Ha!

Here’s the deal: I’m a Florida native. And the beach has always been a big part of my life; especially now that we live in a beach community. Between the beach and the pool we spend so much time outside all year. (BTW, we are professional pool hoppers. We love hanging out at a pool but don’t want to keep one up, so we use all the neighborhood pools in our area. Some we have permission to use; some we don’t. Do not tell!) So with all that time outside + my belief that everyone looks better with a little bit of a tan + my tanning bed addiction during college, I’ve pretty much ruined my skin. And the ever-deepening wrinkles around my eyes (and my genetics-so much skin cancer in my family) have forced me to wake up and stop the sun-damage madness. So this summer my routine has changed dramatically. Instead of slathering on Maui Babe Browning Lotion, which is my absolute favorite EVER, I’m covering myself with sunscreen. And you wouldn’t believe how much sun I still get. And I realized that if I put on self tanner after my shower my skin looks even glowy-er! (New word.) Over the years I’ve tried so many tanners, and the one thing that always stops me from using them is the foul smell. I can’t even describe it! You know what I’m talking about though, right? Weird chemical + burnt skin? I don’t even know, but it’s repulsive. So I’ve been searching for one that gives a nice tan color (no orange!) and doesn’t smell. Here’s what I’ve found out:

1. Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days To Glow Moisturizer – When I saw that Jergens supposedly removed the smell from their self tanners I was the first in line to buy it… but they LIED about this one! It still stinks. I used the medium-to-tan version, and it did give me a nice glow after just one application, but I didn’t sleep well the night I put it on, because the smell kept waking me up. I’m totally serious. I’d skip this one, girls. And guys. 🙂

2. Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 week Self Tan Mousse – I wanted to try a high-end tanner too, so I picked this one up from Sephora. And based on the price I wanted it to be amazing. But the application was actually really hard. It’s a mousse, so it’s not creamy and easy to rub in like a lotion. I found that it didn’t rub in well at all and was really streaky. I loved the (unfortunately uneven) color, and this one had no smell at all. Then I tried it again and mixed it with regular body lotion before rubbing it in… even though the bottle specifically says no to do that, and it rubbed in so much better. The color also lasts a long time. If you are really pale or just want a tan that will last almost 2 weeks, this is a great one!

3. Jergens Natural Glow + PROTECT Daily Moisturizer SPF 20 – Jergens did a much better job with this lotion! It barely has a trace of “that” smell. I think it’s because it is meant to build a gradual tan and doesn’t have as much color in it. When I put it on before bed I could smell it just a little, but by the next day it was gone. I used the medium-to-tan in this one too, and the color is really pretty. More tan than orange. And it has spf 20! Sunscreen that gives me a tan? Yes, please! If you already have a tan and just want a little more color, or if you don’t mind applying every day until your tan builds up, this lotion is perfect. This is my favorite of the three, and you can’t beat the price!

Have you tried any self tanners? I’ve also used the Neutrogena products, but the smell was too much. I want to try the St. Tropez products next!

Maybe I won’t be one of those old Florida grandmas with a wrinkly perma-tan after all. Here’s hoping!


  1. I’ve used the Target version of the Jergens for a while. This last bottle however, I was a big splotchy mess. I think I’ll try that one with the sunscreen in it. And…really…I know what you mean about tanning even with sunscreen. We put 50 on Easton every time we’re outside and that kid is brown as a biscuit! Love me a good tan. Everything looks better tan! FOR SURE!

  2. I like the Jergens too, but I also like the ULTA brand selfless tanner, it comes in a spray. and if you spray it at a fair distance it doesn’t sploch. If you get to close the spray will be heavy and splochy. It has a great color as well.

  3. Have to agree with you on the smell on the Jergens , that is exactly why I don’t use them I thought I was the only person that hated the smell! All of my years so long ago of using baby oil and iodine did a number on my skin you are young enough and smart enough to change your ways of getting sun, great example for your beautiful boy! And by the way you are beautiful and have beautiful skin !

  4. I’ve never done a tan lotion although I played around with the idea last March (family wedding). I did see a girl yesterday and her self tan was awful!! I’m so afraid I will end up looking like that. Your self tan, however, looks great! Thanks for the tips!

  5. Do you put it on your face? The face lotion w/tanner Jergens makes has “that” smell and I couldn’t stand it on my face. Thanks for the great tips!! :0)

  6. I love bronzer too! It’s a must have in the summer when foundation feels like putty on my face! I live in Missouri where even at 75 degrees it is so humid I melt just walking out the door. I do love BB creams tho. I usually buy the pricier ones from sephora (one of my beauty splurges) but recently tried Garnier BB cream and LOVE it! You can’t beat $12 compared to $40!!

  7. I’ve cut down on the beach going and have been wondering about which fake bake to try… I am stopping by the drug store to grab #3 up there on my way home. Thanks for the tips.

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